Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Doina Ioanid - a brief interview

Born in Bucharest in 1968, Doina Ioanid is the author of five collections of poetry which consist largely of prose poems. Her latest collection is Ritmuri de îmblânzit aricioaica or in English translation Chants for Taming The Hedgehog Sow. You can read a poem from this collection on the festival website in English and Welsh translation.

In advance of her performances in North Wales Doina spoke to Nia Davies about her work. 

Nia: You’ve described a process which takes place in your writing of making surprising connections, often undetected at first, between memories, stories and images. Through these connections come an element of the surreal. So do you believe that the neurological process of pattern-seeking is central to writing? And if so how do you harness this to create a poem?

Doina: Those connections between memories, stories and images leading to a surreal element are important for my poetry. The act of writing in itself supposes multiple connections, in order to understand better how you feel, how you perceive the world and your being in this world. What we usually call reality is a superficial word covering an enormous area of realities. The world's manifestations have many layers as well as many levels and that's why a poet needs to find his way through all this in order to seize or to catch sight of them, or at least a glimpse. Paying attention to what happens to you, inside you and outside you, becomes very important. Writing poetry precedes in fact the act of writing itself: I see, I watch, I hear, I listen, I feel and I collect images, sounds, words, pieces of dreams, little stories, sensations and experiences. I become a receptacle where all these personal and affective slides gather in a puzzle. But it's not only my brain, my mind who stocks these elements. My body, my senses participate as well. I am a sensitive reservoir, a deposit working to grab connections, words, rhythms. 

It's a long and subtle process, not entirely conscious, of maturation requiring an internal attention and a lot of patience before arriving to express myself, to put a poem on paper. I bear inside me this mixture, this compost. I walk with it, I live with it and one day it hits off immediately: I just feel I'm reaching the right word, the right rhythm - or maybe it is the other way around, they reached me. Anyway, the poem pours out of me in an amazing way. Of course, once the poem is there, in front of me, once it took shape and voice, I have to refine it, to do the final adjustments.

Doina will be performing in Mold on Friday the 18th of October and in Aberystwyth on Monday the 21st of October and at other events over the weekend.  You can find out more at http://www.northwalesinternationalpoetryfestival.org 

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