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This blog was featured on 05/13/2019
An Exclusive Interview with Devi S. Laskar
Written by
She Writes
May 2019
Written by
She Writes
May 2019

This month we are getting to know The Atlas of Reds and Blues author, and this month's guest editor, Devi S. Laskar. Learn more about her writing routine, advice for aspiring authors and who inspires her in this exclusive interview. 

Describe your writing routine.

Well, I’m a poet and a prose writer. And I used to be a newspaper reporter. I do well when given a deadline. When I know I’m writing a poem I write it (longhand) anywhere – restaurant, coffee shop, carpool line. If I know I’m writing a longer piece, then I must be parked at my desk, sitting in front of the computer in the mornings. These past several months as I was editing The Atlas of Reds and Blues, I did my work at home sitting at my desk.

What was the first/worst job you ever had before becoming an author?

Although I’ve had a lot of boring awful jobs before I became a reporter, I look back at my first paid employment with nostalgia. I was gainfully employed at Burger King next to the university where I had just entered as a freshman. 1984. I often closed the joint, which means I was often working until 2 a.m. I started that job by washing dishes, then learned to make French fries and then graduated to making the various sandwiches and burgers. After a couple of months, I began working as a cashier. I got a crash course in the humanities those four months I worked there: I saw people at their best and worst, my peers as well as the customers.

When was the moment you started to feel like a writer?

I first called myself a poet when my first chapbook was published in 2017.

What is the number one piece of advice you'd give to aspiring authors?

Writing is a practice. Be persistent. This means you have to write and/or think about your stories or poems every day – especially on days you’re super busy and don’t have time. Every person I know who is published writes every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Who inspires you?

Poets inspire me. I’ve had the great honor and privilege of working with many phenomenal poets over the years – and it’s been illuminating each and every time. I was most influenced by my poetry professor in graduate school, Lucille Clifton. She was a powerful poet and an amazing teacher, and also a friend to me. It’s been a quarter-century since I first met her and I still follow most of her suggestions for crafting and editing my work regardless of genre.

Why is it important for women to tell their stories?

It’s essential for women to tell their stories because, historically, we’ve been silenced and forgotten.

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