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‘My poems are like stars, one can find patterns in them’

Shobhna Aggarwal, Apeejay School, Mahavir Marg student says she is grateful for the love her book Stargazing has received from all quarters

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A 17-year-old poet Shobhna Aggarwal has a metaphysical understanding of art. She named her book Stargazing for she believes that her poems are like stars and the reader can find patterns in her poems like one finds constellations in the sky. In an exclusive interview, the class 12 student at Apeejay School, Mahavir Marg speaks about the experience of publishing her book as well as shares her feelings after receiving the 21st Century Emily Dickinson award. Edited excerpts: 

Tell us about your book? How many poems does it have?

My book is an anthology, a collection of 21 poems. It does not have a particular theme but most of the poems are on the theme of love and death. When I was writing these poems, I wrote what was on my mind. And so, it must be that these themes inspired me a lot to create art. 

What is the story behind the book’s title: Stargazing?

Well, I had this idea that when we look at the stars, we make patterns or find constellations. Similarly, all my poems are stars and the readers can have their own interpretations and make their own patterns. Hence, the title Stargazing.

How did you go about the publishing process?

Initially, I was not interested in publishing my poems. I used to feel that the poems I write are just for myself. But my mother wanted me to publish my poems, so that my work gets an exposure to a wider audience. Then I came across Bookleaf Publishing house on the internet and I participated in their 21-day poem challenge. I submitted a poem every day for the period of 21 days. And I got selected among the participants and my poems came out in the form of a book.

You also recently received the Emily Dickinson Poetry award. Your thoughts?

Bookleaf Publishing House had this criteria that out of all the books published as a part of the 21-day challenge contest, they would select a few poets who wrote the best poems. So, my name was nominated for it. I received a trophy as the award.

Is the book a commercial venture or an act of passion?

I don’t have any commercial intent behind the book as of now. It is simply passion. But maybe, in the future I’ll pursue it commercially. I do not know if I will make writing my main profession, but I know I will continue to write always. 

How did your school help you to become a published author?

I got an adorable reaction from my school. All my teachers were so exhilarated when they saw my book. They were really happy for me to have a book at such a young age.

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]

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