Hey there everyone.
I am delighted to be able to share with you all another interview that I have conducted for the ongoing Author Interview series, this time round with a very talented poet.
She has published multiple collections of sensual, engaging and uplifting poetry.
Please welcome author and poet Vijaya Gowrisankar, as she chats about how she crafts her stimulating pieces, along with what inspires her in life and the experiences she has had writing them.
Thanks for reading and enjoy the show.
Hi there Vijaya, thank you for being our featured guest here today to discuss how you write your beautiful and engaging poetry.
Let’s start with your poetry volumes “Explore”, “Reflect” and “Inspire”. Please go into more detail about each of them, along with the themes behind them and your own mantra/philosophies that you infuse into your work when it comes to your writing style.
Inspire is my first book of poems, published in Dec. 2014. It contains 111 poems, in Open form. The poems are categorized into the following topics – Life, Change, Nature, Let Go, Positivity, and Random Thoughts. I resumed writing after 11 years of hiatus. Between June 2014 to October 2014, I wrote over 200 poems. Of those 200 poems, 111 poems were published in Inspire.
In 2015, I joined various LinkedIn poetry groups and other groups. I shared a few of my poems and got feedback. I read a lot of poems of many poets. All the feedback and my learning reflected in a subtle way in my writing. I learnt the Haiku/Senryu poetry form. My poems were accepted by a few publications like Forwardian, Triadae Magazine, iWrite India, Dystenium Online, Taj Mahal Review, and Silver Birch Press.
Reflect is my second book of poems, published in Jan. 2016. It contains 104 poems, in Open Forms and 82 poems in Haiku/Senryu. The poems in Open Forms include topics like Childhood, Relations, Around You, Feelings, and Society.
Between the journey from Reflect to Explore, I was accepted in multiple publications for Taj Mahal Review, Silver Birch Press, Inspire by Gandhi (Sampad) competition, Nancy Drew Anthology, Poetry Marathon 2016 Anthology, to name a few. I learnt a lot of new poetry forms. I completed the Poetry Marathon 2016 successfully, by writing 24 poems in 24 hours, one poem per hour. I completed my first novel in NaNoWriMo 2016.
Explore, my third book, was published Jan. 2017. Explore has a variety of poetic forms – Shakespearean Sonnet, Haibun, Pantoum, Haiku/Senryu, Cinquain, and Open Forms. The poems are not grouped into any categories. The idea of each poem is to Explore.
There are some points I keep in mind, as I write. Each poem should have something different to offer. I use simple English, that all can understand. The general impression is that poetry is very hard to understand or its boring. I try to leave the reader with a thought in each poem, that he can ponder on.
What does it mean to you personally being a poet? How do you feel that this influences how you see and interact with the world around you?
For me, being a poet stands for many things. It means to follow my passion, listen to my creative voice, without wondering about judgment of others. Given I have a wide audience (mostly those who are associated with me in some capacity, personal or professional, those who I have mentored over the years), poetry gives me a platform that I can use to write about topics that require a change or some action. Rather than criticizing about things, each of us can bring about the change we wish to see. A creative medium, be it movies or books (stories or poems) have a wider impact and can motivate people to bring about a change. Topics like domestic violence, keeping our city clean, child education, helping the poor, etc. – there are many issues where we can make a difference with our contribution. Poetry helps us appreciate nature, life, enjoy the small things and be grateful.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
The most difficult thing about writing is to keep it simple. I love to learn new forms and experiment in them. I want to reach out to every reader in India and in the world. That means I keep my words simple and still convey the feelings well enough to leave an impact. The other difficult thing is marketing and reaching a wider audience base. I find people are reluctant to buy books and read poetry.
The easiest thing about writing is when I have a thought, I can write about it very easily. Getting that unique thought and wondering how to explain it in a simple manner is the key. After that, words flow, if I am writing in open form.
Who are some of the authors, poets and historical figures that inspire you?
