Carl: This morning I had the pleasure of interviewing Sushant Thapa, a Nepalese poet for you, our readers of ILA Magazine. First, I will introduce him to you through his biography, which is very impressive. Afterwards, I asked him a few questions, to acquaint ourselves better with him.
Sushant Thapa (26 February 1993) holds a Master's degree in English literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He is a Nepalese poet from Biratnagar, Nepal, and is the author of three poetry collections, "The Poetic Burden and Other Poems" published by Authors Press, New Delhi, India, in 2020; "Abstraction and Other Poems" published by Impspired in 2021 from United Kingdom and "Minutes of Merit" published by Haoajan in 2021 from Kolkata, India. His English poems are featured in Trouvaille Review, Litehouse Exophonic Magazine (Portugal), International Times (United Kingdom), New York Parrot (New York, USA), My Republic (Kathmandu, Nepal), The Kathmandu Post (Kathmandu, Nepal), which is a print national newspaper of Nepal, Sahitto Bilingual Literary Magazine (Bangladesh), Indian Periodical (India), Ponder Savant (California, USA), Grey Thoughts (New Jersey, USA), The Gurkha Times (Kathmandu, Nepal), Sahitya Post (Kathmandu, Nepal), Atunis Poetry (Belgium), EKL Review (India), Harbinger Asylum (USA), Dumpster Fire Press (USA), Impspired Magazine (UK), Singh Courier (Pakistan), Aksharang (Lalitpur, Nepal), Kabita Minar (Odisha, India), Suryodaya Literary Foundation (India), Visible Magazine, WILLIWASH (Nigeria), The Beatnik Cowboy (South Dakota, USA), Literary Yard, Synchronized Chaos Journal (San Lorenzo, California, USA), Vscorpiozine's Blog (USA), Medusa's Kitchen, The Dope Fiend Daily, As It Ought To Be Magazine (USA), The Kolkata Arts (India), Dissident Voice, Different Truths (Bangalore, India), Pratik Magazine (It is a print magazine published from Nirala Publications), Journal of Expressive Writing (Cambridge, USA) and ILA Magazine (USA). Four English poems written by Sushant have been translated into Uzbek (the language of Uzbekistan) by Sherzod Artikov and published in the online literary magazine, Nodirabegim of Uzbekistan. Sushant has also been anthologized in English poetry collections, like Pandemic Poetry 2020, An Anthology of Poetry for Children, Hunger Anthology, Poetry Conclave Anthology and Whispers of Soflay anthology from Mexico. Two of Sushant's poems has appeared in The Literary Parrot Anthology I and II published by Transcendent Zero Press and New York Parrot, New York, USA. One of his poems entitled "Festivities" has been included in schoolbooks utilized to teach English to Grade 6 students in Nepal. Sushant has also written and published Flash Fictions and Short stories from Kitaab and Borderless Journal. His three poems were translated in Latin American Spanish Language and published in the Magazine Trinando of Mexico. Sushant has also published Book Reviews in the Nepalese government-owned English newspaper: The Rising Nepal Sushant was a first place winner in an essay competition organized by Nepalese Students Association Delhi University, New Delhi, India.
Professionally, Sushant is a faculty member of Business English and he teaches Bachelor's level students of BBA and BIT at Nepal Business College, Biratnagar, Nepal. Sushant has also translated a poetry collection of poet, Kamal Dhungana of Nepal, from Nepali to English. The collection was recently published in New Delhi from Authorspress. Previously, Sushant had translated an Uzbek story in English to Nepali and published it online from Kathmandu, Nepal. The story was originally written by SHERZOD ARTIKOV.
Carl: Good morning, Sushant, and thank you for your time today. My first question is, if you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Sushant: Writing is an art and it needs passion, and more than that, it needs continuity. As a young writer, I strive for being more literary, be it learning new literary words. I would want to manage my time for writing. I want to read more books and fuel my writing passion. Over the years, I have managed to write daily and express myself more clearly. Learning never ends in the writing journey. I am open to suggestions from editors and fellow writers regarding my writing. If I were to tell my younger self anything, the first thing would be to maintain continuity in writing. I have managed to publish my works in different platforms and publish books. It has been a worthy journey. I have tried to modify my writing style for clarity. I want to work more on my writing and maintain continuity.
Carl: Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Sushant: Writing elevates people from their normal understanding and perception of life. it raises the perception and understanding. There is more consciousness in writing. If one can find peace in writing it is spiritual. The piousness in writing is attractive. The art of writing is a liberation. Writing should not create differences and it should not misguide. Writing should be used for healing or betterment. There is definitely a spiritual side to writing. Especially, poems have spiritual elements, they can tell a lot in short. I believe that the healing process of writing is spiritual.
Carl: What is the most difficult part of the writing process? Sushant: I think editing is the most difficult part of the writing process. Successful writers are good editors. To be able to find errors in one's own writing and to correct it is an art. It takes knowledge and skills. It is easy to get words on pages, but ending is difficult. One has to be careful especially while writing stories because they demand more clarity and coherence. Peer editing is the best way to rectify one's error.
Carl: Who is your favorite poet and why?
Sushant: My favorite poet is Dylan Thomas because his writings inspire me. I have read his collected poems, they are not difficult to understand. He has a poem about raging against the death of the light. The poem is titled, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." Another famous poem by Dylan Thomas is "Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines." The first poem has an element of oldness. It sounds as if it has been written many centuries ago, yet the poem is fresh. Thomas uses words and they sound so alive, even when they are abstract or not real. For instance, the title of the poem "Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines," is abstract because in reality when the sun does not shine, light cannot break in. There is magic in the way Dylan Thomas uses his words to make them alive and real.
Carl: What does literary success look like for you?
Sushant: For me, literary success is being published in various platforms. I have learned to express myself, and rejections have also taught me to be clearer in my writing. They have taught me to edit my writing more properly. I love the feedbacks which very few editors provide. Being more creative is my goal of writing. Writing new poems every day is also an experimentation. I love the creative journey which is my passion. I want to be passionate for writing every single day. That is also the measure of my success.
Carl: My final question is what do you like best about the ILA Group and magazine? Sushant: I love the way ILA creates writing prompts. Genre specific writing prompts helps us to know about literature more closely. I loved the recent challenge in the group which was of Ghazal. ILA defined what Ghazal is with examples and then asked submissions from writers. It is informative as well as creative. ILA Magazine is quick in response. When I submitted my poem first time to ILA Magazine, I was overwhelmed by the quick response from the editor.
Carl: Thank you, Sushant. I was so happy to meet and talk to you today and our ILA readers and I wish you great success in the future.
Photo of Sushant Thapa:
Carl Scharwath is from the sunshine state of Florida. He is the Art Editor of Minute Magazine and a Contributing Editor at ILA Magazine. His work has appeared globally, with 150+ journals, selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, art/photography, and most recently, plays. He is the author of four books.