This is Nitin Soni, the curly poet, who has just published his first poetry book ‘The Broken Boat’ allowing me to explore the way his mind sees and perceives life.
In times when people are writing novels and short-stories, you have published poetry…
There are a lot of people who talk about writing, about art and several things… they write, they click pictures… but it is only poetry that is close to my heart. It is about my emotions and my feelings. This isn’t just a book of poems. It is my heart poured out… all that I have seen in my life, what I have experienced, and what I have been seeing.
How difficult was it to find a publisher for what your heart loved?
Two years back I was approached by a publisher and I had submitted a manuscript of 100 poems then. They simply went ahead and demanded 40K to publish. I was in college and at that point of time this seemed impossible. My sole objective anyway, was to be heard and to be read… and so Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram were my alternatives.
Finally Authors Press decided to give my book a print platform. This book isn’t a form of vanity publishing.
Is publishing a book the final dream of a poet or a writer? I mean, if the social media is giving you enough readers and enough applause, why publish a book?
Let me just say that the moment I held the first copy of the print version in my hands, i was a bundle of emotions. It brought tears to my eyes. The only thing that matters is not having to pay to get published.
‘Don’t pay to get published’… so this is what the key lesson is for writers and poets?
I remember having met Ruskin Bond a few years back and when I told him that I write poetry he just smiled and replied, ‘Never pay to get published.’ I have followed his words.
Do you read other poets? If yes, how extensively?
I do read other poets… but my poems and my stories are about what Nitin Soni is. My poems talk about feelings from my experiences, both outside and inside my home. Poetry is spontaneous and if it doesn’t come naturally, stop this form and adopt some other form of expression.
Poetry makes you follow your heart… and I do this in my life as well. I work for children and I don’t care if I earn big. Poetry isn’t about iambic metres… but very divine. I said this at the Ravenshaw Poetry Fest too… I told them that if poetry doesn’t come naturally, stop and write in some other form.
But I guess that the world is full of poets who work hard on every stanza… they care about metres and syllables and rhymes. They write and re-write many times to get that perfect flow in a poem.
I write spontaneously. For me, a defined scheme is not important. I write what I feel… and I don’t want to assemble words. I assemble feelings. Only last week i read something written by Boman Irani and it struck a chord within… so I wrote a few lines and they were appreciated by hundreds of people on the social media. Those lines were spontaneous and I did not have to wait for them to come to me. They came naturally to me. The vibes clicked and the poem popped up.
How has been the response to the poems on the social media before you collected and published them in this book?
And how amazing do you think the sales are going to be?
I was told by a lot of people that poetry doesn’t sell and that I would probably end up selling around 50 or 100 volumes. But in less than a fortnight the first edition has been sold out… around 200 copies sold. All the sales has been online.
How important is it for a poet to have a formal launch?
People recommended an official book launch… but I wanted to reach a larger number. A launch limits exposure and so I don’t think there is any need for an official launch.
No launch is fine enough. But then how does a book find readers for itself… or do readers gravitate towards a book?
Books sell when people who have read are willing to talk about it. I will prefer to launch my book once I’ve sold around 600 copies… and this won’t be a single launch but in multiple schools and colleges in small groups where we will meet informally.
Book launches are also taking place during lit fests. What about them?
I also have a wish to be a part of some lit fest and was planning some such launch for the Oriya version of my book… the Ravenshaw University lit fest is in March 2016. But let me add that lit fests are all about PR.
17 February 2016