Suzanne Nielsen's I Thought You Should Know is now out and available for shipping. As ever, it has been great working with her. Suzanne's poems in ITYSK are a lot different from her earlier work.
Next from So'ham is River of Light, a first book of inspirational prose, poetry and artwork by Jasmine Kang, a young poetess. Hers is simple work, but touching in its own way. So'ham Books spoke to Jasmine recently about her work, inspiration and background. Read the interview below.
S.B.: Tell us something about your background, work and family. At what age did you start penning poetry? How did it all begin?
J.K.: I come from a Punjabi Indian family. I graduated from San Jose State University with a B.S. in Business Administration/Management and a minor in Humanities. Since then, I have worked in the high tech industry. On the side, I like working on creative projects with my art and writing. I started writing poetry around age 11 when I began exploring spirituality. Writing is an escape. It's a beautiful feeling to be able to pour your thoughts on paper and express yourself, your dreams and reflections.
S.B.: What do you think are the defining traits of your poems?
J.K.: I think the defining traits of my poems are discovery, experience, realization and the beauty and love of life in all its aspects (what we see, feel, desire). Each poem tells a story, but at the same time connects with the other poems.
S.B.: What poets do you enjoy reading? What sort of fiction do you usually read? Who are your literary idols?
J.K.: For poetry, I like the works of Rumi, Hafiz, Meerabai, Rabindranath Tagore, Kahlil Gibran and Michael Jackson. For fiction, I tend to read whatever catches my attention. My favorite books are Dancing the Dream, Many Lives, Many Masters and Only Love is Real.
S.B.: Tell us something about your Indian connection.
J.K.: My family is from Punjab, India. I took birth in California, but have visited India a number of times.
S.B.: How did River of Light come about? What period of your life does it embody poems from?
J.K.: I always wanted to do something like this, to be able to share my thoughts and feelings about life and our connection to it with others. Through our thoughts and experiences, we can enrich each other and my hope is to do the same with this. River of Light is an inspirational collection of early and new poems, prose and stories that all connect with each other telling a story of a dreamer and poet, but it's not just about the poet and what she sees or feels, it's universal. The work came about through my reflections through the years.
S.B: River of Light also embodies your sketches? Tell us more about them.
J.K.: The sketches capture the dreamer and poet of River of Light and celebrate what life has to offer through what she sees and has to share. The flower signifies the gift and beauty of life, the heart of River of Light.
S.B.: Where could readers find more information about your work? Do you blog?
J.K.: I have a website, www.moonshinegarden.com.