Pavana Reddy (who you may already be following on Instagram — she’s also known as @mazadohta!), is an amazing, beautiful, inspiring poet. You can sample her lovely poetry on her Instagram page (here), hear it on Anoushka Shankar’s album Land of Gold, or read it in her first book, Rangoli.
I got to connect with and interview Pavana for ISAASE’s Be Inspired project. We had a touching, earnest conversation about her experience of internalizing a sense of otherness growing up Brown in Canada, and about how the pain of losing her sister to suicide changed her writing. She also shared why she feels it’s so important for young people to share their feelings.
The English teacher in me is happy to have connected with such a talented rising poet, and the human being in me is so grateful I had the opportunity to connect with this beautiful soul; this was one of the most personal interviews I had a chance to do for the project, and I’m honored she was willing to share her story with me.
I hope you’ll check out the full interview if you’re interested. Below is an excerpt.
“…I wish I had the language I have now to have been able to save my sister from the pain she silently carried for years. After her death, I didn’t have anyone to talk to. My teachers were not as accessible as they should have been, and coming from such a small town also kept me from speaking to my peers; so I turned to books for company. I would read so much that the characters would become my friends, and that helped me deal with my sense of disconnect. I realized I wasn’t in alone if how I felt, and that brought me a lot of comfort.”
If you’d like to read, the full interview is here.