Some poems from school days like The Solitary Reaper by William Wordsworth and If by Rudyard Kipling have left a deep impact on me. In school, I used to write in Hindi. Poets like Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Mahadevi Varma, Shubhadra Kumari Chauhan, Kabir influenced me. The poems that deal with love for one’s country and the poems that inspired people in India’s freedom struggle moved me a lot. Though creative wings and words, we can bring about change and revolutionize our thoughts and behaviour.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
I learn new forms of poetry. I write poems in those forms. I read a lot of poems from famous poets to my contemporary poets. I am a part of a lot of poetry groups in LinkedIn and I read a lot of poems that are written and shared. I write a poem a day.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
By nature, I am an introvert. Poetry gives me the freedom of expression. I used to write from childhood, since the age of thirteen or so. When I came out of my cocoon and shared my work at seventeen, I found my friends and teachers admired my work and had an expression of ‘Wow’ on their face. They used to ask me ‘Have you written this?’, in disbelief. That gave me the confidence to share my work.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
There are days when I draw a blank. My mind is blank of thoughts. During those days, I read a lot. I read everything I can get my hands on – poetry, fiction, stories, non-fiction, autobiographies. I have always been an avid reader. I also observe a lot – what is happening in the world around me and listen when people talk about their routine, their thoughts, anything that upsets them, anything that makes them happy or excites them. Any of these is sufficient to trigger a thought that I have not expressed before and I resume writing.
I just let go and let the thoughts come to me. I know it is OK to not write for a few days. I have learnt that it is normal. Life is for living every moment and enjoying it.
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I used to write a lot in school. I never showed any of it for a long time, for the fear that people would laugh at me. “What would they say?”, was always the thought. I left writing after school and college and did not write for 11 years. If I had a time machine, I would tell myself to be carefree, to be confident and share my work and to continue my writing and not take the long break for 11 years.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
I read, I walk, I observe and I listen. I feel the rocks beneath my feet. I feel the breeze against my face. I feel the texture of the wet soil. I feel the movement of the leaves in the air. I hear the mixed voices and shouts of the children as they play in the garden. I listen to the curiosity of the voices in the children. I listen to the stories/experiences the elderly ladies, in my building, share with us – stories about their time in the village, when they were growing up, etc.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I have been quite shy and hesitant of submitting my poems to journals, anthologies, etc. I hope to improve on them and be open to acceptance and rejection. I want to continue the rhythm of writing one poem a day.
I want to learn new forms of poetry. I don’t have a strategy around it. As I learn different forms of poetry, some touch my heart – I hear that form talking to me and I know I will be able to write in that form.
I hope to write 2 books of poetry in the next year – I have some thoughts in mind. I need to work on them. I wish to resume writing in Hindi. I used to write in Hindi as a child. Over these years, I have used it less and my grammar is not strong as it used to be in school.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers and poets?
Listen to your inner creative voice. Give it the wings to fly. Let is soar. Don’t worry about what people will think. Follow your heart and the passion to write.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for chatting to us Vijaya, we look forward to delving deeper into the fascinating realms of your poetry books 🙂
Vijaya Gowrisankar has published 3 books of poems – Inspire in 2014, Reflect in 2016, and Explore in 2017. Inspire and Reflect have achieved Best Seller status. Her submissions have been published in Nancy Drew Anthology, Poetry Marathon Anthology, Sometimes Anyway: Pride in Poetry Volume II, Forwardian, Triadae Magazine, iWrite India, Dystenium Online, Taj Mahal Review, and Silver Birch Press.
She completed the Poetry Marathon 2016 (24 poems in 24 hours, 1 poem per hour). She completed her first novel in NaNoWriMo 2016. She has reviewed poetry and fiction books.
Her literary updates can be found at https://vijayagowrisankar.wordpress.com/
You can contact her on the following Social Media channels:-
Facebook:- Vijaya Gowrisankar – Poet, Author (FB)
Twitter:- @VijayaG1 (Twitter)
You can buy Vijaya’s books here:-
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.
Still want more? Well, Vijaya is very dedicated to and extremely serious about her craft. For more articles on the theme of ‘Craft’ then check out the links below:-
1. Ellen Grace Olinger – Haiku Art Site – Craft
2. My Mixed Blog – Choose A Craft Carefully
3. theblackwallblog – There’s GOLD in them trees!
