Friday, April 1, 2016
OUR POETRY ARCHIVE
FEATURED POET OF THE MONTH
Poetess Ana Nedelcu
OUR POETRY ARCHIVE
Is Pleased to Introduce
In Her Own Words…
OPA– ANA; How long have you been writing Poetry?
ANA II have been writing poetry for almost ten years. I started writing in my mother tongue (Romanian,) but then I shyly added English verses. I was always fond of writing in general, having finished my studies in Literature and Foreign Languages. English has always been like my 2nd mother tongue. Except for novels, I write in any literary form. I also enjoy writing journalistic articles, and make academic research. I find writing an exquisite and most enjoyable activity.
Returning to poetry, in the past two years, I had a unique and amazing flow of creativity. Most of my poems were dedicated to someone special in my life.
OPA Who is your favorite Poet?
ANA Every day I read pieces of contemporary poetry by young poets, and I am just amazed of how great they are and how people express their deepest feelings and thoughts through verses. I can`t say I have a favorite poet, especially because I`ve studied and read poetry from different countries. But if I were to choose a few from top poets/poetesses in history, I would say Maya Angelou, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Alan Poe… and others. I also recommend you a great Romanian poet – Nichita Stanescu. You will find his poems translated online. I have to mention that I have particular interest on art as a social tool for expressing injustice and promote peace and understanding among people and nations. And poetry is one of the artistic expressions in this matter.
OPA What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write?
ANA Along the years, I`ve read and written poetry of many genres – from poetry as activism, to verses dedicated to nature and landscapes, verses sprung from instant perceptions and, of course, poems dedicated to love and the beloved. Reading or writing one genre or another also depends on moments` perception, thought or feeling. As I mentioned above, I firstly stand for poetry as activism. I believe that it has powerful meaning and sends powerful messages out there. This year, I`ve contributed with two poems dedicated to world peace and the 17 SDGs (ONU Objectives for World Sustainable Development) during the World Poetry Canada & International “Peace and Human Rights” Exhibition (February-March) at the University of British Columbia in Canada. I`m proud to say that starting from this year, I represent World Poetry in my country, Romania. I send special thanks to the wonderful Ariadne Sawyer, co-founder of WP.
OPA If you are published please share with us your book.
ANA Along the years, I have published a lot in literary anthologies in my country. I also coordinated two of them– one dedicated to feminine voices (which I also illustrated) and the other to couple`s psychology. My first published English poems abroad were in 2014 and then in 2015 in two international anthologies coming from the Poetry Society of India, books coordinated and edited by Prof. Manminder Singh Anand, to whom I have to thank for this opportunity. This year, I plan to publish my first solo volume, which I believe to be bilingual (Ro-En) and will gather the best poems I have ever written in both languages.
OPA Who or what was your inspiration behind it?
ANA Depending on thought, feeling, instant or social happening, my verses just flow like a river on paper. A great inspiration I had years ago was a history teacher of mine who used to have a great and very poetic speech, like he was narrating history in verses. Each time I was having classes with him, I was taking a paper and a pen and was simply writing down fragments of his marvelous speech. This is how I built a few poems based on his speech. This experience was truly amazing. In the past few years, my poems have found THE muse, and in the centre of most of my verses has been this beloved, very special person to whom I dedicate a significant amount of creations. It`s what authentic love does to an individual, it inspires the flow of creation and that someone becomes the muse of your life, imagination and creation in any kind of form.
OPA What has been the toughest criticism given to you as a writer? What was the biggest compliment? Did those change how or what you write?
ANA The toughest criticism…hmmm…hard to say. Maybe that some of my poems are difficult to be understood, that maybe are too abstract. People ask me “what is the meaning of this?”. I don`t know if this is criticism, but I keep writing the way it comes J
The biggest compliment…from what I remember now - “your poems are very deep, written from depths of your soul” or “as I`m reading your poem, I`m actually living the scene”.
