I remember coming upon Rudrapriya’s poem Utero on Twitter and staring at her words after reading it through, trying to take them all in…”as the sky bruises quietly”…I found this expression so beautiful. As I’ve mentioned before, I want to learn more about the literature scene and meet writers in the community. And having sat through one of her workshops for Diasporasian Mythologies, I became curious about her and her journey as a writer and poet. Here’s my interview with her, and I’m also excited to share with you her “favourite” visual artist. The artist isn’t Canadian, but she’s definitely a beautiful artist to check out! -Mirae
Can you tell us about how your interest in writing started?
I don’t remember exactly. My mom taught me how to read at a very young age, which meant that stories were everywhere in my life. Books were where I went for entertainment, distraction, and answers to most questions. It seemed that the most interesting thing you could spend your time doing was reading–or, when I got older and saw that my dad kept a journal, writing. If it wasn’t for the two of them, I probably never would have developed an interest in any of that.
Where do you get your inspiration to write? Or rather, what excites you about writing?
You know that feeling after you watch a really good movie or finish a good book? The sense that you’re not sure exactly where you are, which world you’re in–or whether your reality will ever be the same again? That’s it.
I really enjoyed reading your piece about Anand on The Puritan, and I know you’re the head of publicity there – how did you get involved with them? What do you like about being part of an online magazine?
I interned at the Puritan when I moved back to Toronto a couple of years ago from Montreal, where I did my BA. It immediately connected me to a wider network of writers in Toronto and beyond. The masthead was (and still is) full of the most welcoming, open, and kind people–who happen to edit fiction and poetry, organize events, and write books of their own! Everyone really has their eyes open for new and exciting writing, and that makes it a great platform for smart ideas.
You’re very active on Twitter, and there seems to be a great community of writers sharing and supporting each others’ works – what are your thoughts on Twitter?
Ha! Twitter can be wonderful and funny and truly disgusting all within the span of a few seconds, which makes it a confusing space. I don’t think anyone who’s on it every day can be too mentally healthy. BUT HEY, follow me @rrudrapriya!!!
What are questions or themes you are currently exploring through your writing?
I just finished writing my MA thesis, which is a collection of short stories. Some things in it (keywords, if you will): obsessions and neuroses, bad dreams, the problem of nicknames, girlhood, sickness, moms and grandmoms, murder, bad dates, 1-800 phone numbers, sex, teeth, friendship and money.
What can we look forward to, in your creative career, in the next few months?
A couple of published short stories, if all goes well.
Lastly, what does your identity mean to you?
Not being only one person, or one kind of person, is important to me. I think we all have lots of identities, and we emphasize or silence some of them depending on where we are and who we’re with. This is the most strange and ordinary thing about everyone.