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Ananya Dhawan

Ananya Dhawan

Ananya Dhawan

Was your poetry collection ‘Dew and Daze’ an extremely organic process or a conscious effort to put together a book?

Dew and Daze is a compilation of poems written over a period of 3 to 4 years. It wasn’’t a conscious effort at all. The poems initially were very scattered and all over the place, so I basically wanted to compile them under one roof. That’’s how ‘Dew and Daze’ was born. I wanted to give my poems a ‘home’!

Are there specific literary techniques you employ in your poetry or you depend on the flow?

When it comes to poetry, what I write is very random and freely versed and abstract,though there are times when I consciously try to rhyme the lines, put in a whole lot of imagery, look into personification and things like that. Also, it depends on the kind of poem I am writing. Now if it’s about nature, some kind of scenic imagery has to be there, otherwise it wouldn’t be as appealing and enjoyable to read, but if I am writing about how I feel about a particular thing (just an example), I might be able to get by without giving much thought to the imagery aspect and concentrating more on the words I choose to describe my sentiments with.
On the whole, I rely majorly on the flow and the mood. Most of my work is free-verse.

What fascinates you about Poetry?

You can say a whole lot in just a few words. Also, various meanings can be interpreted of the same verse. It is indeed fascinating that the understanding of poetry depends on the psyche of the reader. One may interpret it in one way while the other may highlight a meaning totally unthought-of.

Please share with us a verse that you love to death.

I absolutely love the following verse from the poem ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling. Don’’t you think it’s such a rational, well-balanced piece of literature?
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And —which is more —you’’ll be a Man, my son!

What is your opinion on Open Mics cropping up across the country?

I personally believe that simply writing is not enough and it is imperative to reach out to people and see how well your work relates to them. Open Mics are a great way to gain exposure and connect with like-minded people who do not negatively judge you, but at the same time give you the right kind of feedback. In these very sessions I have heard people speak about extremely personal issues and conflicts, something they wouldn’’t do otherwise, because they know they are sitting amidst an un-biased audience. So I feel these Open Mics are also in a way, cathartic. Something that actually helps you grow. The consequence is that you gain more confidence and start believing in your work more that you ever did before.
Also, it goes without mentioning that these sessions hone your public speaking skills as well.

What is your favourite feedback from readers for ‘Dew and Daze’?

There was this University student who texted me saying that he had never been confident enough to write and my work inspired him to start writing. I couldn’’t help but blush!

How do you deal with literary criticism?

Initially, I was really bad in dealing with both criticism and rejection. If some blog or magazine rejected my work it used to be the end of the world, and I wouldn’’t write anything for days post that. Gradually I got more positive about it, and it doesn’’t get to me now. I can now take what needs to be taken from criticisms and correct what needs correction without sulking about it.
On a lighter note, editors are critical people! So I figured I might as well learn to be able to handle criticism about myself before I go on to criticize the works of others 😛 !!!!!

About the Interviewee:

Ananya Dhawan is a freelance editor and an avid reader, who loves writing poetry in her spare time. She holds a Bachelors degree in Mass Communication, a Masters in English Literature and a Certificate each in Language Skills and Creative Writing from the British Council, New Delhi. Shehas been published by various online and offline platforms.She recently released her first anthology of poems titled 'Dew and Daze', a compilation of verses written over a period of 3-4 years.