"Q&A With Priya"
Book: Ivory Gleam
Dr. Priya Dolma Tamang
"Dr. Priya Dolma Tamang is a medical graduate from the Himalayan terrain of Sikkim, a north eastern Indian state. She was born to Nepali parents.With Buddhism as a way of life, she focusses on mindfulness and aims to enhearten practical spirituality in her work. Her first book, "Ivory Gleam" is a compilation of poetry and prose. It captures the essence of learning, longing, and loving, through self-reflective insights" (Source: goodreads.com.)
1. What Emotion Do you hope to provoke in your poetry and why?
More than provocation or eliciting an emotional response from the reader, it is personal therapy that I seek through poetry.
Being an introvert in social surroundings, and an extrovert in musings, my ambiversion finds a balance in words.
Having said that, I basically focus on self-reflective insights and hope to propagate mindful contemplation, with practical spirituality, using my poetry.
- What was it about your previous relationships that made for such great poetry pieces?
Real or perceived events have triggered my pieces. I observe a lot to pick up nuances of personalities, and relationship dynamics, of those around me.
I do not necessarily have to experience an emotion to glorify, magnify or modify it into a poetic piece. But of course, I have had my share of romance, heartbreak, longing and loss. Every memory is a metaphor. Each person became a poem.
- Who is your favorite poet? And Why?
I am in love with the work of Sir Rabindranath Tagore. He was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. His poetry is profound, spiritual and brilliantly beautiful.
Among contemporary poets, I am in awe of Sylvia Plath and her movement of confessional poetry. The intense imagery and genius use of literary devices, like alliterations and catchy rhythm, make for a phenomenal read.
- Where do you see your poetry evolving in the future?
I do not have any poetic ambitions as such. I am a medical doctor who is passionate about poetry without having read or learned much of it. English is not my first language. I hail from the second smallest Indian state in the Himalayas.
Through my poetry, I want to encourage children from my part of the world to come forth on a global platform and voice their artistic talent.
"Every memory is a metaphor. Each person became a poem."
- Could you see yourself writing a book outside of poetry in the future?
I want to write three more books. A second poetry collection, a realistic fiction novella and a biography on my grandmother.
- What is your favorite poetic style?
I prefer free verse over traditional or structured form poetry. There is freedom of expression and creative liberty. However, I enjoy playing with rhymes, rhythm, and repetition.
For me, a poem isn't complete without adequate metaphors and obscure imagery. I love reading and writing ambiguous, thought-provoking pieces, with layers of meanings, and open to individual interpretation.
- What was your writing process like for this book?
My book, "Ivory Gleam", is a deluge of poetry and prose, ambiguously honoring the essence of existence from birth onto death, life and loss, self and society, romantic love and pensive loving, melancholy of regret to gratitude in healing, and the struggles of and strength in femininity.
It is split into three chapters of learning, longing and loving. These encompass the pieces I've written over a course of two years. Sometimes, I would casually journal them. Often, they would be shared on social media.
The reception was good, and this encouraged me to go ahead and compile a book. It took me months to find a suitable publishing house. After a long-winding process, it has ultimately hit the stores.
- What is the best book you have read in 2018?
I enjoy reading Haruki Murakami and make it a point not to miss his books. I was extremely late in grabbing a copy of "South of the Border, West of the Sun". This is the only book I've read this year. And obviously, I think it is eloquence personified.
- What is the best advice you have for getting through writer’s block?
I have never suffered a writer's block. Probably my habit of daily writing aids this flow of creativity. I write more than I speak. I'd suggest my fellow writers make it a point to write every single day, without fail.
It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be. Write about your day in a diary. Talk to yourself through written words. Express without the fear or pressure of impressing. Pen everything down as if nobody is reading. Write about anything, but just write.
- Who has been an important mentor or role model in your life and what have they taught you about success and happiness?
I idolize my grandmother, my mother, and my father. They have been my permanent pillars of strength and stability. I learn from them - the power of selfless giving, the joy in sharing, the affection in caring and of the grace in kindness. They have flooded my soul with enough light to realize that success lies in happiness, and not vice versa.
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