Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Moinak Dutta

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.
The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.

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Moinak Dutta

Published fiction writer, poet, teacher,
Born on 5th September, 1977, he has been writing poems and stories from school days. Presently engaged as a teacher of English. Many of his poems and stories are published in national and international anthologies and magazines and also dailies including ‘The Statesman’ ( kolkata edition), ‘ World Peace Poetry  anthology ‘ ( United Nations),  ‘Setu’ (published from Pittsburgh, USA,)Riding and Writing ( as a featured poet twice, published from Ohio, USA), ‘ The Indian Periodical’ ‘ Pangolin Review’, ‘ Tuck Magazine’ ‘ Duane’s Poetree’, ‘ Tell me your story’ ( literary and travel magazine), ‘ Nature Writing ‘ magazine ( U.K.), ‘ Oddball magazine’ ‘Soft Cartel’ magazine, ‘ Diff Truths’ magazine,   ‘ The Literary Fairy Tales’ ‘ Defiant Dreams’ ( a collection of stories on women empowerment published by Readomania, New Delhi ), ‘Dynami Zois’ ( a selection of short stories comprised of works of authors from India and abroad), etc;
Written reviews of books and fictions, among which notable ones are : on  ‘ The   Upanisads ‘ ( translated by Valerie J. Roebuck) which can be found at http://www.blogapenguinindiaclassic.blogspot.com and the review of ‘ The Ballad of Bapu’ ( written by Santosh Bakaya). Written some essays and articles on education and literature and other topics which had been published in both e- books/e – journals ( like Cafe Dissensus)  and as  printed books/ papers ( like one on ‘ Amalgamation of social media and literature: pros and cons, published by Viswa Bharati Research Centre and Sahitya Anand), ‘ Erothanatos’ ( academic and literary journal), etc;
His first full length english( genre: literary/romance  ) fiction ‘Online@Offline’’  had been published in 2014,  by Lifi Publications.His second fiction(genre:  literary/quest) titled ‘ In search of la radice’ was published in 2017 by Xpress Publications. Also worked as an editor of a poetry collection titled ‘ Whispering Poeisis’ , which had over one hundred poems from sixty poets from different parts of India and abroad, published in 2018 by Poeisis. Loves to do photography apart from listening to music and watching films and traveling.

email :moinakdutta@yahoo.co.in
http://www.moinakdutta.wordspress.com

 

The Interview

  1. When and why did you start writing poetry?

I have grown up in a literary and cultural world so to say. My dad had been a gifted poet and artist. He had been one of the founder editors of a bengali magazine ‘ Krishanu’. He and his friends often would gather at our house and have long sessions of literary ‘ adda’  as it is called in our bengali  common parlance which means informal discussions and debates and interactions ranging from poetry to essays and fictions. One person in particular Dr. Dinesh Chandra Singha, a writer by himself and a researcher on bengali folk culture and folk songs would oft come to our house and he, apart from being a great litterateur had an amysing sense of wit which kept me glued to that ‘ adda’  session though at that tender age I had little idea of what they discussed for their discussions had been eclectic. Later on reading books of poetry , of Tagore ( most of his songs and poems from Kheya , Sonar Tori, Balaka and that highly experimental yet simple poetic prose ‘Shesher Kobita’  , Wordsworth ( his Tintern Abbey, Prelude and Lucy poems being my all time favourite apart from his long essay ‘ Preface to the Lyrical Ballads’ ) , Robert Browning ( his dramatic monologues), Purnendu Patri ( his book of poetry with his own illustrations), William Blake ( Songs of Innocence and Experience) , W.B. Yeats ( most of his poems, those magical ones and his wonderous preface to Tagore’s ‘ Song Offerings’ ) , T. S. Eliot ( Mariner, Wasteland, Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ), Jibanananda Das ( most of his poems) , Joy Goswami ( ‘ Pagli tomar songey ‘  etc;) , Arun Mitra, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Alen Ginsberg, Sunil Ganguly, Maya Angelou, Bishnu De and works of many other poets shaped my views and visions with regard to poetry.
However, if am I to choose the most favourite of all poets I have read I would name Tagore and Wordsworth.
2.  Who introduced you to poetry?

My dad late Malin B. Dutta and some of my teachers.
3.  How aware are you of the dominating presence of older poets traditional and contemporary?

I am very much influenced by Tagore and Wordsworth and I do not know whether they could be called ‘ older poets’ for their works appear to me universal and eternal, having lyrical cadence and conspicuous love of nature. Tagore had been very modern I think for his songs touch all facets of human emotions, not only nature and romantic school of poetry. His treatment might be rhythmic but his poetry deals with subtleties of human existence, its agonies and ecstasies, its spiritual positionings, its religiosity and also its irrreligious presence. Moreover, he had, inspite of being a man, had brought out the minds of women which , appears to me the most fascinating part of his writings. Perhaps he had been the most gifted poet of all times.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

I follow no strict routine. However early morning is my preferred time of writing for it is the most blessed and fresh hours of the day.
If any thing stirs my mind, I do take up pen and paper and write down the thought or idea which I later on explore.
5. What motivates you to write?

Anything that touches me. It could be nature, paintings,  ( I love paintings and drawings and wrote a fiction titled ‘ In search of La Radice…’ published in 2017 which had a female protagonist who had been a painter. ) any event that has occured, a particular poem or some of its lines, even a song or a portion of a movie which enthralled me, a photograph.
I believe in esemplasticism. My poems are eclectic too.
6. What is your work ethic?

I try to find out some hours out of my daily life completely devoted to writing be it prose or poetry. As I write stories and fictions too, which usually take more time than writing poetry, I try to write poetry only when I am not occupied with prose works.
Having said that, I should also say that there are occasions when poetry comes in the middle of writing stories. Then I put my mind into poetry completely.
7.  How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

I still read stories of Ruskin Bond and poems of Sukumar Roy who influenced me very much in my childhood.  I should not say that I follow their writings but they keep me grounded to simplicities of life.
8.  Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

Of today’s poets I have a strong reverence towards some bengali poets like Sankha Ghosh, Joy Goswami etc. As I am connected with some english poetry magazines, I am lucky to have some friends who are awesome poets. Their works I read and mine they.
9. Why do you write?

I write because I love writing and I believe writing is a beautiful vocation.
10.  What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”

I became a writer for I love writing and by writing I can easily entertain myself and also the world around me.
11. Tell me about any writing projects you are involved in at the moment.

Presently I am working on a fiction , genre : literary – romance which is my favourite.
It has a perspective which is very much Tagorean and yet it is modernistic for it has characters set in this century, this age. Apart from that I am also working on a book of poetry.

 

 

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