SONGSOPTOK: Do you think literature is really essential in our life? If so why? In your opinion, what is the true relationship between life and literature? What is your own experience? And how does this relationship relate to the general history of mankind?

YINA: Literature is extremely important for me because it carries knowledge embedded into stories, poems, fiction or any other type of reading. The stories cannot be found anywhere else, for literature is like traveling into lands unknown by just picking up a book, an article, a poem. It spreads the opinions, and consciousness around the world. It is like a universal way of spreading out ideas without really imposing them on anyone. The reader can either choose to like or pursue what he or she learned or not: it is simple. At the same time, life experiences and literature go hand and hand because they are based on each other and vice-versa. Writers often write based on beliefs or experience based.

SONGSOPTOK: We would like to know the beginning of the story, i.e. how your upbringing contributed to your own writing. Who were your favorite literary figures during the early period of your life? How they have paved your early routes in literature?

YINA: I grew up in New York- the Mecca of Culture per say. Also the fact that I am bilingual has really helped me pave the way and appreciate my heritage, language and culture; which has in turn helped evolve in my writings. I think the fact that I grew up constantly surrounded by other cultures and people from different races, religion and places in this world has made me have a profound appreciation for humanity in general, but most of individuality. Everyone is so unique, that it would be hard for me to pick a specific Literary figure: I can name so many. I will give you a few of the ones I have been reading lately: Isabel Allende, Ernest Hemingway, and Anais Nin.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you think that literature also bridges the human world with the Mother Nature? As well as with the present time of our surroundings?

YINA: I deeply believe that literature bridges the human world and Mother Nature, of course. Literature often times brings us to places and people we wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to encounter in real life; which totally brings any type of person, culture, and religion to the surface of a book and into the hands of many others in the world. The places where we read stories, where the stories take place, where the stories actually take us: all go hand-in-hand to involve Mother Nature and bring the geographic aspect full circle inside any book, article, or poetry.

SONGSOPTOK: What are the main events that you think are the major issues that have influenced present day literature?

YINA:I think that most atrocities going on right now in the world are the main characters and main themes for literature right now. There are so many: racism, other types of hate crimes like Genocides, wars and Governments being thrown out by people are also a few; Domestic Violence…… So many depressing, sad; yet meaningful causes that us as writers feel moved to put on full display in our work.

SONGSOPTOK:  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? 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

YINA: The access to information through technology has definitely increased and extended the views, and audiences for literature world-wide. I specifically remember having to go to the public library and having to search for books and it would take an enormous effort and time to gather all the information. Now, in a matter of seconds and a few clicks of a mouse, anyone has access to a plethora of information via the World Wide Web. This has changed the way writers search for information to write on, getting facts, and other pertaining pieces of information to get the job done. At the same time, this also facilitates our work to be seen and read by millions of people all over the world, something that before was not possible as fast as it is now. 

SONGSOPTOK: Now if we try to understand tradition and modernism in literature, do you think poetry can play a pivotal role relating the two? If so, how? What are your opinions about the role of the poet in bridging the gap, if any, between tradition and modernism?

YINA: I think poetry evolves like any piece of literature. It is like the way a story takes place in a book and how the characters change, grow, and evolve into new characters with new ideas, therefore new outcomes. Poetry is like a material that can be used, and re-used again and again. It can follow traditional literary rules, but also it can become free verse and not follow rules: when the words just flow freely. This is where the tradition meets modernism and praises freedom of inspiration, instead of being defined or labeled as one thing or another.

SONGSOPTOK: Do you think that society is the key factor in shaping you up as a writer. What about your own country? What is the influence of your country & your culture in your writing? Do you believe that all writers are by and large the product of their nationality?  Is it an incentive or an obstacle for becoming a truly international writer?

YINA: My home land of The Dominican Republic has had some influence in my writings definitely. Being born and always staying in touch with my family has inspired some pieces, as well as some of the opinions and character traits I claim as my own. I believe all writers are shaped and influenced by many factors: culture, place of birth or growing up, and personal experiences. As humans, we all either grow and evolve from our culture and experiences; or we may choose to stay stuck in those experiences and use the pain and heartache as the basis of our inspiration. Either way: it is a form of art however you choose to channel it in. I don’t see becoming an international writer as an obstacle nor an incentive: I believe it all boils down to freedom of expression. Art is an expression of feelings and experiences: whether it is in written or oral form.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you believe creative souls flourish more in turmoil than in peace? Why? Are you a protagonist of "art for art's sake"? Can you please present us with your point of view?

YINA: I believed I mentioned this in one of the other questions I was asked before: we all either thrive in peace and war, and it is up to us as artists and writers to use our experiences, either positive or negative to channel in our inspiration and write or plain old create. Art is an expression, creation flourishes anywhere, anytime: it flows freely. Creativity cannot be contained to a specific time, experience or label.

SONGSOPTOK:  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? And do you think poetry or literature can solve any problems in our everyday life? Why should we adhere to it?

YINA: I believe the way technology has given the average man access to so much information, that it can create a conflict because of all the choices there are out there. It’s like with small pre-school children: the more choices you give them, the more confused they get. I believe that poetry and literature can help in everyday life because they all carry a specific message that may help an individual at a pivotal point in his or her life. Literature and poetry can be the resonating message that a person’s intuition is trying to tell them and he or she is not really listening. As writers, we give voice to the messages some readers are not willing to pay attention to. 

SONGSOPTOK:  Are you a feminist? Can literature play any decisive role in feminism at all? What role can literature play to make our lives better on a day to day basis?

YINA: While a feminist is normally labeled as a person that believes in the political, economic and social equality of the sexes: I have to say that I, in part believe that, but in a much greater scale. I feel that we all should be equal no matter the sex, sexual preference, race, religion, and culture. We are all made in the image of the Divine, God, Allah, and Jehovah, whomever you choose as your deity being. Literature plays a great part in diffusing messages like this and spreading them around the world: creating consciousness, awareness and sensitivity.

SONGSOPTOK: Now if we want to look ahead, do you think that there is an oncoming crisis for literature in general? Will it bring new dimensions in our life ahead? Or do you think that the future of literature is not as bright as it should be?

YINA:I think the future of literature is a bright and a successful one. We have so many different avenues to choose from and many more places to obtain information from that it will be become like an open forum for everyone to share his or her creative ideas with the world.

YINA ROJAS: I am an ever changing and adaptable being in a world that needs the message my poetry brings. I am a Mother of three beautiful children, and I enjoy the company of my friends and family. I am as open minded as I can be….. without my brain falling out of my head! Thank you for allowing me the honor to participate and contribute to the Creative World Community!

We sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.
Aparajita Sen



No comments:

Blogger Widgets
Powered by Blogger.