We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Suman Pokhrel, a writer whose literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of June 2023.
What does it mean to be selected as Author of The Month?
It is a wonderful feeling. It signifies that my writing has resonated with a wide range of readers and has been recognized and appreciated by both the editorial team and the audience of Spillwords. It is truly heartening to discover that my words have made a meaningful impact and resonated with people on an intimate level. However, it is important to acknowledge that there might be great works by other talented writers that have not received the same visibility or attention.
How have your friends and/or family influenced your writing?
Growing up in a household of book-loving parents and having a lineage of poets in my family, literature, and writing were always valued. My parents nurtured my passion for writing and encouraged me consistently. Even when I was away from home during my university days, they would include questions about my writing in every letter, reminding me to keep writing and make time for it. This encouragement at home, surrounded by readers and writers, inspired me to explore my own abilities. The support from my friends and readers further fueled my passion.
What inspires and motivates you to write?
I believe that the human being is the most complicated chapter of existence, with thousands of dimensions. And as human beings, we have an innate need to create and innovate from within ourselves to address our own concerns, and writing helps fulfill that need. Additionally, nature is the grandest warehouse discovered on this planet, hence anything that touches my heart holds the potential to inspire me, as it enables me to delve into my emotions and forge connections with others through shared experiences.
What was your writing catalyst?
The inspiration from my family, profound emotional experiences, and encounters with global and local issues have all contributed to my drive to write and bring about positive change. The importance of forging meaningful relationships and exploring the intricacies of human connections has served as a catalyst for my creative expression. Through my writing, I aim to highlight the significance of fostering healthy and fulfilling relationships and inspire others to cherish the bonds they share with fellow human beings. My ultimate aspiration in life is to contribute to a world where peace prevails, as peace is the ultimate achievement to realize in life.
Please share a glimpse into your writing process.
When an idea strikes, I allow it to dance within my mind and heart, letting it ripen organically before it takes shape in words. Once transferred onto paper or my laptop, I let it rest in its pristine form for a week or even longer. This period can be likened to a probationary phase, where the writing is given time to breathe and settle. After a time of repose, I revisit the initial draft with a fresh perspective, contemplating its flow and impact. If improvements are deemed required, I embark on an editing journey, honing the writing until it aligns with my creative vision. Only when I am confident, by my own measure, do I unveil it to the world, believing it reflects my authentic thoughts and meets my standards as a writer.
What do you find most fulfilling about the act of writing?
Writing is also like love, if one can’t have the courage to be a renunciant, they cannot write well. So, I have no concerns about fulfillment by writing. However, when I finish writing a piece of work, it provides a sense of relief, knowing that something previously unknown and unthought of has come into existence. The further fulfilling aspect of writing, for me, is the impact it can have on others and the validation it provides for my work. Observing people share my writing on social media fills me with joy and satisfaction, knowing that my words have resonated with them and given them a voice. When I come across instances of my writing being cited in articles and research papers, a deep sense of fulfillment and happiness washes over me. This recognition from professionals and researchers spanning diverse fields serves as a tremendous boost to my confidence as a writer. Also, discovering that my poetry is taught in universities brings a sense of relief and satisfaction. It is gratifying to witness the wide-ranging reach and influence of my writing.
How does the use of imagery contribute to conveying your story?
Imagery immerses readers in the ambiance created by the pebbles of words, making it compelling and memorable. Thus, imagery plays a vital role in conveying a message, bringing it to life and engaging readers’ senses and emotions. As a writer, I believe that showing or letting readers feel is often more convincing than telling, and imagery allows me to accomplish just that. By incorporating vivid and descriptive imagery, I strive to enable readers to “see” and “feel” the world I have created, aiming to make the message more tangible and relatable.
What is your favorite reading genre?
I am drawn to the beauty and depth of expression found in poetry and its language, and it captivates me more than anything else. However, when it comes to prose, I tend to lean more toward non-fiction rather than fiction. I enjoy delving into real-life stories, exploring different topics, and gaining knowledge through the written word. Nevertheless, I am a receptive reader and firmly believe that any book, when approached with appropriate discernment, has the potential to offer something valuable. Thus, I do not confine myself to a specific or limited territory of readership and enjoy exploring diverse genres and styles of writing.
What human being has inspired you the most?
Anything can inspire me in one way or another. Every person I encounter, in any capacity, has an invisible impact on me. I am a person made up by drawing inspiration from countless individuals around me. However, if I were to start with the most influential figures, I would have to mention my parents. Their mentoring has shaped me into the person as well as the creative creature I am today. Additionally, my wife has been a constant source of inspiration and encouragement. I am deeply grateful for her strength of tolerance, especially considering that poets are the most difficult creatures to work with.
What message would you have for the Spillwords Press community that voted for you?
I would like to express my utmost gratitude to the esteemed Spillwords Press community for their support and for graciously voting for me. Being recognized by such a remarkably talented and passionate group of individuals is a true honor.
What would you like your legacy as a writer to be?
I aspire for my words to serve as a compassionate voice for those who are often unheard. My intention is to bring attention to marginalized communities, advocate for social justice, and provide a platform for those whose stories are frequently overlooked. It is my heartfelt desire that my words offer solace and bring comfort, gently touching people’s hearts and soothing their souls. I aim to create a sanctuary from life’s hardships, granting readers a sense of tranquility, inspiration, and hope. Through my poetry, I seek to establish a connection with my readers, offering them a moment of respite from their daily struggles.
Therefore, as I contemplate my legacy as a writer, I do not seek to be remembered solely for my face or my name. Instead, I hope that my words resonate with readers in such a manner that they remember the messages, themes, and ideas conveyed in my works. I aspire for my writing to be a source of inspiration and motivation, empowering individuals to surmount their challenges and embrace the beauty of life and nature.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am grateful for this interview opportunity and the chance to share my views on writing. Thank you for considering me. Writing allows us to contribute to a diverse tapestry of voices and perspectives. I wish Spillwords continued success as a platform for writers from around the globe.
Suman Pokhrel is a Nepali poet, lyricist, playwright, and translator. He writes mainly in the Nepali language, but also writes in English, Hindi, and some other South Asian languages. His works have been translated into several languages across countries and have appeared in notable journals worldwide. His poetry is taught as part of the literary curriculum at two universities in Nepal and three universities in India. Some appreciators of his poetry have had verses tattooed on their body parts. Netizens frequently quote verses from his poetry and share them on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. He has been awarded notable accolades, including the SAARC Literary Award in 2013 and 2015, among several others.