I spoke with featured poet, Mohsen Harandi, about his poetic influences and the writing process.
LF: Who are some of your favorite poetic influences?
MH: Hafez, Rumi and Saadi have captured my heart and soul from childhood.
LF: What are you working on now?
MH: I am participating in a number of events and local TV programs to promote "Midnight Connections". This is all new to me and interesting.
LF: Could you describe your creative process for writing poetry as opposed to story writing?
MH: My poems mostly come to me in the middle of night when I am asleep. When I am awake, I have learned to focus deeply and intensely on the subject which at times rewards me with a poem. I write more and better poems if I meet interesting people, see exceptionally beautiful scenes, fly or read/hear a great poem.
LF: Do you remember writing your first poem?
MH: My first poem was in Farsi when I was around 16 years old.
LF: Why is poetry important in the world?
MH: Poetry is a delicious food for our starving souls and a bridge between the cultures. Often we get dissolved in details of our day to day distractions. Poems take us from self observance to the big picture to help us see with a lens that magnifies beauty, harmony and wisdom.
LF: What do you hope readers take away from your poems?
MH: My poems are greatly influenced by the famous Persian poets and philosophers. I hope I am providing original English and modern poems that reflect some of the Persian poems' teachings engrained in me.