I always listen and appreciate what people say, their opinion, perceptions and…I just go on writing the way “the river flows.”
OPA When you sit down to write, do you do it the old-fashioned way with pen and paper or do you use a computer? Do you prefer one way or the other?
ANA When I sit down to write poetry, I mostly do it in old-fashioned way with a pen and paper, then I write it on my computer. Nowadays, with all the technology, we tend to forget the handwriting which I still believe to be important for any child to learn and human being to exercise. Besides the fact that it has importance for the locomotion system and coordination of our bodies, handwriting gives me the chance to keep the actual drafts on long term as a souvenir if I may say or a security form in case of computer breakdown. Also, handwriting it`s an art by itself (calligraphy).
OPA What is your favorite poem you have ever written?
ANA My favorite poem would be “Poem from a Portrait (dedicated to spiritual Masters)” published in March issue from the OPA. I am honored to have this poem published in OPA!
OPA What do you do when you are not writing?
ANA When I don`t write or I`m not involved in any other literary/journalistic project, I do a lot of other things. Being an upholder of comparative knowledge, always open to learn new things and having grown up in a multicultural environment, along the years I have been active in many fields of activity – I am keen on arts in general and in this sense, I like to design clothes, accessories and interior d`Eco for a concept I initiated ten years ago (AnARTivism). My designs stand for environmental protection, ecological education and recycling through art, being focused on textile recycling. Some of my poems are dedicated to natural environment preservation.
Also, in matters of arts, I studied choreography for 25 years and have been involved in several international projects and performances. 2013 was the last year to be part of a choreography project but I intend to return to that field too and get involved if any opportunity. For me, dance is the most intimate corner I have ever explored because music mixed with movement touches the core of my being. Lots of my poems are dedicated to this wonderful and expressive art of movement. Also, I tried a few drawings inspired by this body in contemporary movement.
I am also involved in educational and social activities, being very interested in worldwide politics. I am a trainer in European youth projects (having finished my Master in European studies) and I have been organizing educational workshops and lectures in my community for many years, such as democratic participation, citizenship, social theater (for which I wrote a short script), dance, creative writing or ecology.
My free time (when possible) is dedicated to travelling, both short or long distances, long walks or excursions. Travelling plays an important part in my creative writing process, because it translates all the experiences and new people I always meet.
People always ask me how I can be so active in so many fields. Well, besides me being a dynamic and very organized person, I tell them it is easy when you realize that everything is interconnected. I always connect the dots when having one activity or the other, because when I make an engaged artistic piece, I also spread a social message to the world or when I am a youth trainer, I use all the artistic skills to make sessions more interactive, or when I am involved in education, all the subjects in the world relate to it. It is not difficult at all. They actually complete each other.
OPA Compared to when you first started writing, have you notice any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now?
ANA When I first started to write, my focus was more on self-observation and inner process. My first ever poem was inspired by a series of photographs which represented nudes in several artistic positions. I instantly saw the body in movement (dance). Along the years, I developed more of social poetry being more interested in politics, education, environment, community organizing and social engagement. In the past two years, I`ve established a pen name (LiterAnART) and I`ve stressed on the inner process being focused on how I perceive the genuine feeling of love and commitment. I believe that my poetry went through a significant getting-matured process.
OPA What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?
ANA What I mostly look for in a piece of writing (of any kind) is the image you instantly form in your head (the scene) and the moral symbol behind it. Like in fairy-tales, a piece of writing has to teach you something good, has to raise a question or to remain open for further interpretation according to reader`s own perceptions. In my opinion, writing should offer a scene, a moral and a question.
OPA What has been your favorite part of being a poet or and author? What has been your least favorite?
ANA My favorite part of being a poetess has always been the chance to fill a void or “to overflow the banks”.
My least favorite part of being a poetess…there`s none.
OPA When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head to first? Why?
