Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Kushal Poddar

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.

Kushal Final Cover

Kushal Poddar

Edited the online magazine ‘Words Surfacing’.
Authored ‘The Circus Came To My Island’ (Spare Change Press, Ohio), “A Place For Your Ghost Animals” (Ripple Effect Publishing, Colorado Springs), “Understanding The Neighborhood” (BRP, Australia), “Scratches Within” (Barbara Maat, Florida), “Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems”  (BRP, Australia) and “Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems” (Hawakal Publishers, India)

Author Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/KushalTheWriter/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/Kushalpoe

The Interview

1. What inspired you to write poetry?

– I began writing at the age of six; hence it was mostly about what I read, or about summertime or even about my favourite sweets. Nowadays it is my skirmish with outer reality, society, about stoicism, my daily life, my wife, our love, my daemons etc.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

– I wish the answer were as simple as ‘my mother’, ‘school curriculum’ or ‘my uncle’. It is a mixture of them all and my curiosity. I found some poetry books in my uncle’s possession and although he would say “These you cannot understand” I went on to read those and comprehend those. They took me to an alternative reality. I realised- this is my calling.

3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?

– I shall not say, dominating. I shall say, inspiring. They even inspire to contradict themselves. If establishments were not present then anti-establishment was not needed.
I am grateful for the influence of O’Hara, Bishop, Ashbery, Simic, Wright, Strand, Hoagland and Doty on me.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

– I begin my day with toasted news and then further reading of books and even comic books. Reading usually sparks certain thoughts. Sometimes certain word someone used in his essay or in his fiction ignites a complete poem irrelevant to the actual reading I was meandering through.
Even a dialogue written for Batman’s Joker may have sparked a poem on the philosophy.
It happened that I am watching a movie with my wife and I had to pause it to write something. It comes urgently, and if I delay in penning down an emotion it wanes. I try to write at least one poem a day. It keeps my doctors at bay.

5. What motivates you to write?

– Nothing is too sacred to write; nothing is too low. Motivations are alive just like my mind. My old room that had a failed window was an inspiration to dark subjects. The park nearby and any body of water motivates me. A lone walk or a random conversation with any animal, injustice or an act of kindness all motivates me.

6. What is your work ethics?

– I believe that I bear the cross of writing my head out, every day, each excruciating one, and that I shall never write anything endorsing a communal violence or in favour of a religious or extremely right wing politics. I don’t write anything that will sound obscure to even a well read poetry lover. A part of any work of mine should have something for everyone.

7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

– I learned rhyme, rhythm, meter and beats through reading. The writers I read framed a mind-set. I do sometimes break this frame but since I do it consciously their influence actually remains there.
From the critical essayists I learned restrain.
From the novelists I learned to open my experience. Anything is true when it is written well.

8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

– Today is abstract. Amongst the living writers I admire Rae Armantrout for her clear brevity. Kevin Young and Ilya Kaminsky for their skills with the language and usage to do their wide ambit of subjects full justice. Aimee Nezhukumatathil or Melissa Studdard for their rich perspectives and metaphors.

9. Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?

– Other things, chores or jobs cage me, choke me. Writing is the key I drew from my birth pool that opens my existence.

10. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.

– I am writing a book of poems rather experimental for me as well as a book of flash fictions. They may surprise my usual readers.

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