I've taught children in inclusive schools writing, modelling writing, editing, drafting, correction, final draft, so on and so forth, on various genres.
Devangana Mishra: Crafting Poetry, Building Dreams, and Inspiring Lives with Every Word #WordsmithExtraordinaire
Why poetry, Devangana?
I believe language is a failed attempt at poetry, poetry flows and finds ones imagination lost and found, there's a beauty and craft to poetry which language can make look crude, as a dancer, I speak in song, I wouldn't know any softer way to write for myself than poetry.
What inspired you to write poetry?
I've taught children in inclusive schools writing, modelling writing, editing, drafting, correction, final draft, so on and so forth, on various genres. So when I wanted to give a shot at my very own first book at writing, I chose poetry, to me it always felt like a better use of my skill, my imagination, my world, my knowledge, a gentler way as I see and understand things, writing can be definitive, whereas poetry leaves space for nuance and for each to make what they make without too much noise.
Tell us more about your first book, Desierto Florido?
At the break of June 2020, when the world was closing doors for COVID, I didn't know how I'd spend my creativity and time with being locked in my one bedroom Bandra apartment, so I decided to first write 16 letters for my high schoolers, that felt too trite, then I thought I'd write love poems, it started off fine but soon I didn't know what else to write after page 5, then I began thinking about all the movies I'd ever watched, books I'd ever read, political and social crisis I'd taught and witnessed, heartbreaking and beautiful stories I'd heard, and slowly over two years I tried to turn some of those million to poetry, writing and imagination is terribly hard when put to active use. I sobbed, suffered a long phase of depression, realized behind our shiny lives, lives can sometimes be terribly, horribly sad and hard, writing and imagining those lives broke my fingers, it also helped me launch BrainBristle, to save a few kids from whatever travesty of life, to whatever extent I can.
What's your next book of poetry about?
It's about love, breaking-building love, set in pre-independence India, when the landscape of India was drastically changing and remains changed until now, it is set at a time when slowly after hundreds of years of British colonization, Muslims were being erased from India and a young girl, Zara's story, to stay here, build her life with her husband, her family, find her voice, her identity right here, in India, in Delhi, in a place where she was born and belongs.
How do you manage everything? Creating art, poetry, running BrainBristle, your family, your home, maintaining yourself, and all of that and more?
I owe all to this to my life of teaching, I was taught to compartmentalise, prioritize, manage, organize, plan, think, reflect, understand, empathize, be humble but confident and listen- everything I do today, I owe to the kids I've taught and the teachers who've taught me how to do this, to keep holding my values and integrity tight, above everything else, always or at least for however long I can and to my family and friends who suppport me with all of my everything, as is, always.