BBAW: Profile of Poetry Blogger Everything Distils Into Reading

BBAW has bled over into the weekend for me for several reasons:

  1. I waited too long to send out my interview questions to poetry bloggers I wanted to profile.
  2. I have a crazy life with a 1 year old.
  3. I remembered at the last minute that it was BBAW and already had a review scheduled for the week.

However, that does not mean that you can’t have fun reading my profile interviews of poetry bloggers.  It’s good to highlight these daring bloggers and to see how they view poetry.  Plus, I hope they will convince you to give poetry a try.

Today, I’ve got a great interview with Gautami of Everything Distils into Reading, who also writes her own poetry, which you can view at Rooted.

As a reader of poetry, what is it that poetry can provide that you think other genres do not or what makes poetry unique? Why do you read it?

Poetry is spirituality for me, the writing of it, the reading of it. Poetry encapsulates so much in so little. I consider myself a poet first and foremost. It is a way of life for me. Take away my poetry and I am merely existing.

Thinking about new readers of poetry, what are some of the mistakes you think they make when approaching a poem? What are some tips that can improve their enjoyment of the genre?

Poetry is seldom literal. One has to look for depth. Many times, the reader interprets differently from what a poet wishes to convey. That is good too, because the poet too learns about what the reader thinks. My advice is to keep on reading poetry and the rest will fall into place.

About how many books of poems do you review each year on average? Do you have an established goal of how many or is it a more organic process?

I used to review 12 poetry books a year. Lately, I have not been able to do so. However, that has not stopped me from reading poetry. I read it all the time, in print form and/or on the net!

As someone who lives outside of the United States, do you find that poetry is more popular, less popular, or about the same as it is in American or other cultures? What kinds of poetry books do you find yourself recommending?

Poetry is not popular at all. No one wants to read it. It requires deep understanding and patience and no one seems to have any time.  I recommend that one should start from reading contemporary poets and go slowly back to classics.  Structured poetry is also a good starting point. I did the other way round. I started with classics and now I read contemporary poetry.

What are you reading now? How do you view the world of poetry and its future?

I am reading Carl Sandburg and loving it.  And I do think poetry has a great future. It is not going to die any time soon. Or maybe never. As long as I live, I will keep on writing poetry.

Thanks, Gautami, for answering my interview questions. And for participating in my BBAW profile experiment.  We are kindred spirits in that without poetry we would merely be existing.


  1. Beth Hoffman says

    I’m so glad to finally meet Gautami via this interview. Back in 2010 she invited me to talk on her blog about CeeCee, and now, in reading her interview, I was delighted to learn that we share many of the same feelings about poetry. This perfectly sums it up: “Poetry encapsulates so much in so little.”

    That’s one of the main things I love about poetry — within a few lines, I am drawn into a place of wonderment.

    Thanks for the terrific interview, Serena and Gautami!

  2. Thanks everyone, for reading and commenting…

    Serena, if you don’t mind, I wanna re-post this on my blog.

    And you can tell poets to send me poetry books to read and review! *grin*

  3. Carl Sandburg! That’s an interesting choice! I used to have my students read his poem “Chicago” and then imitate it in a poem about their own home town. They wrote some good stuff, whether they thought of themselves as people who could write poetry or not.

  4. Thanks Serena for your questions. I loved answering those.

  5. I love how important poetry is to Gautami. You can tell she’s very passionate about it.

  6. Loving that you are featuring some great poetry bloggers & spreading the word, love what Gautami, writes & partially agree with her answer “Poetry is not popular at all. No one wants to read it” although it appears that no one reads collections of poetry or writes about them these days, if asked you’d be surprised at how many people have a favourite poem/poet, I was when I ran the question as part of a giveaway.

    • It is funny that people seem to have favorite poets, but have not read many collections…maybe they are a dying breed like the album.

  7. I guess I struggle with poetry because I don’t have deep understanding or patience!