“Finding the courage to share your voice: A personal interview with poet Arya. A”

Arya. A, the author of the poetry collection “An Open Letter to Shyness and Other Poems,” has always struggled with her identity as a shy kid in a competitive world. Her poetry mainly deals with her hatred of being shy, which then metamorphoses into accepting her identity. She realises that being yourself is tough, especially when that means being quiet. But that doesn’t stop her from accepting herself. She completed her post-graduation in English Literature, and after that, she juggled around with some careers. But she always felt she didn’t fit in. She chose writing because words heal. Click on the link below to grab a copy of the book:


Let’s immerse ourselves in the author’s inspirations and views about the reason behind her poetry collection and get a glimpse into what she can offer.

  1. What inspired you to write “An Open Letter to Shyness and Other Poems”? What do you wish to convey through this book?

One day, while browsing, I came across a ted talk by Susan Cain, and I immediately felt I could connect and relate to everything she said. I am a shy and quiet kid, and I used to hate myself for that. I believed I had no place in this world, I was always too scared, and opportunities seemed to fly by me. As I mentioned in my poem, “Self-hatred became a hobby”. At this time, I saw Susan Cain’s video, and I felt so happy to be represented and understood. That I was not completely alone, I wrote this poetry collection for those like me.

2) Mention one incident that inspired you to write the poem “An Open Letter to Shyness.”?

My friend and I went to my classmate’s wedding function, and the videographer told the bride’s friends to dance as she entered. Everyone around me started to dance, but I was rooted to the spot. Deep inside, I wanted to dance, but my body won’t move. I envied those who could dance so freely, but I was self-conscious and shy. That day, I went home and wrote this poem on my phone’s notepad. There are several such incidents which made me write. But I always keep all my poems and scribblings behind my phone’s pad because I feared putting them out there. I was scared of criticism, so I hid everything.

3) What made you take the step to publish now?

My best friend, Anakha, was the one who first introduced me to the idea of publishing a book. Ever since she came forward with a story idea to write about vampires, I believed it was possible. Then I saw the poetry publishing challenge by Bookleaf Publishing and decided to try it. I took out all the hidden poems and put them out there. I remembered the excitement I felt when I got the mail that my book had been published. I realised books and writing are my true calling.

4)Is there any other message you want to tell your readers?

The message is to accept yourself, even when you feel hatred. If you don’t love and accept yourself, then who will? And do the things which bring you joy, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You can be happy that you tried. I want to reach out to as many people as possible and build a sense of solidarity so you won’t be trapped in the dark thoughts consumed whole. 

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