Interview with poet Vijaya Gowrisankar

Poet Vijaya Gowrisankar joins me
today. We’re talking about her new collection of poems,
Savour – Art and Poetry meet.
Bio:
Vijaya’s
fourth book of poems, Savour – Art and
Poetry meet
was published on April 30, 2017. Her first three books of poems,
Inspire, Reflect, and Explore are best
sellers. Her submissions have been published in Silver Birch Press, Nancy Drew
Anthology, Poetry Marathon 2016 Anthology, Sometimes Anyway: Pride in Poetry
Volume II, Forwardian, Triadae Magazine, iWrite India, Dystenium Online, and
Taj Mahal Review anthologies. She has appeared as guest speaker in colleges. A
participant in the Poetry Marathon 2016 (24 poems in 24 hours, 1 poem per
hour), she has reviewed and edited poetry and fiction books. She participated
in NaNoWriMo 2016 and completed her first novel in November 2016.
Welcome, Vijaya. What do you enjoy most
about writing poems?
Poetry gives
me freedom of expression. When I adhere to a poetry form, it gives structure to
my thoughts and helps me enhance it. I love the ability to let my thoughts ride
wings of freedom.
Can you give us a little insight into a
few of your poems – perhaps a couple of your favorites?
Painted dreams (from my second book of
poems, Reflect)
It
starts as a whiff
floats in
imagination
conjures
golden wings
soars into
vast sky
dreams
Painted
in bright colours
changes with
mood swings
powerful to
overcome obstacles
privilege of
every child
faith
Free of
shackles of stature
encourages
heartfelt fantasy
a world built
of positive dreams
inspires to
combat every failure
innocence
A white dove (from my third book of
poems, Explore)
She
flaps her wings, seeking entry to hearts
She draws
attention away from hurt’s darts
She
urges to dream, as she flies amidst clouds
To explore
the heights and hues, away from crowds
She
calms the soul, when disappointment rages
She holds
firm, like a friend, through tough stages
She
smiles on joyous occasions, from behind the scenes
She takes the
first step to fight hatred among enemies
She
guides in the final journey of release
Unaffected by
the darkness, she propagates peace
What form are you inspired to write in
the most? Why?
Open Form
gives me the most freedom. I learnt the Pantoum form in the Poetry Marathon
2016 last year. I love the rhythm of that form.
What type of project are you working on
next?
Currently, I
am writing one poem a day and submitting to anthologies. I hope to complete
Poetry Marathon 2017. I am reaching out to readers about my fourth book Savour.
Savour is a book of ekhprastic poetry, featuring 19 artists, 58 paintings, 73
poems in 20 poetry forms.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer / poet?
I used to
write in school. I participated and won many prizes in inter-school
competitions. I used to send my poems to radio programs and some were read out
in the shows. After that, I wrote at will, and sparsely.
I resumed
writing in full swing in June 2014 and since then I have been writing at least
one poem a day. I guess on November 1st, 2014, when I decided to
publish my first book, I considered myself as a writer / poet. I felt I was
writing well and my readers would enjoy my work. They would be able to relate
to my poems and I felt an acceptance in myself for this love of writing.
How do you research markets for your
work, perhaps as some advice for not-yet-published poets?
I read a lot.
I strive to keep each poem different, each theme different. I try to keep the
content of each book different. I ask myself “Why would a reader buy this book?
What does it offer differently from the rest of my books?” I am open to ideas
and I try to connect with the pulse of contemporary writers, their opinion on
what the readers want and the suggestions my readers give me.
I firmly
believe in the following two thoughts:
“Our inner
voice guides us, we just need to listen to it.”
“Creative
wings have the power to change the world.”
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I keep
thinking of what to write and zone off when I have a thought in mind. That
becomes embarrassing when I am in the middle of a conversation.
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
As a child, I
was very unsure what I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to do everything –
be a teacher one day, an IPS officer the other day, a writer when I read books
by Enid Blyton, a tennis player when I watched tennis. I just wanted to be the
best at whatever I did. Life just showed its course, and I followed it.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
I often hear
“Poetry is dead” or “Poetry is hard.” The beauty of poetry is that it is open
to the interpretation of the reader. Any art form – visual like painting,
sculpture, cinema, dance, music or verbal like stories and poems has the power
to touch the viewer or reader’s soul. It connects us with ourself. Each person
should identify their creative interest and pursue that, rather than subduing
it.
Links:

Thank you for joining me today!

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