KRISTIANA: Crimson Skins is your second poetry collection, what has been the most rewarding part of reaching the point of publication?
DEVIKA: Over the years I have grown into a more persistent writer honing my writing skills. The process of collecting art pieces and turning them all beautifully into a book takes a lot of creativity and patience. As I wrote my second collection, I observed my mental state each day blooming into a different shade of the sky. I have realized in the past couple of months patience with great care is the most impeccable reward one can get during the process of publication. Reaching this stage of publication, the inner satisfaction to turn my words worth reading and to touch each soul where the pain lurks feels gratifying.
KRISTIANA: In your book trailer for Crimson Skins, you reveal the kaleidoscope of themes within the collection. What draws you to writing about detachment one moment and revival the next?
DEVIKA: Crimson Skins is a collection divided into five different categories, detachment and revival being two of them. I do not portray my mind being guided only by the negatives that reside in the body. I truly believe there are so many emotions promulgating under our mind and hence all emotions should be valued each time. Detachment is just a part of a human life aiming to mould ourselves toward the real worth of human sustenance, whereas revival springs from the notion of staying valorous and a warrior. It takes a whole lot of patience. Our emotions, be it attachment, delirium or isolation, make us flawless and remarkable only when accepted.
KRISTIANA: Would you say Crimson Skins is a reflection of you? If so, how?
DEVIKA: Yes, definitely! I would not hesitate in saying so. Crimson Skins emanated during the course of time when my mind would not be in harmony with my body. Either of the two would have a different story to tell which sparked a fire to let it out. Hence, Crimson Skins was born. As you read the collection, you will find how each poem speaks a blatant truth about love, despair and insanity all at once. Yes, we all feel that. This book will weave a garland of needles and soft glow of sunshine all together.
KRISTIANA: What inspired the title ‘Crimson Skins’?
DEVIKA: The title seems a bit flaunty to a lot of people, I guess. And I would not doubt any single of them for the name stemmed out from my love towards the word ‘Skin’. I consider our body and skin to be a temple of all the thoughts, fears and love that it can nurture towards our own worth and towards others but sometimes when there is a high tide in our thought process we reach a darkest hour shutting our minds and even falling for a dead twig that can give us hope. I call this deadly hour as Crimson. Crimson being the darkest shade of red speaking volumes about pain, vexation, hope, and finally reaching the peaceful side of the shade. Crimson Skins defines the significance of accepting our flaws garnering the stark truth about bruises, scars and prayers. I hope the title does justice to my poetry.
KRISTIANA: Are there any specific influences (other writers, artists, musicians) who inspire your poetry and prose?
DEVIKA: I would be lying if I say no to that. To begin with, as a person in whole, I never stop learning from others. Each day is about the amount of knowledge that I can gain to better myself as a human and the same goes for my writing. Over the years I have met some amazing writers on WordPress and Instagram which have inspired me in some or the other way.
Talking about the classics, Sylvia Plath is one such confessionalist poet whom I look upon for her strident usage of metaphors showcasing her life and journey. Other writers who inspire me have to be Seamus Heaney and Eavan Boland. When it comes to the WordPress community as I mentioned earlier,I totally adore the writings of Samantha Lucero of sixredseeds. Lastly, over time I have realized that sometimes inspiration is just the beginning of a thought that emerges in the mind, inspiration can be anything and everything. It can be a sheer joy of observance.
KRISTIANA: You are incredibly active online on a variety of platforms, how do you balance this presence with your life offline?
DEVIKA: Is it so? I feel I am terrible at staying active on social media. Though I try managing all my writing platforms with a consistent practice of staying devoted to my writing. I feel this lockdown has turned me into a mad writer who is either thinking of chewing words or actually penning it down. Since the pandemic started, I also took an initiative of curating a newsletter which inculcates classic poetry along with other mindful resources for my readers and the amount of love my subscribers have poured is beyond the feeling of gratitude. Apart from writing for my blog and Instagram which satisfies my creative juices, I am also a teacher and that takes my half of the time and energy especially in these harsh times when everything has to be online. I balance everything with a positive routine that I have perfected for my well-being. As I said, it takes practice.
KRISTIANA: What does the writing community mean to you and what do you believe is your role within it?
DEVIKA: I have been writing on WordPress for more than 4 years now and the bond that I share with fellow writers is so pure and pious. It’s the love and care that actually goes in the long run. Nothing would matter if I had no honest fellow writers motivating and supporting my work. I am grateful for the support I have received over the years and in the same process I have stumbled upon various talented artists, creators, poets that fill my heart with abundance of love and sheer kindness. The writing community needs this amount of tenderness to sprinkle all the perfect colours that one can possibly think of. We are strong only when we are together and nothing can suffice that. I think that element is so crucial and I would always want my presence to inspire someone in the world. Through my words, if I am able to cultivate a small seed into a beautiful flower, I think my job is done there. The process of learning and growing together is what we should reflect through our words, gestures.
KRISTIANA: What is next for you in the world of writing?
DEVIKA: Honestly, I am not sure of that. I believe in living in the moment and for that reason I am completely cherishing my current publication process. This book took a lot of my energy in a constructive and destructive way so I am taking it all slow. But in the future, I have plans to write more copiously and that is for sure! I may be in delusion as of now but I am pretty sure that I refrain from stopping here, I refrain from being static about my current version. I have a long way to go and I will keep on working on my wisdom, perceptions and my entire personality for that matter. I may sometime later release a chapbook or another poetry anthology because there are a lot of tales whispering things inside my head and I know all that has to come out again with a new and a crisp version of my work.
KRISTIANA: Where can my readers follow you and your work?
DEVIKA: Thank you for believing in my work! I write at https://myvaliantsoulsblog.wordpress.com/
My instagram handle is @my.valiant.soul and I can be followed on twitter as well https://twitter.com/epdevikamathur.
If any of the readers is receptive for some soulful poetry and other stuff that I curate with utmost passion, they can subscribe to my newsletter here.
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