Interview with the author
Anca Mihaela Bruma
15th June 2015
S: Why literature or poetry in specific interests you so much? Do you think literature or poetry is really essential in our life? If so why?
Anca: Poetry is the language which can say more and more intensively than any other language implied in other literary pursuits. It is like a multi-dimensional, involving the readers’ sense, emotions and intelligence. There were poems which literally changed my perspective upon life, and some of them have like hidden secrets which need to be unlocked. For me poetry is important as it has that fire in the person’s life, changing it alchemically, bring new realms to it, through its powers and rhythms indeed breaking the conscious mind helping it to awaken and nourish it as well, as if it honours both the known and the unknown in us and the world itself. Personally for me, poetry is an act of existential leap, illuminating our life even bringing new breath into it. When I write I like to galvanize the readers’ attention, shaking and awakening them. With my poetry it is as if I become more human, more fully engaged with the world.
S: How do you relate your own self existence with your literary life in one hand, and the time around you, in the other. Do you think society as a whole, is the key factor in shaping you up as a poet, or your poetry altogether? Or is your poetical journey is actually a spiritual extension of your whole individuality?
Anca: For me poetry is a process of self-discovery, the plateau where strong emotions are intensely expressed, explored and explicated, it is a process of cognitive and emotional insights. My writings are my own spiritual autobiography, the stages of my own development, as a thinker and feeler. Projecting it outside I hope to awaken in others deeper realities of life within themselves. I am a true believer in the power of the words and the mystery of unlocking latent realities, universes, thought, emotions. It is supposed to elevate and enrich their lives as well!
I have decided to start writing again in 2014 after many years of not writing, and it came to me like an “explosion”. It is as if the pen “writes” me not the other way around – and I just know, all these years of crystallization came into fruit right now, in a concentrated manner full of hidden meanings and layers after layers.
Society is a key factor, in my case when I was only 9 years I registered for an art group, where I was taught the art of poetry. Later on, my studies in art, as well supported this path. A society which believes and fully supports art plays a major role in the development of an individual.
S: Do you believe creative souls flourish more in turmoil than in peace? In recent history, your motherland Romania had gone through a rough transitional phase of converting the socio - economic and political system from communism to capitalism. Can you elaborate your own views upon this issue, how do these historical changes actually affect the literature of a land.
Anca: During Communism many authors were subservient to the regime, and that was exploiting the literature for its own ends. However, there are numbers of authors who challenged the censorship of the regime. Nothing what happened during a totalitarian regime was natural, everything became like a response, defence, a desperate reaction for survival. School of poetry was turned into a propaganda tool in order to achieve ideological claims and false utopian world.
The post-communism literature gained different connotations, it is meant to express a new rebirth of individuality, it was a tool to express the truth to the world, to understand the vital value for the freedom, of speech and action. A new literary identity is formed after the chaos created by the communism, an identity which chooses to express the grief, torment, loss of its uniqueness, the right to deny censorship or any form of limitation or repression. Poetry after 1989 is characterised by an explosion life, and intense awareness of it, accentuating on the self-discovery and removal of the cultural desert and lack of freedom.
S: Would you like to share with us the literary scenario of your motherland?
Anca: Romanian early literature was characterized very much by historical one, with lots of chronicles. 18th century is the awakening time for Romanian literature, plenty of writers developed their skills while in France and being in tune with the literary movements in France that time. Romanians was at that time quite “pregnant” with many writers, however the greatest Romanian writer is considered, even nowadays, Mihai Eminescu, due to its philosophical approach. He opened the gates for the modern literature. The period between world war and after the war, knew a time of great ascension with great authors, followed by a descending curved marked by the propaganda style of writing during communism time, which lasted for 40 years. After the Revolution in 1989, and removal of communism Romania knows a new ascending curve, where the expression of freedom in all its forms marks the writings of most of the authors.
S: What are the challenges one has to face to switch over in a foreign language for her literary work? How do you feel to write in an adapted language like English?
Anca: Speaking two languages can be challenging because sometimes I must direct attention to one language while suppressing interference from the other. Brains of bilingual people automatically activate both languages even in the contexts where only one is relevant. However, when I write in English I always keep the Romanian lyricism, which is so specific to our land. In fact, it is very well know Romanian poetry is quite hard poetry to be translated due to its high level of lyrical subtleties.
S: Do you think in this age of information and technology the dimensions of literature has largely been extended beyond our preconceived ideas about literature in general?
