Smriti Verma: National Poetry Month
When did you start writing poetry?
Although I had always been writing some poetry since I was ten, I took up poetry as a serious hobby only in the last two years or so. This was also the time I began querying my work and saw what wonderful literature and opportunities literary magazines had to offer.
Do you think poetry is still important and relevant in today’s culture?
As a poet, I would always think poetry is relevant and is an integral part of the human experience. There’s nothing else in the world that can open your eyes to the philosophies of life while still keeping you intensely grounded, allowing one to realise their dreams without overwhelming reality. I think poetry is as important as it was a few years ago – more than so, as the world descends into chaos, poetry can help one to make sense of things, separating the important from the trivial.
What makes you want to write poetry?
For me, the sole driver for writing poetry has been a deep-seated need for expressing my own unique experience in this world. That’s what I feel most artists do – take inspiration from their subjective experiences, and try to articulate those in any way that pleases them. There’s so much you can do with language, so many things you can communicate by bringing together the unlikeliest of phrases. I feel it is this depth that language commands which makes me want to write poetry.
Which writers and other artists have the biggest influence on your writing style?
Sylvia Plath, Meghan Privitello, Jane Hirshfield, Talin Tahajian and Olivia Gatwood are some writers and artists which come to mind for the moment.
How does the literature community affect and inspire your writing?
The literary community has had a wondrous effect on my writing – there is so much exposure, so many diverse voices, and there’s so much to learn from all of them. Being a part of the community has helped me to know so much about the world and about people in general, things which I couldn’t have known before. This has helped me to refine my own work.
What is your next poetry project?
I’m not working on any poetry project per se, but I’ll continue to write and try to make most of the opportunities provided to me. Apart from this, I might start working on a chapbook.
Smriti Verma grew up in Delhi, India. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in B O D Y, Cleaver Magazine, Word Riot, Open Road Review, Alexandria Quarterly, and Yellow Chair Review. Further work is forthcoming in Construction Literary Magazine. She is the recipient of the 2015 Save The Earth Poetry Prize and enjoys working as a Poetry Reader for Inklette and Editorial Intern for The Blueshift Journal.