Contributor Spotlight: Christa Pandey

“Loneliness,” “A Dream,” and “Colorless Green” by Christa Pandey appeared in Issue 11 and can be read here.

Christa Pandey

Tell us a little about these poems.

All three pieces are atypical for me. They have a dreamier quality than my other work. The dream poem is based on a real dream that hit me as so strange that I wanted to capture it. But looking at it from a distance I know that it was wrestling with issues of selfhood, which have concerned me for a long time.

What was the most difficult part of these pieces?

Shaping this bizarre dream into a piece that my critique group would understand.

Recommend a book for us which was published within the last decade.

This is a difficult choice, but I most recently read one in which I felt more at home than in most other books. It may strike you as strange, but some of my work deals with the spiritual aspects of life and this is where this book fits. It was a serendipitous discovery as it was offered as a biddable item in a poetry fest fund raiser(Poetry@Round Top, TX). The title: “American Psalm, World Psalm” by Nicholas Samaras.

If you could have a drink with any living author, who would it be? Why?

This offer is less enticing than you think, as I rarely drink and would want to have a clear mind when I meet a fine author. But I would like to meet Nicholas Samaras or take a workshop from him. Through Poetry@Round top I have met and been in workshops with numerous renowned poets. But with him I felt a wavelength I have rarely felt with any author.

What are you working on now? What’s next?

I started some poems inspired by the Gospel of Thomas, but I am a bit stuck there. The Election Season has spawned numerous poems of witness. At the moment I am rereading the Upanishads (in a translation by Eknath Easwaran) and find much to ponder there for future poems. A few years ago I compiled a chapbook, called “Hummingbird Wings,” based on the readings of the Bhagavad Gita and some Buddhist readings, so this may become a follow-up chapbook eventually.

Our thanks to Christa for taking the time to answer a few questions and share his work. Read “Loneliness,” “A Dream,” and “Colorless Green” here: www.sequestrum.org/poetry-by-christa-pandey.

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Christa Pandey is a widely published Austin poet. She came to poetry relatively late in life after migrating and moving around with her husband of now 49 years and trying her hand at academic degrees. Her poetry is flavored by the cultures that make up her life (German, Indian, American) and the social issues pertaining to her world. Her poems can be found in numerous anthologies and journals. She has collected three chapbooks: Southern Seasons, Maya, and Hummingbird Wings. In 2015 she was surprised by a Pushcart nomination.