OBJECTS OF DERISION

AN INTERVIEW WITH RACHANA HEGDE

 
 
NGQ:
If you were a character in a poem, how would you introduce yourself?
RACHANA HEGDE:

By talking about the moon or how the sky is crying.
 
NGQ:
What does your writing process look like? Do you have a set schedule you like to keep to, or do you write when you can in between schoolwork and other demands on your life?
HEGDE:
There’s no set schedule. It all depends on how inspired I feel and how much time I have. When it comes to poetry, I can’t force myself to write if I don’t feel like it. Recently, I’ve also been writing more personal poems and these arise from the strongest emotions – both positive and negative. I also get burned out quickly so I have to be careful to balance creation with consumption. I often write poems that I’ll come back to over the course of a day and edit when I can. It’s a struggle to balance schoolwork and creative writing so I tend to write frantically for short periods of time before diving into schoolwork and being more productive.
 
NGQ:
What is your favourite line (or lines) of anything you’ve ever written? And why is this so important to you?
HEGDE:
My favorite line is “How orange rinds float in warm water. I say, please and it tastes / like signature lipstick, a handful of rings.” This is the first line of a poem named “Goodbye” and I think it’s one of the truest poems I’ve written so far.
 
(Editor’s note: Goodbye has been published in the latest issue of DIALOGIST.)
 
NGQ:
What or who do you turn to when you’re in need of inspiration, in need of refilling your creative well?
HEGDE:
I always turn to poetry by poets that I admire so I’ll sit down and read work by Ocean Vuong or Richard Siken for several hours. If that fails, I might need a break from writing and I could be creatively burned out. Sometimes the issue is that I have just been home all day and I don’t have that reservoir of emotion to draw on in order to write poetry. When that’s the case, I’ll go for a walk or read a book that breaks my heart. Part of the reason why I write poetry is to make sense of the world around me and so if I’m feeling uninspired, it could mean that I’m not truly living. The moments when I’m struggling to express something personal or trying to make peace with myself are when I need poetry most.
 
NGQ:
And finally, can you tell me who & what you’re reading of late?
HEGDE:
I’ve been reading a lot of poetry, including these three poems by Leila Chatti and “Summer” by Hanel Baveja. Other incredible poems I’ve “discovered” recently are: “You’ll Never Love Me” by Luther Hughes, “Opal” by Yasmin Belkhyr, “An hour is not a house” by Jane Hirshfield, “The Song of Empty Rooms” by Wale Owoade, and “Woman Crying in a Gallery” by Nina Puro.

 
 
 
 

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