ANA I can`t say I`ve formed a habit of heading to one specific genre of literature or another or any other types of books. I enjoy exploring a bookstore and I let myself lead by interesting titles no matter the subject. Still, if I were to choose, would be books on literature, personal development and politics. I usually gather ideas from any book I find interesting on that book shelf.
OPA Did you get to quit your day job and become a writer and/or author or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it?
ANA As mentioned above, I`ve always been involved in several fields of activity as I interconnect them, and writing is one of them and always will be. For me writing isn`t just for fun, never was, but something very serious. I have explored almost every type of writing. Now I`m exploring more of the short stories because it`s the step towards the novel. It`s an activity I consider to be a day job.
OPA What has been the strangest thing that a reader has asked you?
ANA “What`s the story behind this piece?” It`s not strange at all J
OPA Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do?
ANA All the above mentioned, but I admit that travelling brings something unique and amazing into the picture – the perpetual interaction with new people and new cultures, an aspect I most enjoy.
OPA Did you have any teacher in school that encouraged you to write? Did you take their advice?
ANA In high-school, I had a great teacher (of Romanian language) with whom we used to do interesting and interactive lessons. We always had argumentative essays to do and it was a pleasure working on them. She used to tell me that I should develop my writing passion.
OPA We all have our little things when it comes to reading, is there anything that bugs you when you read a novel? What is it?
ANA Like in certain movies and theater plays, I sometimes feel time lingers and scenes become monotonous, boring. When this happens, I`m just passing by a few passages.
OPA What do you listen to when you write? Do you find one type of music over another that inspires you to write? Why?
ANA When I write I enjoy silence. Is almost as if the music from my head is enough to put down what I need to. I also enjoy Nature`s music, such as the wind, the rain or the storm. As for the other music, I usually listen to sounds for meditation, chill-out, jazz or classical music which are all very inspiring.
OPA On a typical weekend, what can we find you doing? Who are you with?
ANA I can`t affirm, in a usual way, that weekends are free for resting. As I develop many projects, sometimes weekends find me busy. Otherwise, I mostly enjoy attending artistic or cultural events and travelling.
OPA What genre are you most looking forward to exploring during your writing career? Why?
ANA I guess I`ll focus more on writing novel. In spite of my passion for writing in general and the easy way of doing it, I find novel to be the hardest one. For now, I can`t seem to see the words for the flow of an entire existence, the multiple scenes, actions, reactions, happenings. When I write, my sequences are usually “burned” in short images and few words, like an overview of a project or the extraction of the essential from it. For a novel, I will maybe start with a biography.
OPA What are you currently reading?
ANA I read poetry mostly, almost every day. Are like flashes passing in front of my eyes from which I extract an idea I`m interested in that usually goes back in my own writing process in new forms. Because I initiate and develop creative writing workshops, according to each theme, I explore different kinds of literary genres from which I choose passages to work on and symbols to work with.
OPA Who are your favorite authors?
ANA I am fond of Virginia Wolf, Ernest Hemingway, Miguel de Cervantes, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison (African-American literature), the rising author and artist (painter) from Nigeria, Kingsley C. Nwabia who writes amazing fairy tales and short stories inspired by the Nigerian culture, Eugen Ionesco (Theater of the Absurd), Mircea Eliade (amazing Romanian author, the only author in history who wrote “The History of Religions”) and many more.
OPA What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?
ANA assertive, open-minded, tolerant, dynamic/ enthusiastic, perseverant, empathic, leader.
OPA Is there anything else that you would like to share or say to those who will read this interview?
ANA I am a conscious dreamer and I encourage people to follow their own path in life.
Thank you very much for your patience in reading my interview! I hope you`ve enjoyed it.
Special thanks to OPA for this amazing chance!
I kindly invite you to follow all my activity here https://ananedelcu.wordpress.com/
The editorial staff of this project: Deborah Brooks Langford, Stacia Lynn Reynolds; sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.