Sunday, August 02, 2015

Ink, Ideas, and Ikhda. An interview

I first became familiar with the charming and elegant work of Ikhda Ayuning Maharsi through her poem "Analogy" during the Poetry World Cup organized by The Missing Slate in 2014. Currently living in France, she is the author of the collection Ikhda, by Ikhda (The Emma Press, 2014) and the 2015 collection Ateliers d'Artistes with the photos of Fabienne Aillou-Lucas.

I was delighted to interview her about her journey as a poet. You can also follow her on twitter these days at: @ikhdadegoul

Can you tell us a little about yourself, and how did you develop an interest in poetry?

A Javanese woman with a French touch?

I am a mother of two wonderful children, Corentin Danau (2,6 years old), Léane Asa (3 months). A partner of a brave French man. A daughter of a dancer and my mother angel. I had grown up in Surabaya, Indonesia, in an artistic family and I began to read children's poetry at 5. Poetry found me when I tried to skipped my dancing class and went to the library to read some books.

I love to see the different places, people and different thinking, that's why I love poetry. I usually write a minimum three poems in a week. Not as much when I go traveling and see people. Places and people, they are my constant-subjects of writing.

Do you prefer coffee or tea? And how do you like it?
Coffee, I lived in Naples, Italy for two years and it was the best place in the world to drink a (very) sugarful, black coffee. I love to taste the ironical sensation in my mouth : bitter sweet coffee!

Coffee gives the energy for writing, it's kind of a magical thing!

When you introduce someone to your poetry for the first time, which poem do you like to begin with, lately?
I would like to introduce "Analogy", "Lys", "Gili-Gili" and "Afterbirth" (Ikhda by Ikhda, The Emma Press, March, 2014) also "Una Madre", "Les Baigneurs", "Melodaram" and "After Seeing The Rest of Vincent Van Gogh" (Ateliers d'Artistes, April, 2015).

When are you most satisfied with a poem you’ve written?

Who’s been an enduring influence on your poetry over the years?
My son. And the angelic strangers out there.

What’s a skill you picked up which was unexpectedly useful in writing your poetry?
I was a journalist, copywriter, creative associate and sitcom writer, these experience are more than enough to cheer up my poems.

If you could do a poetry reading anywhere in the world, where would you like to perform?
Kyoto. Of course I need to move there first and learn how to write a powerful haiku in 3 months and 3 days long.

What's next for you?
Do you mean the next project? Right now I am doing a tour in France for my poetry-photography book "Ateliers d'Artistes" with photographer Fabienne Aillou-Lucas, this might occupy me until 2016-2017.

I am also trying to write my second poetry pamphlet about women's bodies: flesh, flesh, flesh, yeah!

I keep writing my BD (bande dessinée) scripts (about the struggle of women in Borneo) and I am waiting for the best moment to apply a writing residency somewhere out there. Voilà!

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