Wednesday, June 1, 2022




JUNE 2022


MARIA MIRAGLIA: When did you approach poetry?


OLFA PHILO DRID: I started writing 13 years ago. I was then in a period of emotional upheavals ...  My marriage was then breaking down and  I was struggling whether to remain in that toxic relationship to satisfy my parents and avoid gossip or to divorce and seek emotional and spiritual freedom...  (That’s why my first collection of poetry was entitled “(un)jailed”). So during those hard times of sorrow, hesitation and disappointment, I felt the urge to write...It was an exorcism or a therapy for me. I did not have the intention then to be read or published but the readers’ sympathy and their emotional interaction with my poems made me believe in the power of the pen to touch both the hearts and minds especially when your verse is simple and sincere ... 



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Do you think of anyone to dedicate your words when writing? 


OLFA PHILO DRID: Yes, sometimes but other times I write about general topics that touch the human soul in general or to criticize the political scene... 



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Air, water, earth and fire. What element would you like to be in poetic terms? 


OLFA PHILO DRID: I like water because it makes me feel cleansed from all impurities whether physical, emotional or spiritual... Besides, my zodiac sign is Pisces so I belong to this element of emotions, whose natives are characterised by sensitivity, imagination, depth, loyalty, compassion, intuition and mysticism. 



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what kind? 


OLFA PHILO DRID: No, because it makes me feel distracted and unable to weave my words... 



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  What did you feel when you held your first book in the hands? 


OLFA PHILO DRID: I had the impression that I gave birth to a baby. For as an introvert and pensive person, I was pregnant with feelings and thoughts for years and when I wrote them and compiled them in books, it was similar to a delivery for me... 



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Where does poetry come from? 


OLFA PHILO DRID: For me, it came from the bottom of my heart...It sprang from my silenced feelings, my buried pains, my untold stories... 



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Is there a time of the day when you prefer writing? 


OLFA PHILO DRID: No, but I prefer writing when no one is around or when I go walking or running in the lap of nature or by the sea... 



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Does writing come from the heart or from the mind? 


OLFA PHILO DRID: I guess from both. It depends on the source of inspiration whether a feeling or a thought... 



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  What do you think of poetry and poets on the web? 


OLFA PHILO DRID: There are many good ones but there are also some fake poets and plagiarists who profited from the accessibility of poems on the web so they started stealing ideas  and copying and pasting verses from here and there to  announce themselves as ‘poets’  then gained readers, fame and even  undeserved awards...  



MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who are your favourite contemporary poets and why? 


OLFA PHILO DRID: I like Maya Angelou for the poignancy of her verse, her strong voice, her engaging style and vivid imagery.  I also like the Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani for his romanticism and feminism. I like the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish for giving voice to the Palestinians’ struggles and by extension to all the downtrodden on earth via his themes of homelessness, dispossession, exile, uprootedness, injustice etc ... I also enjoy reading our Tunisian poet Rahim Jmaii for his beautiful, inspiring, creative and thought-provoking  haiku poems, some of which I translated into English.  


OLFA PHILO DRID is a poetess, playwright, teacher and translator from Tunisia and holds a PhD in American Literature. Her poems have appeared in many international anthologies and literary journals and some were translated to more than 12 languages. Some were composed and turned into Italian songs performed by Fabio Martoglio. She won many accolades among them “The Connoisseur De Poetry Award” as one of the World’s Top Six Writers by the Motivational Strips Academy (2018). Thus far, Olfa has published a play and two collections of poetry.


MARIA MIRAGLIA: Educationist, poet, translator, peace activist, Maria A. Miraglia was born and lives in Italy. For a long time, an active member of Amnesty International, she herself founder and chairwoman of World Foundation for Peace. Member of Ican, of the International Observatory for Information and Human Rights. Founding member and literary director of the Italian cultural association P. Neruda, honorary member of Nationes Unidas de las Letras, advisory member of the editor board of Galaktika Poetike Autunis, member of the editorial board of Our poetry Archive, member of the editorial advisory board of Sahitya Anand. Presidente de la organization Mundial de los Trovatores, Italy and Deputy President – Coordination, at a child rights global organization, the United World Movement for Children (UWMC). She collaborates for poetry with numerous national and international newspapers and magazines. Her poems have been translated into several foreign languages and are collected in numberless anthologies all over the world.  Dr Maria Miraglia is often a welcome guest of international events for poetry. Beauty and profundity are the most important characteristic of Maria Miraglia’s works and although these elements are found in some of the exceptional works by modern writers, blending them together seems a challenge for many, where Maria is found to be successful applying them into her poems. Author of anthologies in Italian, English or both languages She is recipient of numerous national and international awards and recognition.


  1. Congratulations and Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your poetic career!
    My most sincere and joyful hugs!

  2. beautiful interview