Wednesday, May 1, 2019




MAY 2019

ALICJA KUBERSKA: What does poetry mean to you?

SHAMENAZ: I believe in Wordworthian ideology, “Poetry is a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, where emotions recollect in tranquillity.” I think verses are eternal and beautiful when it comes out from your heart and soul, when words come abruptly from your mouth and not by planned way.

ALICJA KUBERSKA: What’s according to you the meaning of poetry in the contemporary world?

SHAMENAZ: I think in the contemporary world more and more people are writing poems, focussing on poems and they are taking it a tool against social injustice, humanitarian crisis. Many people are using poetry as a tool of resistance against racism, oppression and subjugation which is a positive sign.

ALICJA KUBERSKA:  Can you describe your creative process while writing a new poem?

SHAMENAZ: For me poetry means spontaneous overflow of words transformed by your own powerful emotions. So for me it is easier to write as per I feel or as per situations. I feel it difficult to write when I am given a theme because not all time I can mould emotions as per the theme. For me poetry is something with should come out from your heart and soul.

ALICJA KUBERSKA:  Did it happen to you that a poem was just your dream?

SHAMENAZ: Yes definitely, when I was a teenager I had composed some poems but in the present some years back I use to wonder that how so many people are writing poems because it was difficult for me to compose. Though I was writing as that time but basically it was related to my research work or on women issues but it mostly it was academics. But when Nepal earthquake happened and I saw the sufferings of the Nepalis then some poems were abruptly composed by me and later when I saw the Syrian refugee crisis then I composed many poems.

ALICJA KUBERSKA: Tell us about your inspiration. What’re the most important subjects to you?

SHAMENAZ: My Dad has always been my inspiration. He used to compose poems in Urdu language but unfortunately he died when I was just 3 years old but by reading his verses I had always felt motivated though I took up writing poems very late. I write on various humanitarian issues existing in the contemporary world relating to human existence like women issues, refugee crisis, racism, terrorism, resistance etc.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Which were the emotions that inspired your first verses?

SHAMENAZ : As I have told earlier it was the tragedy of Nepal’s earthquake which inspired me and I composed my first two verses on it.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Was your aspiration to become a poet or did all happen by chance?

SHAMENAZ: Yes it happened by chance. I was writing from a long time on various women issues existing in our society. I am a PhD holder in English literature and the topic of my thesis was related to South Asian feminism so I was very much interested in women writing.  My poetic journey began accidently in 2015.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who is the first person you read your poems to and why?

SHAMENAZ : Actually, when I started writing I was not confident enough to read my poems in front of somebody because I use to consider my amateur and beginner so I just posted it on facebook and the response I got was tremendous which inspired me to write further.  

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Have you published any poetic anthology, if so what did you feel the first time you got it in your hands?

SHAMENAZ : Though I contributed to many poetry anthology across the globe but it was Feeling With You with Armeli Quezon which was my first edited anthology, the second was The Celebration of Voices with Deborah Brooks Landford consisting mine and hers poems. My third was a solo book, Shades of Life after that I edited 4 anthologies Women Poets Within and Beyond Shores Volume I, II & III  and Verses on Racism, Resistance and Refugee Crisis. My two anthologies, Feminist Voices: An Anthology Against Rape and Sexual Molestation and a multilingual anthology, Camps of Resistance and Consciousness in under publication.   

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who are the poets you prefer reading? Do you get inspiration from them?

SHAMENAZ : I prefer reading old English British poets and Urdu and Hindi poets from Indian sub-continent. Yes I always feel inspired by reading classical poets because it gives me strength to compose more.

APRILIA ZANK:  How important is accessibility of meaning to you? Do you challenge the readers to work hard to decipher your poems, or do you prefer transparency of meaning?

SHAMENAZ : Nowadays poets mostly writes in simple language which is quite accessible to all. As far as I am concerned I believe in transparency of meaning.

APRILIA ZANK:  What kind of poems do you write mostly? Do you have recurring themes, or are all your poems unique?

SHAMENAZ : I write on various humanitarian issues existing in the contemporary world relating to human existence like women issues, refugee crisis, racism, terrorism, resistance etc. Mostly they are on recurring themes but I have also composed on strong women like Razia Sultan, who was the first woman who sat on the throne.  

APRILIA ZANK:  Do you think your poetry is typically feminine / masculine? If yes, in what way?

SHAMENAZ: No they are on multifarious themes as I have already discussed above.

APRILIA ZANK:  In what way is your poetry different from that of other poets?

SHAMENAZ : No, I think I also write in the same manner as my fellow poets are writing in the contemporary scenario. I don’t think I write in any exceptional way.

LEYLA IŞIK:  What are the main factors to make poetry real poetry?

SHAMENAZ : It is the emotions and passions, the intensity to write for the betterment of humanity.

LEYLA IŞIK:  Do you think imagery is important in poetry? Where does the importance of imagery begin in a poem, where does it end?

SHAMENAZ : It was a time when imagery was considered important but in the contemporary scenario it is not so relevant. I myself have not used it much.

LEYLA IŞIK:  What are the most used types of poetry in your country?

SHAMENAZ : India being a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country with so many languages spoken here, so you can’t fixed a boundary of literary culture because here every language has its literature and in every literature poetry has a prominent place. So people from different ethnic group and different language write poems on almost all themes and subjects.

LEYLA IŞIK:  What’s important to be a good poet? To write good poems!

SHAMENAZ : I believe that some people possess the talent of writing good piece of poetry since birth and some people cultivate it by regular practicing. One should read more and more poems of all poets of pasts and practice writing.  

LEYLA IŞIK:     Who are the most important poets and their main properties nowadays?

SHAMENAZ : I think Rumi is the mostly read poet around the world because of his mysticism. Then every country has its great poets who possess certain qualities liked by its people. Now because of translation we can read poems written in any language in the past as well as present.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  Understanding poetry begins with visualizing the central images in the poem. What do you see, taste, smell, hear, and feel? What is the imagery of your poetry?

SHAMENAZ : I also try to write poems which has universal appeal of humanity, love and brotherhood so when I write on any such issue than I visual images related with the theme. For example, when I wrote a poem on the Syrian refugee child, Aylan Kurdi who was drowned in the sea while escaping from Syria then it was he the central image in my mind and all the atrocities which he must have experienced.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  What is the mood of your poetry? (Or How does it make you feel?)

SHAMENAZ : I write as per the situation, so reaction is based on the situation.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  In your poetry who is the speaker of the poem? Are you speaking to yourself or to others?

SHAMENAZ : In my poems, it is mostly I who is the speaker and sometimes I speak to others whereas in some to myself.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  What is the message of your poetry?  What messages do your poetry convey?

SHAMENAZ : My message in my poems are, ‘love and respect each other, spread peace and happiness and make this world a better place, let not hate win us.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:   Does the internet and social media contribute to the success of your poetry? Is this the reason you write for?

SHAMENAZ : Yes internet and social media are contributing to a great extent to the success of your poetry as more and more poets around the globe are connecting  with each other. Poets are getting national as well as international platform.

NILAVRONILL SHOOVRO:  Thank you so much dear poet for the interview. We would like to know your personal experience with OPA as a literary web journal. Would you like to share anything more with our readers?

SHAMENAZ : You are welcome, it’s my pleasure. Through OPA I was able to connect with larger audience and with many international poets across the globe. I would just like to give a message to all poets to raise their voice through their poems against all the atrocities existing in the world in any form.

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