Anca: The digital medium has provided the basis for multi-mediality and every day we learn how we can manipulate in new ways the information. The transformation done by the web is multi-dimensional, it changes the objects of study and in the same time the subject who studies it. The changes in time will become grater, as technology is very fast evolving, and of course with it all other fields. Accessibility and convenience are top priority benefits.
S: Now in this changing scenario we would like to know from your own life experiences as a poet, writer and a creative soul; how do you respond to this present time? Do you think people in general actually bother about literature in general? Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature? I mean the serious literature.
Anca: My type of writing is not the one which keeps the pulse of society or the world in general, even though the themes I approach, Love and Life are general ones I see them from philosophical, mystical point. And for me this is everlasting. I cannot label myself a social type of writer, but rather “sensually mystic” or mystically sensual” type of writer. This is my pen trademark, the one with which I feel in tune with.
Society still cares for literature, not as before, internet nowadays somehow replaced this pleasure. And yes, I do believe consumerism takes away the quality of good literature.
S: Do you believe all writers are by and large the product of their nationality? And what are the factors which pay dividends and which become obstacles for your ultimate growth as an international writer even beyond your time?
Anca: We are all the “products” of our own nationalities, no doubt about it. It is in our DNA, carrying our own ancestors’ heritage. Each of the nationality carries its own history which of course impacts on each individual, shaping him/her. Even if I write in a language which is not my mother tongue, I do carry my own language characteristics, a very specific poetic lyricism particular in my part of the world. That makes the approach being different, even enticing for many.
I do not believe there is any obstacle for growth as international writer, if so far you have a strong message out there, you will always find an audience which resonates with your own style, approach, view about things.
S: We would like to know the factors and the peoples who have influenced you immensely in the growing phase of your literary life. How do you evaluate your contemporaries and what are your aspirations from the younger generation?
Anca: In terms of poetry writing, there is an interesting curve in my writing “career”. At initial stage, just a teenager, I was very much influenced by Romanticism, Realism, Symbolism, Avant-garde, followed in my university times by Existentialism, Surrealism, Transcendentalism. Poets and writers influenced me in my own literary development as well approach of life. Just to mention some at that time: Dostoevsky, Camus, Kafka, William Blake, Umberto Eco, Leo Tolstoy, Emily Bronte, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, TS Eliot, Plato, Henri Bergson, Jean Paul Sartre, Victor Hugo, Paul Verlaine, Carl Jung, Immanuel Kant, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Henry David Thoreau and so on.
Since early age, I have always viewed writing poetry as the perfect medium which is able to depict profound unfathomable complexities of someone’s life or life itself, to render into words that which is unsayable, that ineffable, which can be truly deeper than the language itself. Through my writings, as well years of readings, I always looked to seek something beyond that which was apparent to others! I was fascinated to see how different aspects of truth were transfigured by different emotions, how experiences were poetized. I pursued seeing beauty expressed in all forms of art, not just poetry; creating a “thirst” within me to explore more and more for the knowledge of the mystery beneath and beyond it, as a symbol of something greater and higher with its own power to immortalize the expressions over the years.
During this exploration a huge impact on me had as well the Oriental philosophies, like Taoism, Zen, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Sufism, Buddhism and so on, and all these perspectives about life made a huge impact on me and the way I approach writing nowadays. The time I did not write, for many years, it was the perfect time for me to incubate and crystallize all these knew knowledge, together with my own experiences in order to have my own signature in my own writings.
My aspiration for the younger generation is simple: to READ more!
S: In this patriarchal society do you think, as a woman you need more free breathing space to uphold your own personality and liberty? In this regard we would like to know your own views about present day feminism. Would you like to be addressed as a feminist?
Anca: I consider my writings as a tool for women to claim their own feminine powers. My writings try to overpass what seems to be the humans’ limitations but emphasizing the essence of a woman, of the Goddess. The main theme, Love, is basically presented as a transformative experience in life, the energizing force of the Universe and empowering the creative feminine.
As a writer I may not come across as feminist as more as a sensually mystic writer. Even though I am a strong believer of gender equality, with the same civil rights and liberties, this is not the approach I have when I write, pleading for human equality but rather a more wakeup call addressed to women to reclaim their feminine powers for themselves, to become stronger, loveable, therefore a better woman in society. It is a call not to prove to others who they are but for themselves.
S: Humanity has suffered immensely in past, is still suffering around the world. We all know it well. But are you hopeful about our future? What role can literature in general play to bring a better day for every human being? In your own words!
Anca: My mission as a writer is to heal, awaken, inspire for a better world. If all are sending out beautiful messages of hope and joy, the world will become a better place to live. Us, the authors are like sacred keepers of the words, whatever we send out there shall be full of hope, joy and inspirational guidance.
