AMA Poetry Writing, becoming a poet and being a poet in the 21st century

Vatsala Radhakeesoon
Jan 16, 2018

Hello! I'm  a multilingual author/poet from the exotic island  Mauritius. I'm the author of two poetry books  When Solitude Speaks and Depth of the River. I also write in French,  Mauritian Kreol (my native language) and Hindi. I started writing poems at the age of 14 now I have 25 years experience in poetry writing. In the hectic world, we live in poetry is a great healer. There are many questions that come to a person's mind on hearing the word poetry. So I welcome any question from you. Thanks :)

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While writing, do you think about impressing any particular group of audience? Or do you give more importance to personal satosfaction? Or both?

Jan 18, 5:59AM EST0

How did your life's experience influence your sense of creativity? Can you name one unforgettable event?

Jan 16, 5:10PM EST0

My life experiences led me to exploring new themes  in my poems and other genres of writing. One unforgettable event is the games  played by my little niece who is now 7.

By observing her I felt inspired to write for children. 

Jan 16, 7:45PM EST0

What other forms of arts are you also interested to explore? Have you started your exploration?

Jan 16, 4:19PM EST0

Music/singing. 

I sing  from time to time 

Jan 16, 7:40PM EST0

What important development in writing trends, did you observe since you started 25 years ago? How well adjusted are you to this new trend?

Jan 16, 2:31PM EST0

More freedom  in the writing  structure. 

Jan 16, 7:39PM EST0

How many poems does each book have? How long were you able to complete each one?

Jan 16, 4:18AM EST0

My first book When Solitude Speaks has 51 poems. My second book Depth of the River has 55 poems. For the first book I just wrote on and off between the ages of 14 to 35.  For the second book I wrote it in 3 months.

Last edited @ Jan 16, 10:35AM EST.
Jan 16, 10:32AM EST0

What is the component of a good poetry? Do you always achieve this completeness for all of your poetry?

Jan 15, 9:44PM EST1

There are various schools of thoughts. Academically a good poem must have powerful imagery, good flow, well structured lines.However, a poet is not a grammar book. Poetry is freedom of speech.So as we become experienced poets , the poetic licence gains force and no experienced poet ever bothers about good or bad  poetry.Poets are free to write what they want. Poetry is very subjective. Professors at universities have their ways of looking at it and publishers have differnt ways.The academics look at it within the framework of rules and regulations so they label poems as good or bad. A publisher may not necessarily agree  upon what an academic has called 'bad '  to be truly bad.

To a publisher a new style or breaking hard rules may  be  innovative or original. So there is no good or bad poetry. Each type of poetry has its place in the literary world. We must not put poetry in a frame or box.I don't write poetry by any specific rule. When I started at the age of 14 I read How to write poems by British poets. But gradually with experience I don't bother about my poetry being good or bad.I write with a free heart, mind and soul. I let words flow.If I think whether it is good or bad I will be too stressed and stop writing.So I let the publishers judge whether my poetry has achieved the completeness or not. 

Last edited @ Jan 16, 12:58PM EST.
Jan 16, 3:02AM EST0

Have you tried holding some events of poem reading? How effective is this strategy in achieving awareness?

Jan 15, 6:00PM EST0

Yes I have participated in poetry reading. This strategy is good for meeting up with other poets and poetry lovers and to tell aspiring poets the value, strong  points and weaknesses of poetry. It opens our eyes to the poetry writing world. Poems have messages and can help the audience reflect about the society.

Last edited @ Jan 16, 2:52AM EST.
Jan 16, 2:50AM EST0

Who do you consider as your mentor? What significant learning did you gain from this person?

Jan 15, 3:38PM EST1

My mentor has been my mother who was a teacher and who is no more now.She taught me whatever happens keep writing, never give up.

Jan 16, 2:48AM EST0

Are these two compilations your very first one?

