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.
Alicja Maria Kuberska
awarded Polish poetess, novelist, journalist, editor.
In 2011 she published her first volume of poems entitled: The Glass Reality. Her second volume Analysis of Feelings, was published in 2012. The third collection Moments was published in English in 2014, both in Poland and in the USA. In 2014, she also published the novel – Virtual roses and volume of poems On the border of dream. Next year her volume entitled Girl in the Mirror was published in the UK and Love me, (Not ) my poem in the USA. In 2015 she also edited anthology entitled The Other Side of the Screen.
In 2016 she edited two volumes: Taste of Love ( USA), Thief of Dreams ( Poland) and international anthology entitled Love is like Air (USA).Next year she published volume in Polish entitled View From the Window. She edits a series of anthologies entitled Metaphor of Contemporary ( Poland)
Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies and magazines in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, the UK, Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Albania, Spain, Turkey, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Israel, the USA, Canada, India, Italy, Uzbekistan, South Korea, Taiwan, South Africa, Zambia,Nigeria and Australia.
She won : distinction (2014) and medal (2015) on Nosside poetry competition in Italy, statuette in Lithuania (2015), medal of European Academy Science, Arts and Letters in France (2018)), award of Cultural Festival International “Tra le parole e l’ infinito” Italy (2018) She was also twice nominated to the Pushcart Prize in the USA.
Alicja Kuberska is a member of the Polish Writers Associations in Warsaw (Poland) and IWA Bogdani,(Albania). She is also a member of directors’ board of Soflay Literature Foundation (Pakistan), Our Poetry Archive (India). She is Polish Ambassador of Culture of The Inner Child Press (the USA) and she belongs to Editorial Advisory Board of Sahitya Anand (India).
1. What inspired you to write poetry?
In the past I was more interested in my everyday life and career as a worker at a bank. A disappointment in my life changed my attitude and it caused, that poems had started to flow through my mind like a river of words. My poems were once just my dreams. Now poetry is a part of me. I like to read poems, especially written by the best poets of the world. I learn a lot from them though I have my own style now. Reading is the best workshop.
2. Who introduced you to poetry?
As a young person I was interested in business. I was a chief in a bank department. This occupation required a lot of time and effort. I was a very busy person in this period of my life. I changed my attitude when I realized that my life is too short to devote it to this career. Writing gives me pleasure. It is my passion. I started to write in 2008.In 2011 I showed my poems to Mrs Barbara Mazurkiewicz, the famous Polish poetess. She found them interesting and she arranged everything. Mr Kazimierz Linda (also a poet and a big friend of beginners) published them. Now I can help young poets. I pay my debt back.
3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
I had never been aware of anybody. I write because I love to do it. I do not care about fame. I am grateful if somebody devotes his time to show me the weak points of my poems. I can concentrate on this verse and correct it. Older poets can help the younger ones. In my opinion everybody must learn all time.
4. What is your daily writing routine?
I write when I want to tell something important to my future readers. Volume is not a diary. I do not write every day. I think, that words carry emotions. It is easy to find out which poem is “ real” and which one is so called “paper poem”.
5. What motivates you to write?
I do not write every day. It would be senseless. I write when I want to tell something important to my future readers. Volume is not a diary. Personally I do not like poems about nothing or poems, which are miserable copies of famous ones.
6. What is your work ethic?
I think, that a good poem contains a novel in a few stanzas. The means of expression and principles are different too. There are no doubts that a novelist must write more than a poet. My process of writing poems looks like that: I write a poem and I “freeze“ it. That means – I write it in my computer and I forget about it. I return to it in a few days or months. I think I have to be more censorial. I read and correct it many times. It is easy to guess that I do not write many poems. In my opinion quality is more important than quantity in literature.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
I started to write as a mature person. I know what is important in my life now. The properly classified values are very important for me. Poetry is something more than a hobby – just a part of my perception of the world. It is very hard to explain. One word – poetry is a significant element of my everyday existence. I am Polish, so I learned a lot of from Polish poets. I like very much poems of Wisława Szymborska. She won the Nobel Prize in literature.
8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
I like many, contemporary poets, but I do not have the favourite ones. I read a lot of poems ( I am editor of anthologies) but only a few works stopped my attention. There is a kind of “poetical flood” now. Many people write and they think their poems are perfect. Good poem must carry a kind of “emotion- energy”. Many poems are just “empty”. I am also a translator. I have been busy translating a volume of Turkish poet Mr Metin Cengiz lately. I found in his volume some very interesting works, which I liked very much. I translated poems of Albanian writer Mr Jeton Kelmendi, too. The poem about death of his father brought me to tears.
9. Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?
In one of Wisława Szymborska’s poems she wrote, I prefer the absurdity of writing poems / to the absurdity of not writing poems. That seems to summarize my attitude too. I am addicted to writing.
10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
Everyone can be a poet. We can all observe this volcano of emotions when people fall in love. I never expected to be a poetess. It has just happened to me.
11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
I am currently working on several anthologies. Together with Izabela Zubko, we want to win the hearts of Ukrainian readers. Natalia Miżygórska and Margarita Szewernoga help us in this. Professor Dmytro Tchystiak (associate professor of the Department of Romance Philology at the Kiev University of Taras Shevchenko, International Secretary of Literature at the European Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters in Paris, coordinator of the series “Lettres europeennes” in the Paris publishing house “L’Harmattan”), whom I met at the award ceremony in Paris, plans to translate Polish poetry into French in 2019. I had the pleasure to send him the works of several Polish poets. We are working on another project in Telugu language, too. Mr Lanka Siva Rama Prasad undertook to translate poems and publish them in India. Mrs Joanna Kalinowska wants to bring the poetry of Poland and Italy closer together. Mrs Agnieszka Jarzębowska established cooperation on the poetic theme with Russia. We are currently at the initial stage of discussing this project.
I also translated a volume of Mrs Maria Miraglia from Italy. I plan to edit it. Meantime I am working on an anthology in Polish entitled Metafora Współczesności and an individual volume of Mrs Anna Czachorowska. I plan to edit my volume, too. Sometimes I feel like a spinner – I run from the spindle to the spindle and tie knotted threads. I am a very busy but happy person.