Mariela Cordero is from Venezuela. She is a Lawyer, Poet, Writer and visual artist. She has received many awards and accolades like Third Prize of Poetry Alejandra Pizarnik Argentina (2014), First Prize at the Second Ibero-American Poetry Contest Euler Granda, Ecuador (2015), Second Prize of Poetry Concorso Letterario Internazionale Bilingüe Tracceperlameta Edizioni, Italy (2015), Micro-poemas Prize in Spanish of the III contest TRANSPalabr @RTE 2015, Spain as well as the First Place in International Poetry Contest Hispanic Poets mention of literary quality, Spain 2016. Please read her interview with Debasish Parashar for Advaitam Speaks Literary to know more about her poetry and art :
- Hello Mariela, a warm welcome to you! Were you always aware of the writer in you ? If not, what was the turning point of your life when you realised that you can be a writer?
In my childhood when I learned to read, it was a great moment for me … Discover all that magical world of books, I think my imagination opened like a flower. After becoming a precocious reader, I began to imagine sentences and small narrations in my mind and later I began to write loose thoughts (secretly). I did not share this with anyone, only with myself. At age 15, these phrases or loose fragments became recurrent and I felt that what was bubbling inside could be transformed into something similar to poetry.
At that time I just wanted to write for myself. I never dreamed a “career” as a poet. I just wanted to enjoy the act of writing. Poetry for me is something introspective and intimate.
- As a writer, what are the other means for you to connect to the ideas you explore in your poetry and your books?
I connect with poetry through my own peculiar vision of life. I observe everything around me with new eyes and and I try to observe each situation from a different approach, different from what “reality” shows. It also helps me connect with poetry, reading writers that I admire, art in general and also music. I am passionate about art, good movies or independent films, and also photography. When I see what other people can create in the artistic field, this stimulates my own creative capacity.
- Your writings tell us about a multitude of experiences. How have those experiences influence your writing?
My personal experiences in poetry are important, but I think I do not write a confessional poetry, for me poetry is not a way of telling everything that happens to me, like my personal diary. I think I like to write things more separate from myself, as an observer or witness. Poetry gives us great freedom, we can create if we want other characters who speak through our poems, or we can write a poem about a more abstract situation. I think that in poetry there must be a bit of mystery.
- Being a literature Professor, I also feel that literature allows us to experience multiple lives in our lifetime, helps us to acknowledge ourselves and point of view of the other better. Would you say that the kind of life you have lived so far has made you extraordinary from the literati in general?
I do not think that my life is extraordinary, but I think that the decisive thing for me has been the vision I have had of my own life and of life in general. My way of perceiving the world and my way of translating everything I see or feel through poetic art. If there is something out of the ordinary, I think it is precisely my way of seeing things.
- Amongst all your poems which one do you think has come out as the best of you; which one is closest to your heart? Why?
No poem of mine is the best. I am tremendously critical of my own poetry. I always feel that I am missing something or that there is something excessive. It is important to find the ideal balance. For me, my best poem is the one that is not yet written. A poem that has been brewing for a long time in me. This is a motivation for me, which encourages me to continue polishing my style and evolving as a poet.
- Do you re-read your poems and ever regret for writing something, which you should not have written?
Yes, as I mentioned before, I rigorously criticize my poems. Like Gustave Flaubert I would like to find “le mot juste” the precise word, the exact word in each line or verse of the poem … I try to get a satisfactory result. Despite this tension of finding the right words I greatly enjoy the act of writing poetry. Writing a poem is like polishing a diamond.
- What are the major themes you would like to include in your upcoming writings?
There are many themes, I believe that poets revolve around the same themes: life-death, love-lack of love, pleasure-pain …
I think that beyond the topic, the essential is the way of expressing it. This form must be authentic and original. The poems must communicate to the readers something unforgettable, like a good perfume.
- Have you ever been rejected by publishers? What advice you would like to give to the aspiring poets/writers about dealing with success as well as rejections?
Yes, I have experienced many literary rejections. At first this may discourage you but in the end you discover that rejections are good. A writer can learn a lot from rejections. Rejections can be a source of inspiration to improve our writing and polish our style. It is important to admit our own mistakes as writers. If you really want to be a writer you must have a lot of patience and you must be prepared for failure. But you must keep moving forward. You have to have confidence and continue on the literary path. A poem knows how to find his own house. Maybe your poetry is considered bad poetry by an editor, but for another editor perhaps your poetry is very good. This is relative and the evaluation criteria are usually subjective. It is also important not to be dazzled or blinded by the brightness of success, recognitions or distinctions should be assumed with great humility. You should continue working every day in your writing as if you were a beginner…
- There are many aspiring writers, poets and novelists who look up to you, who adore you and aspire to become like you one day. When you started your career as a writer, whom did you look up to as your role model?
I admire many poets. I enjoy reading poetry very much. The list is long: Celan, Char, Bonnefoy, Pizarnik, Kavafis, Dickinson, Holan, Rilke, Cummings, Valery, Trakl, Benn, Seferis, Heaney, Eluard, Brecht, Ungaretti, Elytis, Novalis, Heine, Ajmátova,Holderlin…
From my country (Venezuela) I admire the poetry of Juan Sánchez Peláez.
I have a blog especially dedicated to share the poems that I like the most:
- Mariela, apart from being a poet, you are a visual artists too. Please tell us in brief about your style of visual arts and your themes.
As I said before, I love art and in 2013 I had the opportunity to do a course called Design 1o1 with incredible teachers who are based in Milan. Through this study I began to know certain techniques about digital art and I have been experimenting in this area. What I like to create most are digital collages, and an artistic trend that I like a lot is surrealism. I greatly admire the work of René Magritte. Likewise, art, like poetry, gives us a lot of creative freedom.
- Lastly, as a matter of formality, we are proud to share with our readers that you were one of the first poets featured in the inaugural issue of Advaitam Speaks Literary Journal. Please share a few words with our readers on Advaitam Speaks Literary journal.
I feel very happy, honored and grateful to have been part of the first issue of Advaitam Speaks Literary Journal with great poets from around the world. It is an enriching experience not only as a poet but also as poetry reader This magazine brings together many writers from different parts of the world. For me it is a fascinating experience. This magazine represents an open, multicultural and creative space. For me, poetry has no borders.