Five Minutes With

Five Minutes With is a series of interviews with contemporary poets from India. Engaging with questions of reading, craft, voice, identity, and place, the interviews focus on what it means to be a poet today. Readers will learn about new poets that are masters of language.

"Every form of life shapes the future. Poets are just as important, and no more."
"My gender and the context of violence is also crucial. I do not think I would have written poetry in the manner that I do if I were a man living in another context."
"I write poems because I can not help it given the brutal nature of experience under caste society which people like me and my community has to go through."
"Yet there are moments when the beauty of some living being or an object or event/story will move me, overwhelm me."
"Poetry exists to validate the inner life. It is a vital art form that is a tangible documentation of the potentialities of language to capture the dynamic movement of consciousness."
"I inhale and exhale words and stories, with this weird wonder that I might be utterly dysfunctional to the society at large."
"I wish to record my experiences with trauma and mental illness due to over-exposure to death and violence."
"I write because I feel that living on words and the experiences they generate is an extra nourishment one can have other than just eating, sleeping, and living on."
"Read the very best from the past but be aware of what is contemporaneous. That is where your practice lies. Don’t worry about posterity."
"The poets have an important role in shaping the future of humanity as they are the frontiers of human conscience."
"In my humble opinion, a barometer for a country’s intelligence, liberalism and progress can be gauged by whether it allocates public funding towards developing its poets and poetry, without placing any curbs on freedom of expression."
"My father wrote letters to the editor. I write poems. I hope they have influenced people for the better."
"There is an imperfect fit between our perceptions, actuality, and articulation. Poetry for me fills up this gap or at least gives an identity to it."
"It's always better to let the poems soak the energy around and emerge as ripe, mature produce. Haste destroys its texture and taste."
"I write wrinkled words of primal prayers–bleached with white light, a fantasy landscape seen through half-sleep and eyelashes, turning my face away from my prelapsarian shadows of shame and guilt."
"We need to open up the minds of children with poems that are not just playful or lyrical but poems that encourage enquiry, poems that discourage war and violence (not celebrate them), poems of peace, the joys of co-existence and compassion."
"I do not think war or conflict will end simply because poets are talking about the need for peace, but certainly they hold a mirror to what many people believe but sometimes find difficult to say."
"Poetry will not save the world but it can save the poet from damnation. To that extent, it has a role. A limited one."
"One effect of globalisation and the internet has been that everyone can see that poetry is flourishing internationally. It is how truth-seekers and idealists find expression in almost every country, every culture."
"Craft is most important in poetry, as it also is in other genres of writing, and one must keep honing it. Creation demands space, and one must not let this space be violated by any kinds of pressure."
Pack a picnic, hear from two trained storytellers, and mingle with local members of your community! Book Online
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Do you struggle to carve out distraction free writing time? Are you looking for a safe group environment to work on your writing? Would you like to meet other writers in your community? Then this group is for you! Book Online
Explore ways to write your own story with Shenali Perera. Book Online
Pack a picnic, hear from two trained storytellers, and mingle with local members of your community! Book Online
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