I see the act of writing as an existential leap, delivering people from the habitually or conventionally established world into new horizons of the spirit, and that brings a breakthrough in one’s overall consciousness.
All spiritual traditions teach us about the Power of the Word, and how life changer can be, affecting us and others, ability to change minds and lives forever. As words, thus poetry, have creating force of healing, awakening us from a deep quotidian sleep!
For me, a good poetry is like a magical spell, which carries power, color, vibration, intent, magnetically charged. Us, the poets, are the alchemists, transforming the emotions, mostly through katharsis, into poetic “spellbinding”. Saying that, we ARE responsible for the words, the ars poetica we deliver to the World and we should consciously choose to cultivate the literature’s curative powers! Using the Art of Words it is as if we practice Magic, and with this, altering the World and shifting its state of consciousness. I am a believer that us, the writers, can bring change and challenge through poetic consciousness!
S: Many thanks ANCA for spending such a wonderful time with us, we would like to conclude this interview with a personal note, are you satisfied about your own achievements in your life? What are your plans for future?
Anca: Thank you! My “achievements” are my own personal developments. Over the years I have added so many different flavors to my own persona, growing, expanding and hopefully becoming a better person. In sense of writing I have only one dream: that my writings indeed will bring power to heal and awaken others. Making a better world! This is my greatest mission!
Short bio: My name is Anca Mihaela Bruma, I am Romanian living in Dubai/UAE. My love for poetry started when I was just 9 years old, when I registered myself to some creative poetry writing group. It was a turning point for me as I started to discover the mysteries of the written word and its impact on the readers. I was just 6 years old when I registered myself at a public library, being fascinated by the readings. The passion for reading, composing and reciting the written words was extended to choosing the first degree, a BA in English and Romanian Philology. While a teenager, I was published in various journals of poetry.
The first paradigm shift started when I started teaching when I was just 22 years old, I discovered the vocation for educating and forming people, developing their latent skills, make them outshine. At that time I knew, I am not just a creator of my own subjective universe, as well helping and guiding others to find and refine their own skills, potential, with care, empathy, wisdom. I think this path was also sustained by the fact that from my father’s side, all are teachers, professors, so I may say I have a genetic inheritance when it comes to guiding, supporting, educating others.
I had always the personality of an explorer of uncharted territories of the mind and of the soul. At tangible level, I knew I needed to face the world, so after 2 years of teaching in Romania I decided to “conquer” the world. If in Romania I learned knowledge, the challenges I faced outside my country, guided me more into the wisdom side, the understanding at much subtle level others, their philosophy about their lives, and I incorporated many of those in my own personal development.
Another paradigm shift happened when I decided, after 2 years in Dubai, to go for further studies, this time for business. I have decided to pursue at that time a business career, due to my practical and analytical approach to life as well. I studied my master degrees in Australia, Melbourne, and my creative side helped me to have the guts which are required in business, to see beyond the intangible, beyond the apparent.
For couple of years I taught Business subjects, in Dubai, in various universities and colleges, the pathos for guiding was there all the time. In time I decided to go for coaching, training approach, as well consultancy.
Another huge paradigm shift happened when I decided to approach my own writings, from the outward expression to a more inner world expression, as a poetic description of elevating experiences, which marked vitally my life, as human as well as poet, and nowadays through my own expression I guess I am trying to awaken in others the deep realities of life within themselves. “All knowledge is recollection” Plato said, and it is my own legacy right now.
When I write, I see it like a vision, or like a painting in front of my eyes, and I use lots of symbolism and allegory in order to apprehend the infinite intelligence, catching the reflections of truth with a strong mystic sense of infinity, of the boundless, of the opening out of the world of our normal finite expressions into the transcendental.
For me writing now it is more related with the realization of the greater self, beyond the mundane and well known laws of the society, as an expression of both the rational and the intuitive, in a concise form of poetry, increasing the awareness with new meanings expanded.
From the classics to the transcendental thinkers, all influenced me, and I have a holistic approach when I express myself through writings.
I will like to conclude with one of my favorite quote, which encompasses as well my view upon life, clearly seen as well in my poems: “There is true knowledge. Learn thou it is this/To see one changeless Life in all the Lives,/And in the Separate, One Inseparable” (The Bhagavad Gita, Book 18).
Anca Mihaela Bruma recitals, videos & poems here:
Soundcloud (recitals): https://soundcloud.com/
Yourlisten (recitals): http://yourlisten.com/
Youtube (video poetry with recitals): https://www.youtube.com/
Facebook (artist page): https://www.facebook.com/