A very warm welcome from the whiptail team. Tell us a little about yourself - your family, your hobbies, your dreams, or anything else you want the readers to know about you, apart from being a haiku poet.
Thank you so much, Vandana.
I live with my beautiful parents in the National Capital Region of Delhi. As a person, my poems are traces of an ever-changing me. Apart from reading literature and practicing haiku, I love academic studies. Also, I enjoy a nomadic lifestyle of minimum materialism and love being with myself, nature, and imagination.
Are you active on social media? How do you think social media affects the writing process?
In these times, I think social media is our broadest access to writing opportunities. I joined the writing community through Twitter. It's a whole new world out there. Now, I have limited my social media interactions mostly to Facebook and always enjoy being a part of different poetry and haiku groups there. It's lovely to read and share fruitful collaborations, a strong feature of haikai literature. Also, vibrant and insightful interactions with artists from across the world definitely creates a positive impact on the awareness of issues and world peace.
What is something that people don't know about your poetry or poetry practice, process, or inspiration that you'd like to share?
In practicing poetry, my deepest inspiration is to understand and befriend my own mind. The resultant discontinuities and imperfections help reshape my learning and life.
What made you decide to try out haiku and/or tanka in one line versus their more popular enjambed formats? How does it feel different to you?
I started writing one-line haiku in 2019. The initial work was submitted to Poetry Pea Podcast, #FemkuMag, and Under The Basho. Back then, it simply felt easier to write one-line haiku, but now I realise that it may be equally important to research any established form.
It's difficult to compare the charms of different formats. That is why I love to juggle between writing various forms. I have been writing gembun where both formats marry. English-language haiku affords a beautiful coexistence of flourishing forms. On this note, I would like to congratulate whiptail journal for innovating subforms. I am eager to learn how different techniques and sub-techniques can evolve the one-line form and vice-versa.
Many poets still struggle with the dilemma of whether a particular poem will work better as a one-line poem than the enjambed form and vice-versa. What is the deciding factor in your practice?
It so happens that when I decide to write a one-line haiku, my focus is set beforehand. I practice by writing more. The scribbles are very important for me. The demarcation between a three-line haiku and thereafter writing the same in a one-line format may depend on the poet's choice and intuitive feeling to finalise after considerations of rhythm, presentation, and techniques. For example, I also write and trim monoku by combining a three-line haiku with a prompt word. Perhaps, each writer will develop unique ways.
It would be a great help to our readers if you could walk us through your writing process from the conception to the eventual birth of a one-line poem. You are most welcome to take a one-line poem or two of yours to discuss how it came to be and/or process.
Do you have any tips for aspiring poets of one-line forms?
The magic is that we never know how and from where our next poem is going to arrive. Images, words, and dreams also bring me messages of artistic creation. If I have to make an effort, I try to walk into the image and maybe I sense a new perception. It's a beautiful maze and may require creative incubation. The following example is image based.
inside his dream i look for a way out
haikuKATHA, Issue 9, July 2022
A single word alone can stimulate the stream of consciousness and/or lead to another word-idea. The following example is word based.
the colour as it falls
Bones 23, April 2022
The work ultimately presents itself as a synergistic interaction between the poet's inner and outer worlds.
My only tip is to enjoy your love for art and keep writing regularly. Everything else follows.
Through this esteemed medium, I wish to convey my deepest gratitude to all the readers, poets, and editors for their warm acceptance, encouragement, and love. I congratulate and thank Kat and Robin and the brilliant team of whiptail journal for envisioning a beautiful journal. Thank you so much Vandana for a warm interaction.
Richa Sharma (she/her) resides near New Delhi, India with her beautiful parents. She loves reading and writing poetry in her leisure time. Since 2019, her work has appeared in numerous online and print journals dedicated to Japanese short poetry. She is a nature lover, an avid sky watcher, and a dreamer.