First of all I would like to thank the editorial staff of Spillwords Press for this invitation and the attention. It is a great pleasure for me.
I was born in the historic university city of Poznań in western Poland, where I graduated in classical piano and art at Ignacy Jan Paderewski University of Music. Since 2001 I live and work in Milan in Italy, the country that has become the second home for me. I feel like a real citizen of the world. Just in Italy my passion for writing came out, I published ten books of contemporary poems in Italian including one in the Italian-Polish bilingual version. I love the sea, my heart is divided between the stormy Baltic Sea and the warm, welcoming waves of the Mediterranean Sea.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
The house does not have the strictly objective – material meaning for me. It is a place where people important to me live, where I feel myself in full balance and harmony. The house should provide security, hospitality, emotional warmth. I am at home when I am next to my mother in Poland, but I am also at home in Italy, which I deeply love and in which I freely share my passion for art, organizing for years the itinerant cyclic cultural program “Verseggiando under the stars of Milan”. To feel at home I must feel accepted with my strengths and weaknesses, listened to, I want to be myself without masks. Affections, friendship, shared passions, acceptance and universal love are characteristics of the place called home. I am a vagabond and very international soul.
What turns you on creatively?
Creativity means impulse for me, it is like an electric discharge and it takes over my mind spontaneously. Sometimes a word, a perfume, an image captured by the window, a sensory sensation, a sound are enough to unleash the desire to write. There are no rules or limits. I “mentally isolate” myself from reality and let myself be guided by an inner voice, I write with a great deal of enthusiasm and passion. My poems do not describe the beauty of the world, rather its dark contemporary transformation and the problems of human beings. My lyrics are like a mirror in which our crazy universe is reflected. I always want to “force” readers to reflect, I want to shake their consciences, convey poetry in a very expressive and, often, theatrical and direct way, but without artificial rhetoric. I prefer immediacy and linguistic transparency, I avoid unnecessary, utopian frills.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
Honestly, I don’t have a favorite word because I don’t get attached to single words, but rather to ideas. Great value has FREEDOM for me. Yes, perhaps this word could be considered main and perfectly describes my way of perceiving the world: freedom of expression, of being myself, freedom of feeling, loving and living, universal freedom of every living creature, intellectual and spiritual freedom, right of free choice without external forcing of any kind.
I would like to quote a fragment of my text entitled Diptych on fuel belonging to the stylistic current of Terminal Realism, which I find very compatible with my way of creating and perceiving the surrounding reality:
These days of lead do not belong to us, soluble charges of cyanide, poisonous television debates who ignore the bitter grievances of the people.
We are locked up in a supermarket with shelves of illusions, we collect points for retirement counting on a prize at the end of the season.
Lightless dawns do not belong to us obscured by the expensive paid smog which takes away the voice of small birds discarding their songs as waste.
Give us back our FREEDOM the fuel of life!
What is your pet peeve?
I hate intolerance, cowardice, lies, disrespect and arrogance. I can’t stand the stupidity of the human race which, driven by selfishness and the desire for an economic profit, destroys our Planet, devastates all its wealth regardless of the consequences. Despise desire to humiliate others, absurd inequalities between human beings and closed minds, are always for constructive dialogue in full respect of all rights. Unfortunately, what I have observed lately through the pages of newspapers and television broadcasts fills me with great sadness and disappointment. Where is this world going? Where are you going Human?
What defines Izabella T. Kostka?
I would define myself as an empathic, tolerant, very strong and independent character, a bit rebellious and never “tamed”. I am a lonely sailing ship that floats adrift through an ocean full of rocks, I am very emotional and passionate but, at the same time, I am advised by reason to always find a balanced solution for every conflict. I love my creative silences, the sea, the animals, good wine and a friendships. I am like the stormy Baltic Sea, never quiet, always looking for new emotions and I am also warm as the sunny Calabrian beaches … Solar and capricious, my soul is of many shades: multicolored and globalized (said with a smile).
To conclude, I would like to greet all the readers of the Spillwords.com site with affection and thank you for this precious interview. Lots of hugs from Milan!
IZABELLA TERESA KOSTKA was born in Poznań (Poland) and since 2001 has been living in Milan. She is a graduate in piano, is an Italian-Polish writer and poet, piano teacher, freelance journalist, translator, organizer and presenter of cultural events as well as creator and coordinator of the international cultural program "Verseggiando sotto gli astri of Milan". For poetry she has won numerous national and international awards and many important awards for her cultural activity. She has published ten poetic collections in Italian including a bilingual Italo-Polish, her works are present on many prestigious anthologies, including "Novecento non più. Towards Terminal Realism" with a letter from Guido Oldani, her publications appear on several sites and in numerous literary magazines in Italy and Poland. Guest of numerous radio and television broadcasts, she has participated in many prestigious publishing fairs including the International Book Fair in Turin, and for years has participated in the international Bookcity show in Milan. She is also a Brand Ambassador of the Terminal Realism for Poland.