Interview with Bhuwan Thapaliya

Bhuwan Thapaliya is a poet writing in English from Kathmandu, Nepal. He works as an economist and is the author of four poetry collections. His poems have been widely published in numerous journals and periodicals.

A few details about yourself.

I am Bhuwan Thapaliya, a poet writing in English from Kathmandu, Nepal. I am a poet by passion and an economist by profession. I am the author of four poetry collections. My writing is imbued with the art and culture of Nepal that I grew up with but I am eminently qualified as an Oriental and as an Occidental poet, for my poetry truly represents a marriage between the traditions of East and West, and in a way that is immediately appealing and cohesive. I am not just a poet; I am a man with a mission, seeking world peace. My writing is all about spreading the universal messages of global peace, solidarity and love. My poems have been widely published in journals, magazines, newspapers and anthologies all over the world and I have read poetry and attended seminars in venues around the world, including South Korea, India, the United States, Thailand, Cambodia, and Nepal.

What does being an exophonic writer mean to you?

It’s very complex to be an exophonic writer as you have to write in a language which is not your mother tongue and it’s not an easy task but the joy I experience being an exophonic writer is not to be lightly dismissed. I learn so much about myself, my surrounds and the world as a whole through my writings and also by reading other exophonic writers. I have always deeply cherished only one desire and goal, that by the messages my poems convey I may become instrumental in mitigating the woes and miseries of mankind in one way or the other and being an exophonic writer gives me this opportunity. And I think I am very lucky. Furthermore, writing in English has broadened my vision, given me larger audience, and has stirred a new dimension to my writing and my life too.

What do you write? What is your writing process like?

Poetry to me is the blood that circulates in my veins. It is the very foundation of my survival. My poems aren’t only poems; they are the fusion of hope, dreams and reality. I am a realistic poet and I write as I see it. I don’t often sing the glory of stars and the moon, but I write about the hardship of the people and about their plight in their struggle for existence. At times I sound mystic, romantic, and confessional, but the way I handle my themes are fundamental expressions of life longing to be free as the salubrious zephyr over the Himalayas. Some of my poems are written from the personal point of view but in most of my works, instead of going down into myself, I have also ventured into the world of external human life, their condition and their exploitation.

I keep my writing process very simple. I am a wandering poet. I write in different places and locations. I believe in reaching out for something larger rather than waiting for it to come to me, and considering so I get off my comfy couch, get out of my room, and go out into the real world. I write when I want to write and don’t force myself to write. I don’t rush to write but often let the ideas in my mind waltz on and on and sometimes it takes several months to transfer my ideas and thoughts into final words on papers. I observe a lot and write after being convinced with my observations. Often, I write and then leave my work alone for few days and then I come back to visit them again and complete it. Sometimes I get little whispers from my heart. I go deep inside it and listen to its verdant secrets and write.  

What’s the last book that made you cry?

The last book that made me cry was ‘Summer Bird Blue’, written by Akemi Dawn Bowman, a lyrical novel wonderfully written about anguish, love, and finding oneself in the wake of a heartbreaking loss. Painful, powerful, splendid and bluntly honest, Summer Bird Blue explores life, dissects grief, and explains unconditional love and forgiveness.  Furthermore, it’s a very compact book and it will make your heart ache and leave your soul hopeful.

What advice would you give to other exophonic writers?

When you write remember that you are doing something that can heal million hearts, something that can mend us, when we are broken and down. Be original. In the end what matters are your originality and your determination to rise above your own expectations. Another thing is to speak directly to your readers with clarity of thoughts and let your pen flow with freshness and unpredictability. And always write with passion, nothing can be achieved without passion and be in a class of your own by your sheer force of imagination and emotional wallop. Don’t worry about the critics. Keep on writing. People who tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world know nothing about you. Be positive and carry on writing. Remember, the more positivity you eat the better you feel. The more positivity you spread the better you will live. 

Read Bhuwan’s poem for Litehouse

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