4. Inspirational Blogger Award – Wings Of Poetry
5. Inspirational Blogger Award – Let it be beautiful
6. Prompt: A fuel that powers the craft of writing · Ideaplaze Web Blog
7. relations- the only craft unmastered – Anomaly
8. DIY these Color Block Scented Candles – SprinkleSparkle
9. Read and Write Here – Crafting a Resume
10. Half Baked Log – Dark Arts and Crafts
11. Le Drake Noir – All around or around all
12. Angelic Hands – Craft
13. Po’ Girl Shines – Overview of Some Crafts I Do
14. Craft of Writing – ANICE
15. “2016 Nomadic Adventures photograph Part #1,” – Nomadic Adventurer
16. Writing – High in a Pine Tree Bed
17. Candlelight vs Darkness – atrangizindagieksafar
18. Hell or High Water – Sup, Nerds!
19. nerdhut – PCB production/etching tutorial
20. The Zardoz – Leaking Ink
21. Travel Stories Around The World – The Perfect Stopover in Dubai
22. MrsKirstyHoll – Blog prompt – Craft/crafting
23. A Bloke’s Life – 05. Craft
24. Nailing Jello to a Tree – The Chicken Grandma
25. MY ENDURING BONES – the whisper
26. The [Password] is “Password” – Olympic Level Laziness
27. Joyously Hopeful – Art or Craft
28. Mainline_Matter – Ancient Surgical Craft
29. Confession – Word Adventures
30. I’M WEARING HER STILLETOS – stitches and poems
31. The Message – thehouseofbailey
32. Awl and Scribe – Craft
33. The Anonymous Life – Cumbersome Craft of Conceptuals: Diagrams and Life Itself
34. Music – honest rooster
35. Craft – Inner Whispers
36. Cuban Pottery – A New Day: Living Life Almost Gracefully
37. What Rhymes with Stanza? – sostenuto
38. New Ideas And Inspirations – Craft
39. Ladyleemanila – Craft – Daily Prompt
40. It’s a Fine Line – The Chaos Within
41. drinks with friends (Jay & Dee) – writemebad
42. Mesteerean Winds – Hendcrafts
43. His Muse – Leigha Robbins
44. A Recognised Craft – Melinda J. Irvine
45. Know Your Onions – citse
46. The Act of the Craft – Scribbles to Compositions
47. Craftmanship (War Fiction) – It’s Mayur Remember?
48. Chess RDA – Vape Style Blog
49. Arc de Triomphe – Love it Now
50. Master Craftsman – Debbie Gravett
51. eclations – Spiral Bouquet
52. Sweet dreams – ThighHighSocksGoldyLocks
53. 100 word story: Rite of Passage – a nomad in cyberspace
54. #WeekendCoffeeShare: Tired – thethoughtskeeper
55. In der Ruhe… – Run and Travel
56. My Craft is no Curse: Daily Prompt Poem – The Journal of a Beautiful Mind
57. The Cursing Cook – K-R-A-F-T, Garlic Shrimp Dip, and Other Ways to Spell Excellence
58. Craft – Turtledesk
59. How awesomely made! – Jasperine
60. Timeandreflections – Grace
61. INTP-section – Out of spite out of mind
62. Into LA – Compound Exorcises – NON-FICTION
63. Black ink & white words
64. Joali, my way – Fiyoari: an island woman
65. Me and My BIG Mouth 2 – thinkinkadia
66. Leaves – Sketchy face
67. The Happy Wordcrafter – ‘Releasing the Creative Writer in You’- Instruction in the Craft of Writing
68. Hurdles & Girdles – DP: Doll Maker
69. Dipping Into the Heart – About Nothing
70. Craft – DeepikasRamblings
71. Unbound – Star Wars DaVinci
72. eatingwithsavages – 02-05-17 Sunday Night Craft
73. My World With Words – Crafting a Legacy
74. Another Step Forward – Crystaleyes20
75. A Real Messy Beautiful Twisted Sunshine – The Craft
76. February 5 – My 365 Life
77. Halftime – Lady Gaga – A lot from Lydia
78. Relax – When the goin’ gets tough… oh, never mind.
79. Crafty Friends – An Extraordinary Ordinary Life
80. The Craft she knew became her survival – Past,Present, Future, and Who Knows
81. STELLA CAROUSEL – Yellow Craft
82. Margret’s Life Journey! – Craft
