I was born in Madison, Wisconsin, but lived in several places actually including New York, where I lived for many years, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and then Washington DC.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
Well I feel that I have several homes or places that feel like home. One is where I currently live which is Marrakesh. It’s exotic. It’s a mix of Morocco and Europe. Interestingly all the buildings are a beautiful light rose color. Washington DC is another place like home which is a diverse, beautiful city. It has an international flair filled with arts and culture which are important to me. It has always felt comfortable to me. I have always been drawn to the eastern part of the country.
What turns you on creatively?
It can be several things, including a sound, something I see or hear, an experience or even music. Every day I try to write something. I can be inspired seeing something as I walk up the street, or watch something while sitting in a cafe. It can be pretty much anything if I am receptive.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
I really don’t think about words like that actually but one would be believe. Another, gratitude.
“When faced with darkness, walk towards the light. Let it lift you up. Believe.”
What is your pet peeve?
Intolerance and lack of understanding. In the world currently excluding the situation with Coronavirus, there’s a lot of intolerance and harshness for others. Cruelty is another.
What defines Barbara Deraoui?
My family— my parents and my life experiences. All of those helped to create me.
Barbara Deraoui (Maxwell) is a former career librarian and executive. She worked in some of the top libraries and media for over twenty-eight years. She also previously worked in the tech and science tech sectors and also managed a former NFL player. She has been writing poetry for most of her life. Her first book: Butterflies and fanciful thoughts was published 10 years ago. She is currently working on a memoir of a special time in her life. She currently lives with her husband in Marrakech along with their cat, Max.