Maryam Qureshi is Alien Buddha’s Featured Artist for December 2021

ABP- Thank you for taking this interview, Maryam. This is the final Artist of the Month segment of 2021, and it is a privilege to have you here. Back in April, Songs of Cardinal was released. What can you tell us about this poetry collection? What was the process of writing it like? How do you feel about it 8 months later?

MQ-  Songs Of Cardinal is my first ever published book of haiku and related forms of poetry including my previously published articles as well. Back in 2014, my first haiku was published in a haiku journal by Prolific Press Inc. Right from that time until today I felt an indulgence with writing and reading more haiku, tanka, and the related forms of poetry. My book is eight months older now and I still feel the same excitement and enthusiasm that anybody would feel when their first book is out in the world.

ABP- What do you have planned creatively for the new year?

MQ- I’m planning to work on my second book of poetry but I think it would be something more expressive related to my personal experiences and feelings that I’ve never disclosed or have written about before. I would like to work on the experimental forms or blank verse that I’ve not experienced before.

ABP- Who is your favorite writer? What is your favorite book?

MQ- My favorite writer is Oscar Wilde and my favorite book is, “A picture of Dorian Gray”.

ABP- Would you like to share a poem with us here?

MQ- Yeah, I would like to share a poem from Songs Of Cardinal. It’s the only poem in the whole collection that is not a haiku or tanka.

An Elegy!

Once upon a time,

Fifteen years ago,

she was asked by her father,

“Do you know what an Elegy is”?

She said, “I don’t know, dad”.

Time passed by drastically,

Brushing up many hardships,

against the canvas of her life.

One day, on her father’s birthday,

She bought a rose bouquet,

She was all dressed up for that day,

But she surprised the world when,

she entered a graveyard with that bouquet.

She sat down near a grave,

With tears rolling down her cheeks,

She said bitterly,

“Dad, I’ve learned the meaning of an elegy, today”.

ABP- Thanks again for taking the time to be a part of this, Maryam. The floor is all yours. If there is anything that you would like to mention which we have not covered, please do.

MQ- I would like to thank Alien Buddha Press for providing me the opportunity to share some words about myself and my book with the audience here. I hope Songs Of Cardinal would be loved by the readers just like it is loved by me.


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