83. Living In Crimson – Fabric
84. Wandering Worlds – Love and Obsession
85. There Are More Poets than Stars in the Firmament – of silk and opium
86. GRACE, FAVOR & FAITH – UNDERESTIMATED
87. littlegirlstory – Kebaya and sarong
88. The Craft of Minimalism – Life’s Journey 365
89. Ouch!! My back hurts!! – Craft?
90. kStan(ly) kSays – misadventures of the young inventor
91. The Craft of Acting – the life of caitlyn
92. Mesteerean Winds – Traditional Market
93. QuiverVoice – Crafting a troubled past
94. Make Your Own Dog! – Tiffany Daily
95. God’s Perfect Craft We Are – writealineblog
96. Craft – Image & Word
97. Ups, Downs & Deviations – Writing: It’s What I Do
98. Witchcraft over Crafty – Art, Poetry, Insight ~ K A M
99. B_ live – No Craft
100. Live Free 2 Sail Fast – WordPress Meet and Greet – All Bloggers Welcome
101. Craft – Wings Of Poetry
102. The Romantic Quill – WRITING CHRONICLES #06: Drowning In Data
103. thefitzlivefive – Finally Printing Photos + FREE Chatbook Code
104. SoMuchToTellYou – The Lunar New Year Recycling Project
105. Cobbles and Country Lanes – Lucy’s Life and Bikes
106. LadyLebz – MY PAINTING OF THE TABLETS OF THE 10 COMMANDMENTS
107. Night Owl Poetry ~ Dorinda Duclos – I Drift ~ #poetry
108. Attuned Photography – Pages and words
109. Getting Crafty – The Inkwell
110. Firefly CAL – Calenna J’s Crochet Creations
111. TRUTH BE TOLD – Rainbow
112. Double, Double – Poemsicles (& Other Literary Desserts)
113. LadyLebz – VISIT THE ROSEBANK ART AND CRAFT MARKET IN JOHANNESBURG
114. Not-So-Creative Me – Spectres & Stardust
115. Ad infinitum – Work of Art
116. Murtagh’s Meadow – Craft or cheat?
117. Na’ama Yehuda – Life’s Craft
118. God’s Best Craft – stitches and poems
119. Mouse Goes on a Road Trip – Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored
120. Improve Your Perfection – My Loud Bipolar Whispers
121. Light Motifs – Crafty
122. Craft (Felted Fossil Stones) – draw and shoot
123. Food Crafts – stitches and poems
124. Handcrafted Stationery – KRAIZY DESIGNS
125. Great Keppel Island: experiencing the Great Barrier Reef on a budget – All Over The Place
126. Craft – Kimo’s Den Of Iniquity
127. The Porcelain Princess – sparksbeforetheblaze
128. It’s All in Finding the Right Words – Your Craft: Why Do You Write?
129. Monolith – aYoKa
130. SERENDIPITY – SAILING – THE DAY OF THE MONARCHS
131. Exploring the World around us – Nature
132. Covert Novelist – Craft
133. Haiku “craft” – Mick E Talbot Poems
134. just another day…. alone – Hurtafew
135. Weekly Tea Time for My Soul – 2/4/17 – Spectres & Stardust
136. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Handcrafted
137. The Devious Bitch – Girl Writing
138. Zombie Flamingos – A Saturday evening out for dinner
139. Insach – Craft-y
140. Scrapbook For Keeps – writealineblog
141. The Craft of Deception, a poem – Sumyanna Writes
142. I wrote a book. Now what? – Testing the waters
143. Mr. Charming – Big Bright Star
144. High school romance: My fondest memory! – Truer than true
145. VENUS – stitches and poems
146. wordsareallihavesite – Craft
147. 1.2 – Acetate – The Eternity Acts
148. Third Time Lucky! – Craft
149. For the Craft of Life – keep a good knife – Mindflight
150. mylocalweb – crafted to perfection
151. Amazing Craft! – The Reflections
152. Let’s paint it blue – Yuhu
153. Midnight Craft – Scroll
154. Musings of a Random Mind – It’s A Small World
155. juantetcts – Daily Post
156. Healed of Cancer. Angela McCauley
157. Delicious Soulful Self Love – Crafting Februarys Contentment
158. sonja benskin mesher – .little houses.
