Sonnet Mondal has read, and represented India, at literary festivals in Macedonia; Cork, Ireland; Istanbul, Turkey; Granada, Nicaragua; Sri Lanka; and Slovakia. Winner of the 2016 Gayatri Gamarsh Memorial award for literary excellence, Sonnet was one of the authors of Silk Routes Project, IWP, University of IOWA. One of the current directors of Odisha Art & Literature Festival, Sonnet Mondal edits the Indian section of Lyrikline Poetry Archive, Berlin and serves as the Editor in Chief of the Enchanting Verses Literary Review (www.theenchantingverses.org) His upcoming visits include 2018 Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka.
1.Can you say something about what made you write your first poem??
I just scribbled one piece of 10 lines, back in 2006 which I don’t recall as a poem, but something which drew me into writing poetry.
- What does poetry mean to you? What do you feel when writing poetry?
A poet’s eye is his sensitivity and together with intellect, he creates an aperture called poetry through which readers can perceive that everything we see, feel, hear and sense is not everything. I feel like travelling through my deepest emotions while writing poetry and it allows me to examine and re-examine the world. The way how I see life is best communicated through this journey.
- Do you think poetry speaks to all kinds of people in all walks of life? How do you think we can take poetry out its confined literary circle?
No single piece of art can relate to all walks of life at the same time. Poetry portrays those emotions which cannot be pictured — through any direct exact way or through any other genre of literature.
Taking poetry as a curiosity and a form of expression — it has always had a limited yet pronounced space in the world. The general mindset — that people don’t understand poetry and are unenthusiastic about reading poetry is a misconstrued rendition of the queries — that readers have about poetry while thinking of buying an anthology. May be — it can be addressed to a certain extent by incorporating more poetry sessions or workshops in literary festivals or events.
- When do you write poetry? Is there a specific time in a day? What makes you write a poem?
Thoughts have no time to arrive. They may pop up even in extreme situations. They are extremely volatile and evaporate easily from mind. So I mostly make notes whenever they surface in my mind and later I work upon them after 12 at night. Night somehow allows me to give the much desired shape to my muse. The desire to have an element of surprise in my life and the desire to have a sight of the skyline through the uplifting mistiness, often inspire me to write down poems.
- What do you think of this new wave of insta poetry of today? Would you treat it as poetry too?
Waves as such come, break and dissipate into obscurity. I think ‘Poetry’ and ‘Insta-poetry’ should not be confused. Poetry is the most pithy and figurative of all genres of literature and these artificial prefixes added to the word ‘Poetry’ don’t make them what we have known or what I call as poetry.
- Where do you want to take your work in the future in terms of poetry?
I never thought about taking my poetry somewhere. It travels with me like my shadow. Poetry once on paper is independent and can travel on its own — beyond the fences set by desire or time.
Thanks Prakriti foundation for organising such wonderful event.
Thanks Haris, Smita Anand and Kirbaa Karan for the wonderful pictures!