A stop on the writers’ blog tour

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What we writers say about our process in writing is the happiest sort of selfie. Thanks so much to my friend, fellow Vermont College alumna, and awesome poet Pamela Taylor for inviting me to join the tour.

What are you working on?

Right now, I’m writing new poems and some revisions of poems I wrote in April for National Poetry Writing Month. I posted all thirty of those poems here, but since I had had to revise them so quickly they still feel like rough drafts to me. I’m also starting a new set of poetry translations: a selection from Tirukkural, a classical Tamil poem from antiquity that is considered to be central to Tamil culture and traditions. Numéro Cinq Magazine featured my work with this ancient text in the May issue; check it out here.

How does your work differ from others’ work in the same genre?

My influences and their combination are probably the key to my unique design. Classical Indian poetry and traditions are one important thread. My education in molecular biology, genetics, and other sciences, along with my work in orthopedics publishing, is another significant strand. Also, I like to use photography as an additional layer of metaphor with my poems, which shows up here on my blog, in my Facebook posts, and in my chapbook Savasana Dreams.

Why do you write what you do?

Why? Because poetry is a gift that must be given, written, and made as beautifully as possible. The initial inspiration is always a kind of generosity. Under that, however, the reason is a mystery to me.

How does your writing process work?

I write everyday, and I revise much less often. Usually, I compose poems with pen and paper, and when I transfer the work to my computer I begin to revise. I carry a notebook at all times, and it also catches slight observations, worries, to-do lists, notes on whatever I’m reading, and the daily weather. All material for new poems…

 

Up next week in the blog tour are poets Andrea Beltran and Christian Hege. Andrea, whom I met while at Vermont College in January, lives on the west Texas border and moonlights as a poet and student. Christian is one of my fellow village poets in Nyack, NY, and he has shared his poetry in my literary salon over the past year. His blog features children’s artwork, for which he writes ekphrastic poems.