BHS senior and author Sidra Afzal speaks about her newly self-published book, Wildflowers, available for checkout at the BHS library.
What inspired you to write Wildflowers?
This book is composed of art, poetry and prose that I had posted on my Instagram starting August 2016. The long term goal in mind was always to compile my posts into a book. In fact, I’ve wanted to be an author since grade 1!
What made you choose to combine your poetry with artwork?
Well I’m an artist too, and drawing as well as poetry is [a] medium of therapy and relaxing. I love turning my poetry alive through my art. Art is poetry and poetry is art; they hold hands more tightly than infatuated lovers. Moreover, the art itself gives a new perspective to the poetry and allows the reader to interpret in any way they can. It’s magic.
Can you share with our readers a little about the steps involved in self-publishing the book?
The self-publishing process isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Doing it is for the first time, I faced many obstacles and hurdles and little tasks I never thought of. Whether it be organizing my poetry into distinct chapters and coming up with titles, or picking a font for my title, it was definitely a time consuming process, but extremely worth it.
How would you describe your writing style?
My writing style varies depending on my mood, my emotions, and the situation. Sometimes I may sit down and write down ballads, or deliver powerful impacts through short verses like, “you broke me so you could shape me better, but i’m not your mosaic.” Writing and poetry are my passions and in my eyes, they are the art of weaving magic and tragic seamlessly into a patchwork of stories and memories struggling desperately to stay alive.
I noted that you chose to divide your book into quadrants–Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. Can you explain the thought process behind each of these sections?
As a poet, the weather has a huge side effect on my mood and poetry; therefore in essence, this book is a side effect of being a poet. Moreover, my poetry brings you through the seasons of life. “Summer” contains happy and carefree poetry. “Fall” contains fall-ing in love poetry, corny I know. “Winter” contains the dark poetry, and finally “Spring” contains the motivational and empowering poetry to pick you up after “Winter.”
Your poem “Librarian” asserts, “His heart was a library / of untold stories / Books filled with ambiguous histories.” Please speak for a bit about the importance of stories in our lives.
Each person is precious and dynamic. Bearing that in mind, each person also has a story….In a world of labels, generalizations, and instagram pictures, we become conditioned to take people at their face values, and become indifferent to the stories that lie within their skin aching to come out. It doesn’t take much to show you care, but the gesture itself, can heal a broken person. We must pause and listen sometimes. We don’t need to always talk.
What advice would you have for your fellow students?
There is nothing you cannot do if you want to do it. You must want success as badly as a drowning man wants to breathe; you must not crave or desire, you must need it and actively work toward it. Then and only then, will your dreams come true.
Anything else you would like to share?
Honestly [I am] blessed to receive this much love and support from the people around me, and I love every single one of my readers; they hold my soul at the tips of their fingers, and honestly, I don’t think there’s anything crazier.
If you would like to purchase your own copy of Sidra’s work, Wildflowers is available on Amazon for $11.99.