Sweta Srivastava Vikram is an author, poet, writer, blogger, and marketing professional living in New York City. Born in India, Sweta spent her formative years between the blue waters of Libya and the green hills of Mussoorie, before arriving in bustling New York. She realized her penchant for writing at a very early age when she became the chief-editor of her boarding school’s publication. In 2008, her first book of poetry, Pabulum, was published. Pabulum is a journey through Sweta’s emotions and reveals her opinions based on her experiences. In March 2009, Mirage Books published one of Sweta’s stories as part of a short stories collection, Inner Voices. She is a graduate of Columbia University in New York. Vikram is a part of South Asian Womens’ Creative Collective. She also serves on the board of DesiLit and is a part of the effort to make South Asian poetry a phenomenon in New York/New Jersey. She is seen at poetry readings in New York City.
By Sweta Srivastava Vikram
My soul is searching for peace
Wonder where it is.
A magic that will cease the agony within
As I look for reflection of nirvana in my mental valise.
The caprices of emotion
Transcend beyond momentary ecstasy or tribulation.
Materialism is not the answer
My soul is searching for elixir of life.
Conversation with the author:
What is the inspiration behind your work?
My nonfiction pieces and personal essays are an extension of my personal life; my poems and fiction pieces are thoughts and ideas influenced by the project requirement and own experience – both on a subconscious and conscious level; and my blog posts are mostly philosophical opinion pieces on culture, philosophy, arts. Key inspiration: Life, my personal experiences, emotions at a certain time and point, the flavors of the world altogether, subject matter at hand, and deadlines. It would be unfair if I didn’t give NYC the due credit.
Tell us about your creative journey? Did you receive any formal training?
I started writing at a very young age. As a child, I knew I wanted my name on the cover of a book. I didn’t know what it would take or how I would get there, but I had this dream to be a published author. My father is a prolific poet, so I have his genes to thank for—as the root of my creative journey. I have always enjoyed words and writing has been an ever-evolving journey. When I reflect upon my first book of poetry, Pabulum, I feel I have learned a lot from it. I know my style and voice have taken a different turn and maturity after it. I guess each piece has been a learning experience in its own way, but the core hasn’t changed - my untainted relationship with words. As for formal training, I take workshops often to hone my skills and work with peers and receive their feedback, which I value extremely. Aside from that I have a Master’s degree in Communications from Columbia University.
Describe your style?
I don’t think I have one particular, defined style of writing. I feel comfortable experimenting with different styles and genres. The tone differs and depends on the project. I like to experiment with words without making them sound pretentious. These days I am focused on Haiku and other traditional forms of poetry because they encapsulate the essence of my current project.
What would you consider your biggest success?
The publication of my first book of poetry, Pabulum. The book is a journey through my emotions and reveals opinions based on my own experience. The book, true to its name, was written for the common man—people who enjoy rhyme, humor, simple words, and philosophy but do not have the time or inclination to decipher the hidden meanings behind the poem.
How has your work been received by the world and what is next for you?
Thank God, so far so good. I realized a long time ago that I cannot control the reaction to my work, so I put in my best effort out there (along with my prayers) and hope people appreciate it. As a wise person once said: “You can please some people all the time; all people some of the time; but, you can never please all the people all the time.”
I am working on some personal essays and collection of poems at the moment.
Links to the poet: