Somaya is an undergraduate student majoring in literature at leading Pakistani university Intl. Islamic University. Hailing from Islamabad, in her poetry she focuses on the random candid daily moments of the day which the common eye might not notice. She possesses the views of never sabotaging others’ interests and believes that rejection teaches us lessons to be remembered in life. She has a keen interest in the future of literature in Pakistan and encourages new writers to strive for a better one.
So Somaya, tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a 22 year old amateur poet graduating in English Literature Majors. Basically, my life revolves around vivid imaginations, frothy mugs of coffee, ticking of pens and shuffling of papers. I love midnight lights and foggy winters.
They say writers are deep people. What has been the most inspiring thing you’ve ever witnessed in life?
The most precious thing that a writer possesses is a heart filled with empathy and sensibility. It’s really hard to pinpoint a single inspiring thing when a world has a lot more to offer. From bird’s song to a child’s cry the list of inspiring things for me is endless.
What art do you most identify yourself with?
Poetry, Poetry and Poetry.
And what is your dream project?
My dream project is to publish my own poetic collection.
In your opinion, what role does an artist play in the society?
Artists can hold up the society in the most crucial times by providing a soft fantasy to people in which they can refresh and retire for a while.
Any book/author that has been an influence in your life?
Paulo Coelho, Maya Angelou and Warsan Shire are the legends.
Back then, what inspired you to write your first poem?
I wrote my first poem when I was in 7th Grade. It was inspired by autumn leaves.
So tell us, how did your blog came into being?
A blogger friend once told me the need of WordPress and Tumblr in a writer’s life. She forced me to set up my own blog. That’s how it came into being.
Do you see writing as a career?
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about all of it?
The biggest hurdle for every English writer living in Pakistan is that we are not welcomed so easily. English readership in Pakistan is very less. So, for us road to success is way too long than others.
Tell us, how do you spend your leisure time?
By writing poetry, listening to music, reading books and blogging.
An idea that changed your life?
An idea to be someone that can make me different from others always pinches me for a change.
In your opinion, how has Pakistani English literature industry changed over the past years?
Many eminent Pakistani English writers and poets are sprouting out from Pakistan. The scenario is not the same as it was before. But still Pakistani English writers prefer to live abroad to pursue their careers. A lot more change and acceptance regarding English Literature is needed in Pakistan.
What has been the most drastic experience in life?
Rejection, brought the most drastic change in my life.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
Hopefully a happy poet holding at least one volume of my own poetry in my hand.
What do you think is your best work?
A poem called as “Contemplation of Love” recently published by Uut poetry magazine on Tumblr is the best thing I ever wrote.
What has been a ground breaking experience?
I performed my poem at a poetry slam conducted by The Missing Slate, the experience was overwhelming. Though, I didn’t win it. But the appreciation hug that I got from a random girl, an approving pat on my shoulder from a stranger woman and the sweeping attention of audience was worth it.
Any advice for aspiring young writers?
The future of Pakistani English Literature is in our hands. Only our passion and love for it can change the literary scenario in Pakistan in future. Don’t sit back and lose hope. Strive hard for its survival.
One thing you have that no one else does?
An ability to keep my cool with me during work pressures.
What’s the best way to deal with failure?
The best way to deal with failure is to rise from the ashes and shock the world with your inner fire.
Lastly, words for Revolution Flame?
Revolution Flame is doing the right thing to bring up amateur yet talented people in the limelight. Thank you for providing this platform to newbies.
Interviewed by: Zaeem Rasheed
Published by: Asma Zainab