Tag Archives: poems

When Poems come to Roost

venn

I rarely write poetry nowadays.

The last time I wrote a poem, it was for a boy I had just met. He was leaving, I wanted him to have something of me to remember by etc. You know how that story goes. Especially if you are a poet, then you have definitely been in that boat at some point.

Most of my poems are personal. Some of them are political. While others are healing.

And then, there are those that are all three, like that sweet spot in a beautiful Venn diagram.

Two of my poems, “Badaun Sisters” and “Origa-me,” are in The Feminist Wire. You can read them here.

Also(!), The Feminist Wire happens to be one of the publications on my Top 30 list!

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Filed under poetry, Writing about writing

The Chapbook that never was

Final product.

Final product.

Chapbooks are not easy to make.

And, my final project for Carolyn Smart’s poetry workshop class was just that. A chapbook.

I knew what I wanted. My barenaked face, sans makeup (except mascara), as the cover.

The title would be “For Sale” borrowed from the first line of the first poem.

And, my name.

And, it would be fancy, a 4X6 in hardcover, bound in red cloth.

Hah. Impossible. For a 12 page chapbook, it was très impossible.

Credit: Chloe Sobel Photography.

Credit: Chloe Sobel Photography.

For the photo, I hunted down the fantastic Chloe Sobel from my creative writing class last term. Her expertise lay in feminist retellings of fairytales. And, portraiture.

After scheduling and rescheduling, we managed to meet outside in the windy cold (there was snow on the ground, and her reflector almost flew away, twice), get my clothes partially off for the barenaked feel, and clicked a few for my cover.

Next, the layout.

I begged my fantastic sister to help out with her artsy skills, and although she tried, due to time crunch (on my part), it was just not what I had pictured in my head.

So, I visited the printing services on campus with my ideas. They shot it down. We don’t do the kind of binding you want, they said. It just cannot be done.

I went to Staples next, but with similar results.

And just when I thought all was lost, and I would probably have to print those pages out myself, and staple them together in a shoddy manner (sewing and glue guns were out of question. Mostly, due to lack of a single artistic bone in my body.), I thought why not. Let me see if there are any binding services in Kingston.

The nearest to my location was DigiGraphics, and so I called them. The kind Elizabeth Clark there suggested, very gently, that perhaps I should reconsider the binding. Saddle binding could work you know, she said. It wouldn’t be fancy, but we could work with it.

So, I let them.

Final cover, courtesy of DigiGraphics, Kingston.

Final cover, courtesy of DigiGraphics, Kingston.

And voila. I had my chapbook.

It was slightly different from what I had initially imagined. But it was a real thing.

And, it was all mine.

The chapbook contains seven of my poems (four of which have been workshopped in the poetry class and some of which have been published online) and only exists as a single copy. It was, as I mentioned, made only for the purpose of my final creative writing project. At the moment, I do not have any plans of having any more copies published.

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Filed under photography, poetry, Writing about writing

Mr and Mrs Andrews Without Their Heads

mr-and-mrs-andrews-without-their-heads-by-yinka-shonibare

Mr and Mrs Andrews Without Their Heads (1998) by Yinka Shonibare

Towards the end of last summer, in a spurt of (spend)thriftiness, I ended up buying a bunch of literary magazines. I wanted to write something that would match the caliber of the likes of Granta, The New Yorker, Paris Review et al.

I also ended up engaging in a belated NaPoWriMo. The effort only lasted upto mid August, but in the process, I ended up coming up with a bunch of poems. The styles and content of these poems were nothing like anything I had ever penned before. To be honest, I thought they were shit (not the shit, just shit).

Two of these poems are now in Pyrta.

While “Mr and Mrs Andrews Without Their Heads” is based upon a photo of an art piece by the same name in an issue of Granta (I had purchased back then), “Blood Red Sky” draws from the title of my novel-in-progress.

Read them here, in the 2012 Winter Issue of Pyrta.

As well, check out some of the awesome poets featured in the same issue such as  Goirick Brahmachari, Aseem Kaul, Alexander Callum Harrison, Ishita Bhaduri, Namita Krishnamurthy, among others.

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Filed under anecdote, poetry

“The Lady,” plus one

Vanessa Bell's "The Tub" (1917)

Her entry into my life was abruptly dramatic. A fortuitous serendipity, perhaps.

There I was. Flipping through The Longman Anthology of British Literature, when I was stunned into a compulsive standstill by Vanessa Bell’s “The Tub” (1917).

How could I disregard that face? The blush had me arrested. And thus, “The Lady” was born.

On an impulse, I sent the poem to Asia Writes. They were more than happy to offer her a home. But they also wanted a companion.

What joy! “The Lady” would not suffer unbearable loneliness.

Both “The Lady” and “Noises” were published by Asia Writes on 8th July  2011. You can read them here.

(And, I probably need to stop writing in hyperboles. Sigh.)

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