Friday, July 1, 2022






JULY 2022

NILAVRONILL: Why do literature and poetry in particular interest you so much? Please give us some idea about your own perception of literature or poetry in general.

SWAPNA BEHERA: Literature and poetry in particular interest me so much because I can express whatever I wish to; my agony, my joy, my voice against the social issues, my love for mother Nature, my pain for child abuse etc . I can express anything under the sky in my poems or in literature. I need words to express my dignity, my love; my existence

Through literature I can extend my sky, I can forgive, pray, talk to the nature, yes, I need Words to live with. I need words


•        Literature can take an ethical stand of any aesthetic revolution. It is so versatile that you can be an emperor or a beggar at the same time

•        It feels good to write, I am sane and madly in love with alphabets, words and themes. I am obsessed with the spatial memories of the mystical journey and for me literature is not hypocrisy but an honest confession.



NILAVRONILL: How do you relate your own self existence with your literary life in one hand, and the time around you, in the other.


SWAPNA BEHERA: I am a cosmic dot searching for my existence. Here I quote my own poems


“The plasma vibrates

Posthumously declaring an axiom

The cells open the Pandora  box

Of the erratic estuaries


The reform peeps

through the strata

And my mystical soul

Is baptised   silently - - - - “


(From my poem Appearing and Disappearing)



“Me !!!  Me !!!

     A timid versatility

              On the sea shore


The prelude

          of the horizon

                     Have the trust

Strong enough

             To see your scribble

                        On the palms of

                                the trembling shadow

       A string of a violin

                   A grass blade

                            smilies of dew drops

     Where all emotions merge

                           To one emptiness

  As a dot I swim

              As a dot I swim - - - - “


(From my poem AS A DOT )

NILAVRONILL: Do you believe creative souls flourish more in turmoil than in peace?

SWAPNA BEHERA: Yes, creativity itself is the permutation and combination of moments to celebrate  and a  self-mechanism of healing process when the words march forward  carrying the pain, agony ,human sufferings, emotional catharsis etc

NILAVRONILL: Do you think in this age of information and technology the dimensions of literature have been largely extended beyond our preconceived ideas about literature in general?

SWAPNA BEHERA: We talked of information explosion in the late 1980s, the information superhighways through the 1990s. We are so much engrossed to leave our digital foot prints today but the Greater Peace is always hash tagged with poetry of love, humanity and core values  .Knowledge and information  has to be updated but poetry is the  eternal glow and flow of  the perennial wisdom ...


NILAVRONILL: Now, in this changing scenario we would like to know from your own life experiences as a poet, writer and a creative soul: How do you respond to this present time?

SWAPNA BEHERA:  As I have said I am a cosmic dot. I was a teacher in Kendriya Vidyalaya for a pretty long time. Today my students and their children are with me. At times they guide me with the modern technology

I am flexible and swim with the time, I work for environment and listen to the Nature the great LOVE GURU


Isn’t our heart beat a lovely poetry?   Long live poetry......

Long live the little angels who are the living poetry on the Earth.

Long live their dreams through poetry



NILAVRONILL: Do you believe that all writers are by and large the product of their nationality? And is this an incentive for or an obstacle against becoming a truly international writer?

SWAPNA BEHERA: Writers are the cosmic entity. They belong to the global family and are beyond any boundaries of latitudes or longitudes. They are the representative of any time zone that they wish to. That is why it is told they are the second Gods or Goddesses. At times their culture, social environment or the stigmas, taboos are reflected in their writing, their pen is their strength.  ...They are flexible. Hence, they can break systems or create new enigmatic horizons because they are the dawn makers and new SUNS in the horizon


NILAVRONILL: Now, if we try to understand the tradition and modernism, do you think literature can play a pivotal role in it?  If so, how? Again, how can an individual writer relate himself or herself to the tradition and to modernism?

SWAPNA BEHERA: Tradition and modernization are two different terminologies. The tradition does not always abide by the mythological parameters. Logics have come into the picture. Too much of everything is an obsession, I think. At times Nostalgia and memory drags to the suffering and violence. The thesis and antithesis of feminine sexuality lies not in occupying the feminine space or feminine body but lies in the exploration of the identity crisis. Sexuality, political role play, social role and the expression of speech has overtaken the challenges. People have become conscious on climate change So modernization has taken place  as a catalyst and  shaped  our culture, literature.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think literary criticism has much to do with the development of a poet and the true understanding of his or her poetry?

