Nitya is a poet studying in the Poetry Creative Writing MFA program at PSU who contributed her poetry to Pathos Literary Magazine in the Fall 2017 edition. We asked her some questions about her inspirations, projects, and goals.
Q: What is your favorite book, and why?
A: My favorite book is probably (still) Jitterbug Perfume, by: Tom Robbins. My best friend in High School gave me her copy to read when I was 16 years old, and it blew my mind. As a lover of smells, arts, and myths, I was immediately enraptured. Tom Robbins’ style was the first modern novel I found that I truly loved, as I tended to favor old collections of folklore, older poems, plays, and pulp fantasy up until then. Perdido Street Station, by: China Mieville is a close second. Poetry? I couldn’t begin to guess, as my poetic tastes extend far and wide in almost every direction. Banana Palace by Dana Levin is a recent book that I enjoyed immensely.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration from?
A: I’m currently drawing a huge amount of inspiration from playing the Fallout video game series while listening to classic Western ballads, like those by Marty Robbins. I’ve been drawn to apocalyptic themes for quite a lot of my life now, but I find myself surprised by the veracity with which I love these old cowboy tunes. I often draw inspiration from ancient mythology and folklore, as they’re lifelong areas of study for me… and a combination of pain and imagination. Pain from past experience, and imagination to pull it out from memory into a creative, workable space.
Q: What is your favorite time of day to work, and why?
A: I have flighty habits, but I find that I am most productive intentionally in the mid-afternoon. I enjoy sun coming through the window, and feeling it warm my hands so that I can imagine they’re alight with a magical creative force. Unintentionally, I am most often overcome with the impulse to write in the evening when I’m doing literally anything else, and it always delights me! I find that it’s vitally important for artistic people to spend intentional time *not* on their craft, cultivating negative capability. Those Eureka! moments almost never happen when I’m courting them head-on.
Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?
A: Having just started my MFA program for creative writing, I’m working on poems that I hope will be in my first book. It’s a fractured epic of sorts that is split between my past, my present, my dream world, and the alternate reality of my video game characters- who are all named some variation of Texas Red now.
Q: What are your goals?
A: Pretty obviously, I’m stoked to eventually have my first whole book of poetry published, and to keep writing and publishing as continuously as possible. I’d love to teach college poetry, to be a part of keeping that flame alive. Honestly, I’d just love to live a nice calm life as a near-hermit who makes salves and perfumes in-between teaching and writing, tending a small herb garden, and laughing a lot. Finally, to relax the lease on the duplex my hubby and I rent, so we can get a little kitty floofer-doofer to call our own. That’s probably the most immediate.