Fida Islaih is the host of PoeteerChat on Twitter each Wednesday at 7pm EST. She is the author of A to Z Poetry, Her Olives, Blossoming Heart, Smile Back, Her Treasures, and Hugs & Kisses, as well as poetry prompts, and she offers editorial services. You can find her at fidaislaih.blogspot.com.
JR: Fida, thanks so much for coming to PersephoneKnits to chat! One of the striking things about your poetry is its gentleness. Is this intentional, or do you think it is simply your poetic voice?
FI: Thank you for seeing the gentleness in my poetry. It is a bit of both. I have a gentle personality, and I wanted my poetry to reflect that. I deal with life’s struggles, and putting out positivity with my poetry is a reminder to myself to first be kind to myself.
JR: What habits have you incorporated into your day to expand your creativity and output?
FI: I start my day with meditation and prayer, which helps me go on with the day. Being in nature helps my creativity, too. I try to read at least one small poetry chapbook a week. Writing helps me deal with the different news and experiences that come my way.
JR: Would you share one of your poems and talk a bit about how it came into being and what it means to you?
Throw your worries in the air
like you throw you hopes in the air
just like you let the universe
take care of your hopes
let your worries be taken care
of by the universe.
As you know, I create poetry prompts, and one of these was “in the air”. I feel we always leave our dreams for the future and don’t stress about it. But, when it comes to our worries we feel it’s all on us to take care of them. I believe in God and was always taught to do what I can and leave the rest up to God. I wanted to get that message across in this poem.
JR: Do you speak more than one language and if so, does this become part of your poetry? I’m thinking of Zeina Hashem Beck and how she incorporates language into her poems.
FI: I have read Zeina Hashem Beck’s work and love it! I don’t speak another language, but I do understand Arabic (father’s tongue) and Malay (mother’s tongue). I am working on learning both of those languages. I occasionally try to translate my poem and have a family member fix it for me. I would love to one day be able to weave two languages into one poem.
JR: Thanks for coming to PK to chat about your creative process and your poetry, Fida.
FI: Thank you so much for having me, Julie. I’m glad we could do this.
You can get to know Fida & her poetry better through her twitter chat or her newsletters.
I see you lurkers out there! What’s your creative process? What are your goals and dreams? Let’s do an interview. Leave a comment or chirp at me on Twitter!