Buzz with Danu - Megan Dhakshini Shatrughan

Feb 28 2024.

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Today on the Buzz I speak to Megan who loves the creative and art side of life. Her love for poetry has built her own following. Megan is a creative mix bag of many, who toys with a few from writing, voice acting, singing, and yoga, with her background in advertising.  Today she speaks to me about her new book Softly We Fall and the book is available at Sarasavi stores islandwide. 

Tell me about your second book. 
Softly We Fall explores the slow aftermath of heartbreak. In short bursts of emotionally charged poetry, feelings of helplessness, loneliness, obsession and grief are explored alongside echoes of depression and lament. These are poems of raw emotions, magnified in minute detail, resonating with what it means to lose, let go and lay to rest an impossible love.

Why did you title it Softly We Fall? 
a) It’s the title of one of the poems in the book that also really captures the soul of the rest of the book.
b) The poems are mostly about loss, so the feeling of falling is something that echoes through across, as a theme, so I found it a fitting title.

How long did you work on this book? 
This took almost two years to write and another 2 to put together! It shouldn’t have. I just got caught up in being locked down and zoned out during the 2020/21 disaster years and I managed to get my act together only in 2023! Hence the rather large delay. The book was longlisted for the Gratiaen in 2021.

How has the feedback been for the book so far?
I’ve had some lovely writers at the lit festival give me a lot of encouragement, which has given me more confidence in the work. Some people in audiences I have read to have come up to me to tell me they were moved to tears, or that I should take some of the work to schools. So feedback like that has been very humbling and encouraging. Mostly I get told to “just make it an audiobook already!” so I’m thinking of actually setting the pieces to music and putting those out. But it’s still only a plan, let’s see.

Why have you always kept it to poetry? 
I haven’t actually, but I’ve only been brave enough to publish the poetry! My writing habit started with prose, during my school days, when I used to love writing short stories. Somewhere down the line, those stories became very short poems! I felt I had found more of my voice through poetry and didn’t really have the best plots for the stories...so I’ve kept it to poems, for now. It’s not permanent, I hope :)

Who inspires you? 
All kinds of creative people. Writers, filmmakers, musicians. People who are full of soul and honesty. People who are dreamers. I am inspired by others who create and are unapologetic about their craft.

Do you feel people still enjoy the act of reading? 
Definitely. The formats may have changed. Some may have moved to e-readers or websites as opposed to paperbacks and newspapers or magazines but the habit of reading still survives thankfully!

What time of the day do you feel inspired to write? 
It’s not the time of day for me but more the frame of mind. I have written at 3 am and at 12 pm so it all depends on if inspiration hits and when!

Galle lit fest or Ceylon lit fest? 
Ah! Both are lovely but very different festivals. Loved them both, but I’m going to vote for Ceylon Lit this time, as they were kind enough to launch this book for me and were very encouraging with the work.

Where can we buy this book? 
It’s available at Sarasavi stores islandwide and on the Sarasavi website, so you can buy it online and have it delivered to you.
 
Here are snippets of Megan's poems:
 
1.  
There’s too much we leave unsaid,
like riddles that melt into thirsty pauses, afraid we’ll lose the thorny comfort of this practised passion, this measured affection, this calculated love.
 
2.
And what if this love
was cursed & quiet shameless & tired enough, to survive, Us?
 
3.
You, are softer
in your pain, surer of love
in your denial, kinder
in your obstinacy more present in your absence.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Danu Innasithamby

Danu is a Jaffna Boy with a Marketing qualification (only because he needed to study, and not because he wanted it). He has been a part of the team for seven years and is the face behind Buzz with Danu, and WTF.


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