SWAPNA BEHERA: Yes, healthy literary criticism helps but literary trafficking or literary stigmas sometimes become synonyms with literary thematic and imposes crossing the ethical border line. Every time zone has its own issue. I do believe every heartbeat is a poetry, language itself is a value; the language employed by a poet has an intrinsic value to the poet as well as to the readers A poet writes as a reflective poet when he stands on the threshold of the outer world and as an introspective poet when on the threshold of the inner world.


NILAVRONILL: Do you think society as a whole is the key factor in shaping you up as a poet, or your poetry altogether?

SWAPNA BEHERA: I am a product and bye product of the Greater society; society has shaped me, my culture, my sensuality, my values, my vision, my responsibilities and so do the reflections. But at the same time my poetry has its own audacity as I am too sensitive towards the teenager refugee girls at the refugee camps, that’s why my poem “A night in the refugee camp” is translated into 67 languages including some dialects. Some issues have the universal approach. My poetry or short stories reflect them with all transparency and with the audacity of the tears of my inner self. At the climax point my monologue and dialogues merge to take the shape of a poetry


NILAVRONILL: Do you think people in general actually bother about literature?  Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?

SWAPNA BEHERA: People love literature. Literature is a serious task. After globalization the technology has developed and people have less time to sit and read books. E books have replaced hard copies. Personally, I think consumerist world has developed a new species of literature i.e. Short, specific with facts, less metaphors and imageries. A new renaissance has come. The younger generation has started reading interactive novels. Ghost writers, ghost readers have come to the picture

Very young school students have taken social platform to express. A few have become authors at a very young age. There is multiple choice of mass, media communication and ample opportunities for everyone to write which was not in the scenario years back.


NILAVRONILL: We would like to know the factors and the peoples who have influenced you immensely in the growing phase of your literary life.

SWAPNA BEHERA: I write because I feel the urge to breathe. Words pour upon me when I feel I am alone or lost in the crowd, whether in the traffic square or near the bed of my ailing parents. I need to express various emotions, When I travel, I see the greater scenario; my visions bubble and compel me to write something. The nature has always impressed me a lot as most of my childhood days I have spent in Kalahandi and Sundargarh jungle areas with my working parents. I have seen the simple affectionate tribal people, the struggle of their life and their transparent smiles, love and care. The vibration from birds, rivers, streams and reflection of seasons in the forests have mesmerized me…Being with my students for such a long period have kept me alive with dynamic souls and in a continuous learning process. The dyslexia student helping a physically challenged student on the wheel chair has impressed me a lot and authentically sowed the pragmatic values within me. I have seen a student who lost her father at an early age but selling sarees to meet the expenses of the family. She is a chartered accountant now. Life’s struggle and different strategies to solve it by different people have made me write, may it be short stories or poems. I joined FB in 2015 after my retirement, not so much well versed with it. I posted a poem ‘The Heritage of The Lord’ on 11.1.2016. That very day the great eminent poet, painter, and musician Ricardo Antonio Garcia of America in boxed me to take the approval for publishing the same poem in the Anthology Tomb of Words. That was the turning point. I was motivated and slowly entered English Poetry World although beforehand I was writing in my mother tongue Odia. Today I miss him a lot as he is no more. Everything is destined, I do believe. A journey can never be alone. Always a journey starts and ends holding hands together. I have read the sophisticated poems of the iconic poet Mr Jayant Mohapatra and observed his very simple life style. That has impressed me a lot. Keki Daruwalla,K Satchidandan’s poems  have impressed me a lot. When I was in class three my father who was a writer once asked me, “What will you do after my death – write a poem based on this theme?” I was surprised, puzzled and sad. But very bravely wrote a small optimistic poem. Perhaps he taught me to think and express original thoughts and not to walk on the cart tracks. A child’s subconscious was ignited to accept all blasting and glories


NILAVRONILL: How would you evaluate your contemporaries and what are your aspirations for or expectation from the younger generation?

SWAPNA BEHERA: I learn a lot from my contemporaries. They are apt in their own style. They are bold enough to speak a spade a spade. The younger generation is amazing too, they are marching forward, The intensity of their voice is prominent, crystal clear, and they are fearless

A good number of them are involved in the grassroot level to solve the issues .so they have a broader vision. Globalization and localization have taken a mingling twist in their creativity which I appreciate.