Jan 15, 3:22PM EST0

These are two separate books. Yes When Solitude Speaks is my first book. Depth of the River is the second book.

Jan 16, 2:46AM EST0

How do you sell your compilations? What marketing strategies are in place and which one is most effective?

Jan 15, 12:48PM EST0

For my latest poetry book my publisher does it mostly. It's basically through Amazon.  As strategies you have the Amazon promotions, give aways and so on.  The best strategy is marketing online since most people are technology-oriented nowadays. 

Last edited @ Jan 16, 2:45AM EST.
Jan 16, 2:45AM EST0

Can you expound your suggestion when you said, "poetry is a great healer in this hectic world we live in."?

Jan 15, 9:07AM EST1

When we write poems we go at the depth of our subconscience and soul. So what we truly are comes out in writing even in a hidden metaphorical way. Expressing ourselves openly freeds us from all stress. Poetry is a means of communication and reaching out to people. Communication and opening up definitely heal human beings.

Last edited @ Jan 16, 2:41AM EST.
Jan 16, 2:41AM EST0

Why are you rather interested in writing poems? Why not a novel or different forms of literature?

Jan 15, 8:45AM EST0

Poetry is my first love and I'm basically a song-lover. So it comes to me easily. But I also write short stories. I'm intersted in writing plays and novels as well.

Jan 16, 2:36AM EST0

In the 25 years of being a poet, how many compilations have you completed?

Jan 15, 8:23AM EST0

Five.  2 of them have been published. Third one is printed and waiting to be launched. Two more will be published soon- 1 in French and 1 in English.

Last edited @ Jan 16, 2:34AM EST.
Jan 16, 2:34AM EST0

What inspired you to compile poems twice for the titles "When Solitude Speaks" and "Depth of the River"? What are the poems about?

Jan 15, 7:11AM EST0

Poetry is my first and true love and I remain faithful to it.The inspiration is my passion and belief in the power of poetry.When Solitude Speaks consists of poems I have written between the ages of 14-35. These poems mainly are emotional ones with much emphasis on a teenager's mind. The poems written later are reflections as an adult.Depth of the River is a book of philosophical poems based on my experiences.

Last edited @ Jan 16, 2:32AM EST.
Jan 16, 2:31AM EST0

Since when did you get hooked on writing poetry? What do you find interesting about this style of expressing thoughts?

Jan 15, 7:02AM EST0

I started writing poems at the age of 14 in 1992.What is interesting about poetry is that much can be said in a concise way, using few lines and powerful words.

Last edited @ Jan 16, 2:28AM EST.
Jan 16, 2:27AM EST0

Have you tried poetry reading or performing spoken word?

Dec 31, 2:48AM EST0

Yes I read my poems in public or at literary events at times.But I'm not a slam poet. 

Jan 16, 2:26AM EST0

What inspired you to pursue this career?

Dec 11, 5:48AM EST1

Music/Pop songs by my favourite French Canadian  singer Roch Voisine and the Hindi poems taught by my mother who was a Hindi teacher.

Jan 16, 2:25AM EST0

Do the Internet and social media contribute to the well-being of poetry?

Dec 10, 11:58PM EST0

Yes they definitely do.  There are many online journals that act as platforms for new poets and well-established one. Facebook and Linked in also consist of posts by publishers.So all these are helpful.

Last edited @ Jan 16, 2:23AM EST.
Jan 16, 2:23AM EST0

Who is your favorite poet? Can you list a favorite poem by him/her and explain why you love it? 

Dec 10, 2:52PM EST0

I have so many. 

Jan 16, 1:47AM EST0

One of them is Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. It gives me strength  as a woman.

Jan 16, 1:51AM EST0

Who influenced you to become a poet?

Dec 8, 9:22PM EST0

Music /pop songs esp by the  French Canadian singer Roch Voisine. Mesmerised by his songs I started writing poems. Then my mother who was a Hindi teacher also influenced me.

Jan 16, 1:46AM EST0
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