Guest Poetry Curator Ciarán Hodgers introduces Seema Jayaraman as the showcased poet of the month December on Leaveners’ ‘Poets’ Corner’.
Ciarán: I am happy to publish Seema as Poet of the Month December. A mother of two and IT professional Seema’s story tells us that we can allow ourselves to be a poet in whatever capacity we choose, as well as showing the diversity and graft a poets life can demand. Seema found herself moved after September’s mass media coverage of the refugee crisis and this is what I believe in her the most. She’d put herself on hiatus, tackling family and professional life head on but when the world shook her, she responded after twenty years of having not written creatively. Her experience shows us how life isn’t a linear progression, nor should it be, and that we should write authentically, when we are moved to.
Seema: ‘When last month all TV channels were busy bombarding the pictures of a small baby washed up ashore as an aftermath of middle-east refugee crisis I found myself writing out a poem titled A Father’s Grief, as a mark of deep anguish on behalf of humanity after a hiatus of nearly 20 years. Since then I find myself scribbling away and have raked up nearly 50 poems together both my old ones and ones written in September 2015. I felt the need to expand my horizons and chanced upon Poets’ Corner.’
According to Ciaran, ‘Seema writes with a naturalistic, lyrical style that is both engaging and surprising. Her work on the page begs to be read aloud which is a testament to how carefully crafted and accessible her imagination is. I enjoyed reading these poems, which was more like listening – they played out in my mind full of sound and senses. Her work hearkens to a romantic tradition, drawing on landscape and nature but her craft is a contemporary one.’
Based in Mumbai, India, Seema draws inspiration from all around, having travelled throughout her life: ‘Being an Airforce child I have travelled extensively within India too absorbing India’s myriad hues and cultures. Thanks to my career in IT, I was able to travel to many international locations and experience far off cultures and scenic beauties to my full.’
As the featured poet of December, Seema will share a collection of old and newer poems.