Criticpsace: Welcome to Criticspace Journals, Sujata. First of all, I would like to know how you moved into poetry genre directly as you have been receiving very good response on your earlier book Flight of Fantasy which is a short story collection.
Sujata Chatterjee: I have been writing poems since I was in class 2. So it was not so difficult for me to write this book, LOOKING THROUGH THE PRISM after the success of the book of short stories, FLIGHTS OF FANTASY.
Criticpsace: How you decided about the title of this book, Looking Through The Prism?
Sujata Chatterjee: The title of the book suggests a spectrum of seven colors, when white light rays are passed through a glass prism. It reminds us of a rainbow in the sky. The book LOOKING THROUGH THE PRISM has 17 poems which are based on nature and life. Somehow, I felt that the various emotions depicted in the poems are like the seven colors of the rainbow or that of the white light which when passed through a glass prism is refracted into the seven colors VIBGYOR. Each color has a different wavelength which culminates into the emotion of the poems.
Criticpsace: The poetry readers or writers may be surely interested to know when is the best time to write good poetries. I am asking this question since I feel poetry writing is a lot more difficult than writing a story.
Sujata Chatterjee:Anytime is perfect for writing poetry, provided you are in a quiet mood, with your thoughts clear. I usually prefer the evening, since my day’s work are over by then, and my home has a sublime environment and nobody around.
Criticpsace: So far you have been receiving good response from the readers. How does it feel to you that your second book, that in a different genre, is doing well among the readers?
Sujata Chatterjee: Yes, it is a rather pleasant feeling that my second book LOOKING THROUGH THE PRISM is doing well with my readers. I am a poet because of my readers. If my readers appreciate my work, I would say 95% of my work is successful. Rest of the 5% is my hard work.
Criticpsace: I would love to know if you could describe your journey as a poet and eventually to a poet-laureate. Like many other poets, do you also feel that poetry matures with the development of time?
Sujata Chatterjee: Of course maturity is developed with time and experience. I used to regularly write for my school and college magazines. Then I started writing for the magazine, The Women’s Era, in the column, The Patient I can Never Forget, though it was a prose. Then I began writing poems in the social networking site, like the Facebook and Writing.com I received an overwhelming response. By then, my poems were enclosed in the pages of the diary. I decided to share my poems with the public and the only way to do it was by writing a book. Hence came the making of LOOKING THROUGH THE PRISM. I have received many accolades for my contribution in literature. I was awarded the SHONGHOTI SAMMANAN AWARD, by HELLO KOLKATA, an evening daily newspaper. I was also declared a winner by the NATIONAL BOOK HONOR AWARDS and received certificate, medal and a winner sticker for my book LOOKING THROUGH THE PRISM. The INDIAN AWAZ TEAM has declared me as one of the 100 INSPIRING AUTHORS OF INDIA.
Criticpsace: As a reader, which type of books you like. Tell us something about your interest areas in literature.
Sujata Chatterjee: I love reading poetry and crime fiction. I am an avid reader of Sydney Sheldon, Mary Higgins Clark, Dan Brown, Agatha Christie, Perry Mason. As a child, Enid Blyton’s Famous Five was my favourite books along with the others. My favourite authors are Danielle Steele and Erich Sehgal too..the authors of Kaleidoscope and Love Story. Indian writers like Durjoy Datta, Ravinder Singh and Nikita Singh have stolen my heart.
I enjoy reading poetries by Robert Frost, Robert Louis Stevenson, Lord Tennyson, Keats and Wordsworth. My poems have been influenced by the writing style of these great authors.
Criticpsace: As many people from literary circles have noticed a change in the literary practice of the day, do you also notice a change, ma’am? Do you feel that the profession of writing has changed its course with the times?
Sujata Chatterjee: Of course, any change is inevitable with the change in the environment. The readers nowadays like to read dark poems which contain sorrow, hatred, intense passion or a negative emotion. When we were young, we knew poems are those which have a rhyme and are lyrical. But now authors write poetry as paragraphs. They may not be in a rhyming style. But these poems have been widely accepted as popular poems. There are nowadays 2 types of Poets. The popular ones who write a lot of dark subjects, like rape, women power, intense passion, etc. And those who are literary geniuses with amazing content.
Criticpsace: What role do you like the most – being a poet or being story writer? What is the reason for your choice, if you make one?
Sujata Chatterjee: Being a poet is very enjoyable when lots of awards are being won everyday. This shows that you are being socially recognised and are rich in literature. On the other hand, storytelling is an art. When you reach the perfection, you are popular with your readers. An author may be either of the two, provided it has reached the perfection.
Criticpsace: Are you currently working on other projects as well? Please let your readers know about the same and how it will be.
Sujata Chatterjee: Yes, I am working on another project now. But let us keep the suspense. I shall disclose the content during the prelaunch.
Criticpsace: Many writers and readers may come across this interview. What advice would you like to offer to them who are new to poetry writing?
Sujata Chatterjee: Keep writing, even if you are not recognised. A day will come when your hard work will surely reach the pinnacle of success.
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.Criticpsace: