“Learning and unlearning, the process of unpacking my own boxes is how this book got shaped”: Meghna Prakesh
She calls herself a confessional poet and says, “I have been writing poems since I was 5, that’s the only thing I have known to write decently enough for I have been writing it all my life.” Meghna is a poet, an independent journalist, and trauma and peace activist who had also found a platform to curate poems called Poetry Dialogue. She sees her poems voicing her personal experiences and making them a part of her healing process.
Meghna’s poetry has been published in 14 journals and she has also performed in many countries including India, Russia, Boston, Bhutan, and others. Amid the lockdown, as she tells us, her blooming mania and desire to create something made her compile what she has written over the years and created the book Trigger Warning. “Trigger Warning is what I tried to culminate in an effort to take care of myself and for the first time in a very long time, I had some faith in myself to collect, write and edit these poems,” says Meghna while telling about how the book gives her confidence and hope.
She has announced her debut book, Trigger Warning calling it an exercise in human catharsis. The book is built on the tensions of duality – of love and resistance through poems that resemble Plath-like confessions and throw light on mental health issues like depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and CPTSD. Exploring the diminishing of identity that gets erased through abusive relationships, Meghna has tried to encapsulate her visceral life experiences in her collection. The book is being published by Hawakal Publications and will hit the market on 16th August.
When asked about her journey of writing these poems, she says, “A lot of my healing journey has happened because of this book. I am a survivor of violence. I have mental health issues, I am bipolar, anxiety issues, and severe CPTSD. Through this book, through these poems, I make sense of my trauma, I make sense of how the trauma manifests in my body and that’s from where the poems bloom.” Through the contents of Trigger Warning, she has tried to comments upon the exploratory journey of understanding oneself – of unravelling the chaos within. At the same time, it also touches upon sensitive topics like childhood abuse and violence revolving around relationships.
Meghna’s take on artists romanticizing of mental illness
“As I grow older, all that I can realize is that my mental health is just an obstacle to my writing and my art. I would have been a better writer, a better poet if I would have been a mentally healthy person. Though when I was younger, I used to think that maybe I can’t write if I am not depressed because I write such sad poems but now, honestly, my mental health doesn’t help my writing. Instead, it makes me doubt myself. I am using writing as a solution, to find hope – to cope up with this illness. There isn’t any good in romanticizing mental illness.” says Meghna telling how the idea of needing to holding pain to create art is just a misconception.
About Poetry Dialogue
Poetry Dialogue is a platform that promotes daily poetry for the accessibility of poems and publishing opportunities. Meghna tells that she created Poetry Dialogue to share what she feels about any poem. She says, “There are some moments when I read a poem and I feel like, wow, it is so beautiful and I want to talk about it with someone and that’s how it came. Through Poetry Dialogue, she, along with her friends, Nandani, Srishti, Ram, and Sonal are curating poems and will be announcing their podcast soon.
On the wholesome conversation with Meghna, all that we could make out was that she is an amazing artist and an equally amazing human being. Her zeal to create art and make it a reflection of who she is is what sounds the most authentic thing about her. Closing the session, she suggested the young writers should read extensively and to not fear rejections. She says, “send in your work for publishing, get accepted, rejected, but just fall into it and it is a beautiful experience.”
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