159. Some things don’t work out – Shimmering Spirit’s Fiber Arts
160. Zachary W Gilbert, Author – Dear Writer…
161. Daily Prompt – Craft – charlesewaugh
162. And then there was one – Life is like a box of challenges
163. My crafty heart…. – Suzhalgal
164. One Line Sunday- Craft – In my world
165. Craft Cheese – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
166. An irreverant look at Super Bowl LI – Your Nibbled News – 2017 YNN
167. Awadhi Vegetarian Food – Don’t hold your breath
168. Madeline Scribes – My happiness and how I find it every day
169. Don’t cry! – I’m slightly hedonistic and writing makes me happy
170. A Poem – S. Thomas Summers
171. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Crafty Felines
172. Charron’s Chatter – W.O.O.
173. Jack & Dianne: Now More Than Ever – Rexine Rawhead
174. Traveling Exhibit/Discovery Park of America – 25more
175. Finding The Northern Gems – Journeys of Len
176. Age – Poetic Bliss
177. Craft: Acrostic – And so it starts…
178. Cultural Highlights to Sports – Hand-Built DB’s 4 GT
179. A pink paper bird – Life at 17
180. An poem to my heart – Let it be beautiful
181. Master Your Craft – emotionsoflife2016
182. Choose your maths – fades in…
183. Hot Dogs and Marmalade – Art? Or Craft?
184. thelonerose – 2 years
185. You & Me – Spread the joy. ^_^
186. Gingerbread House Craft – Allure Lively
187. sixty, single and surviving – “Have you ever thought abo……?”
188. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – Crafty crafting
189. Arte – apserranoblog
190. ‘Elephant in the Room’ – The Last Blog Available
191. Writer’s Block: One Author’s Experience & How to Overcome it #amwriting #writerslife – KimKnight_Author
192. A Conspiracy? And Friends With Benefits… – Realswampmonster
193. The Painting – The Icognito Writer
194. Miss Pelican’s Perch – The Crafting of Art
195. Leather Bag Making in Seoul – Autumn Abroad
196. andsoitisborn – Tears
197. I always wanted to learn a craft – Back On The Grid
198. kStan(ly) kSays – he mumbled as he ran
199. My Quilling – Quill & Parchment
200. A Man Named Dan – I Am My Creation
201. Wish: A Haiku – Thoughts of Words
202. Crafts, art and artisans: Black history month ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
203. Craft – Random Thoughts and Musings
204. Invisible Illnesses – I Have Received…
205. Created to Create – As I was saying…
206. When I grow old, I want to be a photographer. – Warmstone
207. Following Him Beside Still Waters – All In Context.
208. Coloring Outside the Lines – a moment teller’s
209. My Own Little Wars – Creation Leads To Inspiration
210. Southern By Design – This Bitter Beast
211. Craft – English-Language Thoughts
212. Bipolarity: A Lifetime of Ironies…. – Poem – Thunder Poet
213. THERE IS NO AT LEAST FOR MY LOSS – Grief Poetry
214. Write Ally! Write! – Craft (That is now a memory)
215. If a Heart is Underwater – Let Me Stay Among The Stars
216. It starts with me – Crafting beauty out of pain
217. The Craft – thehouseofbailey
218. Crafty – Progressing into Solitude
219. Devil Doll Musings – Into My Arms
220. Crafting Miracles! – Eidos
221. Memoirs part two. – Elaine’s Journey of Spiritual Awakening. ðŸŒ¹
222. Designer Sophisticate – Artistic difficulties.
223. Making the Most of Unemployment & Disability – Savvy Geekmom
224. Memorable Musical Relationships That Are Not Romantic Part 2 – Meg’s Magical Musings
225. It all Started – Plasma
226. Frank Prem – the whistling
227. Frank Prem – the higher crafts
228. Frank Prem – The Day Craft
229. Craft – All About Writing and more
230. Craft… – Emotions That Matter.
231. tree kings – tinyfawns
232. My Father the Butcher – Jim
233. Lantern Words – His Craft
234. Lost Property Repository – The Day The Music Lived
235. DOOMS DAY – My Struggling Heart