The Miracle Team meet past contributor Elancharan Gunasekaran (EG).
He speaks to Guntaj Arora, Christie Suyanto, Steven Fortune, Genevieve Rushton-Givens and Kieran Rundle. The interview is collected and presented by Elizabeth Gibson.
GA: Welcome, Elancharan!
EG: Hello, everyone! I'm glad to join you all for the celebration!
GA: Elancharan, can you tell us what does poetry mean to you?
EG: Poetry to me is a free art form and a way for me to express myself.
GA: Lovely! How does the process of creating a poem start and end for you?
EG: The process is akin to kindling a flame. It's a short burst of inspiration. A bout of emotion. Or it could even be a moment of solitude to start. To end a poem for me is rather hard. As perfection is necessary. Does it sound right? Does the poem mask the right messages? The end of a poem is never certain.
GA: In what ways do you think your writing has changed since you first started writing?
EG: I started off with Haiku and soon after that explored the different forms and lengths of poetry. The writing has not changed over the past 2 years. But the style of writing of has definitely changed.
CS: Do you have any favourite form?
EG: Monostich is my favourite form of poetry. Monostich are one-lined poems.
GA: Oh, I remember we had monostich workshop on Miracle once. Such lovely entries we received!
EG: Yes! Imagine compressing a chunk of thoughts/words into one-liners.
SF: Do you find the shorter fixed forms come more naturally to you than freestyle verse?
EG: Both forms come naturally. It's only a matter of what your inspiration/topic is and using the right style to get the message across. And never be afraid to experiment!
GA: Do you think submitting to various literary magazines have helped you to grow over the years?
EG: Yes, definitely! Contributing to various literary journals offline and online and helped grow my personal literary portfolio. And in the eyes of traditional publishers, a list of publishing activities would actually mean a good thing and that you do know a thing or two about the publishing/writing world. Also submitting to literary magazines would also mean that you are serious about writing. Publishers are looking for authors who can commit to their art.
GA: Can you tell us more about your poetry collections?
EG: My first collection is Supernatural Haiku which is based on the theme of the occult. The second is The Refugee, which is a fusion of realism and fiction. And based on the events of refugees. Dark Revolver is a collaboration with a fellow poet based on the theme of Hinduism and has been under work by the publisher for almost a year now and will be released sometimes later this year. Into Oblivion is a fictional work based on the start and end of all things. This is my first paperback work and has been released in India early this year.
GA: These are quite interesting. Keep us updated with the release and best of luck.
GA: So, are you being published by an Indian publisher? Where are you from?
EG: I'm from Singapore. Yes, most of my works are published by Indian publishers.
GR-G: How do you deal with writer's block/no motivation?
EG: Ha ha interesting question! I get up and exercise! Running helps to clear the mental blockages. And when I run out of motivation or creative ideas I go straight to comic books. Anything DC or Marvel gets me thinking and back on track again.
SF: Any plans to get into the publishing arena yourself?
EG: Thank you for your question Steven. I would like to remain an author. The publishing arena is not for me.
KR: What inspired you to begin writing, or have you done it your entire life?
EG: I started writing 2 years back and a Zombie Haiku book at a local bookstore actually inspired me to start writing.
KR: What are some of the biggest road blocks you've faced over these past years?
EG: The local arts scene is the biggest problem in Singapore. When I first started off, publishers said there was no market for poetry in Singapore and so I took my work out to the world. And of course the rejections from publishers kept on piling! It demoralised me at first.
GR-G: Well if there isn't a market, you can make one.
EG: Exactly! That was what I did and it started in the form of Ebooks!
CS: I think the literature/poetry market in South East Asia is quite problematic. I find it really hard to find publishers and even magazines based in SEA countries. It's inspiring that you managed to be published despite the market situation.
EG: I agree. Looking for a traditional publisher can be quite a pinch. Big houses like Penguin and Harper Collins are definite No Nos for poetry. But independent publishers keep poetry alive by taking in creative works.
GA: It was nice having you over Elancharan. Thank you for interviewing for our blog and do stay in touch I think it's the end of it, do you have any message?
EG: Thank you for your time Guntaj and team! Once again, congrats! Happy Birthday Miracle Ezine!