NILAVRONILL: Humanity has suffered immensely in the past, and is still suffering around the world. We all know it well. But are you hopeful about our future?

SWAPNA BEHERA: Yes, I am hopeful because I am an optimistic person. Being a teacher for years together I know the younger generation have tremendous potentialities. They are apt in technology; they have stronger exposure with the global issues. They are the crisis managers and they live collectively. Any problem that comes they share and find a quick solution, I respect them and their works. Social platform is giving an ample opportunity to each one to express, that is the boon of the modern era. The tears of each one is the concern of all.

NILAVRONILL: What role can literature in general play to bring a better day for every human being?

SWAPNA BEHERA: Every human being is unique; every human being has INDIVIDUAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY as well as the collective responsibility. We have to raise our voice against social stigmas, inequalities, hunger, manmade disparities, Violence, child abuse, substance abuse, deforestation and degrading of Nature in the name of urbanization. Literature in general and Poetry in particular assimilates, flies beyond borders and can paint the five elements. It crosses the boundaries of culture, religion, caste, color and deletes all discriminations. It is the logical logistic of millions of expressions. Knowledge is the information and digital footsteps in the brain but poetry is the radiant dances of the heart, by the heart and for the heart. Poetry   can break the geographical boundaries. Poetry is just like the pollen grains, the first monsoon for a farmer, breast milk for a baby, dreams of a child.  Yes, I do believe poetry can lead the aesthetic movements. Poetry codifies the sojourn journey of the soul from eyes to alphabets. Poetry is the alpha and omega. Poetry heals inner wounds, protects values, germinates, rejuvenates, explores and deletes the stigmas, taboos and detoxifies. Above all, poetry is the voice of   an orphan, widow and the environment. Poetry is the strongest medium to delete the segregation, divisions, inconsistencies ambiguities, contradictions and manmade concoctions. Today a man is imprisoned in his own cage. Nature is the paramount poetry and great Love Guru. Poetry creates the ruminations, purifies the inner self with innumerable fragrances. Knowledge can argue with the collected information but poetry is the song of the soul, a gift of the cosmic energy. So, poetry can stand alone to speak for itself. Poetry is a BLISS with its own aura.


SWAPNA BEHERA is a trilingual contemporary poet, author, translator, environmentalist and editor from Odisha, India who writes in English, Hindi and Odia. She was a teacher of Mont Fort School from 1984 to 1995 and a teacher of Kendriya vidyalaya from 1995 to 2015. Her stories, poems and articles are widely published in National and International journals, and ezines, and are translated into different national and international languages. She has penned seven books of different genres including one children's literature on Environment. She is the recipient of the International Mother Language UGADI AWARD WINNER 2019, honored from Gujurat Sahitya Akademi , International Poesis Award of Honor at the 2nd Bharat Award for Literature as Jury in 2015, The Enchanting Muse Award in India World Poetree Festival 2017,  World  Icon of Peace Award in 2017, and the Pentasi B World Fellow Poet in 2017.. ATAL BIHARI BAJPAYEE Award 2018, Rabindranath Tagore Award 2020,2022. Mahatma Surja Kumar Karfarma Memorial Honor 2020, Konark Odisha award,Smt Simhadri VisalakshiMemorial Award FOR literary Excellence 2019, International  Life Time Achievement Award  the Honoured Poet of India from the Seychelles Government accredited Literary Society LLSF and from Algeria,Morocco, Kajhakhstan ,modern Arabic Literary Renaissance of  Egypt, Republic of Kyrgyzstan; International Arts Council Argentina etc. She has bagged nearly 50 National and International Awards. Her one poem A NIGHT IN THE REFUGEE CAMP is translated into 67 languages. At present she is   the Cultural Ambassador for India and south Asia of Inner Child Press U.S. The Chief Admin of India and Middle East zone of India office of the Motivational strips. Cultural Convenor &Literary Coordinator of   International Society for Intercultural Studies and Research ISISAR of Eastern India. She is the life member of Odisha Environmental Society, a peace activist whose motto is Listen to the tears and Save Mother Earth for every child.


  1. My best friend's interview is interesting to read though it is lately published here!

  2. beautiful interview