Thursday, August 1, 2019




ALICJA KUBERSKA: What does poetry mean to you?

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON: To me poetry is a way of expressing my feelings. It feels like I am gifted from above. It’s a wonderful feeling being able to paint with words the pictures you want to show, the messages you want to give, the statements you want to make. Writing poems is a feeling of well-being for me.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON: Poetry, I believe, is extremely important in today’s social life. It is necessary, now more than ever before, to make a halt now and then, see life in new perspectives, trigger your fantasy, ask yourself “why”. Poetry gives you new angels. Makes you think outside your box.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:   It is a difficult question to answer but thoughts and pictures often appears unexpectedly, so I use my pencil and my notebook or my Dictaphone. Sometimes a thought comes to mind because of an experience or something I’ve seen. After I have written it down it doesn’t take very long before developing itself into a poem. At times it feels like someone inside of me is dictating.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:  It happens quite often that I wake up in the middle of the night, awakened by a dream. Sometimes I can write a whole poem a vista.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:  Actually my subjects of inspiration are around me where ever I go. Just allow yourself to make a stop and relax.
Quite honestly, for me it is nature, the universal love, relations and the human being that inspires me most.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:   Oh! Now, that was long ago! In 1968 on an arithmetic lesson in school. I believew it was September. I was almost 13.
Outside the window I could see the autumn leaves falling. Suddenly I thought about John Lennon and his music. I was totally and utterly in love with him and my thoughts just went around in circles. So I started writing down my feelings and that’s how my first poem was born.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:    I did not decide to become a poet. I don’t think you can. For me it was a gift and I think it must come from inside of you.
I have been writing poems and short stories as long as I can remember.
Though it has become more and more intense in the last 25 years. I also write prose, novels and essays.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:    It is my husband Per. He is very gentle but also quite fair in his criticism.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:   I have been published in a number of anthologies. It is such a wonderful feeling but somewhat hard to describe. For me it feels like being part of a big family book with poet colleagues you know personally or just are befriended with on facebook.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:     Mostly I read old, classic poetry. Poets like Shakespeare, Poe, Goethe, Keats, Yeats or Dickens. Nordic poets like Tranströmer, Karlfelt, Strindberg, Karin Boye, Gunnar Ekelöf, Dan Andersson, Nils Ferlin, Ola Hansson or H C Andersen. I gather my inspiration though from other source

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?

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:  It all depends on the situation and what kind of poem I write. Sometimes I hide a message in my poem; especially when it concerns sensitive social issues. I prefer though writing clear, open poems. Letting the words paint the picture of the scene.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:   All of my poems are unique in their own way, I think. They are born along with a picture or feeling that I have at that particular time. But I like writing about love and empathy for another person and love for nature.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:  No. And I would rather erase those borders of definition. I write what I feel when I get the emotion. Wether it’s feminine or masculine is totally egal.

APRILIA ZANK:  Do you write mostly about yourself, or do you also have an open eye /ear for the issues of the world?

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON: I always have an open eye and I sometimes write about different things that happen in our world. Things that concerns me. But I prefer not to write about politics or religion, even though it concerns me.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:  No one is more. No one is less. No one is better. No one is worse. We are all poets and writers. As long as we write what comes from our hearts, our poems remain honest. I write what I feel. I can not force myself to be somebody I’m not. I do not consider myself. I just feel comfort and privilegie in being me.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:  It’s like deciding what makes jazz real jazz.I think a poem ought to follow some certain grammatical rules, so the reader doesn’t get totally lost. I like reading poetry that gives you clues, uses idiomatic phrases, aphorisms that makes you think twice. Someone once said: A good poem communicates long before you understand the meaning of it.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:  Fantasy is very important, depending on what you write. In order to be able to be inside the poem you are writing, you eventually must provoke pictures a little bit surreal.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON: Maybe I am not the most adequate person to answer this question, but, from what I’ve seen lately, some of tody’s Swedish poetry uses subjects like being deceived, taking revenge, loss and sorrow, depression, hate, indifference and lonliness. It seems to me like seeking consolation in different ways.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON: For me it is important that my poems reflect my inner thoughts. To be true to myself so that I really can stand up for what I write.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON: That’s a very difficult question  to answer. We all have favourite poets of our own, and therefore, precisely, this question can not be adequately answered. I read mostly old, classical poets like Shakespeare, Goethe, Dickens or Poe, but quite recently I have red two polish authors: Szyborska and Milosz.

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?

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:  I try to alert all senses in my poems. I see a scenery, I hear voices and music, I sense the taste and the fragrance. I talk to my reader beacause I want to convey the sense of my poem.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:   My poems are often very positive. I want my reader to get a well-being feeling. If I write dark poems, I always want to make things positive in the end.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:  I believe I am the speaker. I try to talk to my reader and paint a scenery of words for her or him to walk upon thru the journey of my poem.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:  I often have a positive message in my poetry. To encourage hope. That it’s no use for the sailor to curse the calm; it is much better to learn how to sail. In dark poems I always want to show my reader the light behind the dark curtain. To convey a solution to the problem.

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

JOANNA SVENSSON JOSEFSSON:  In some way, yes. But I want to point out trhat this is DEFINITELY NOT my reason for writing. It has been a big help for me though, the last six months.

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?

I believe that OPA is extremely important as a literary web journal. In today’s world of internet and multi-media, this is the future. It connects people all over the world and it widens the global net of literature. I would like to share a short little something with your readers:  I was born in Warsaw, but emigrated from Poland, my country of birth, already in 1975. Since then I have lived in northern Germany and now I live in the south of Sweden. These three countries have deeply enriched my life and my writing. Despite their nearness of each other, they are so different in mentality, traditions, language and culture. As a person I am very positive to life. I always try to see the good in people and I am extremely grateful for my journey so far. In my authorship, beside being a poet, I am also a writer, a novelist and an essayist. I love nature, literature, music, art, theatre, social life and interesting intellectual discussions. And experiences. Me and my husband travel as much and as often as we possibly can!

Joanna Svensson Josefsson. She is a swedish author and poet who writes under the name of Joanna Svensson. Although she was born in Warszawa, she has lived most of her life in Sweden and Germany. She writes in three different languages – swedish, polish and german. Among her production are two fiction novels – part one and two in a trilogy – the third is on its way. Further more is a book of poetry in german and two poetry books in Swedish of which the first one is already being translated into English by her husband, who is a language teacher and  graphic designer. She has participated in several anthologies and she is very active in both swedish and polish literature society.  She also gives lectures on the subject of  “Prosperity and success with dyslexia.” She focuses on both teenagers and grown-ups. Because dyslexia should not be an obstacle – it is an advantage!


  1. Very well said, My Friend! And congratulations!! �� ��

  2. very nice and well crafted interview. god give you more success. the interview is excellent.