WHO came up with your name?
My father, from India, liked the name, which belonged to a colleague doctoral student from Latvia. He said that in Persian raz-i-ma could mean ‘my flower’ or ‘my secret’ depending on the inflection. I knew at a young age I was no flower.
I was surprised when relatives in Karachi found my name as unsual as my all-American neighbors did in Tennessee. In Latvia, I am told, the name is as common as a black-eyed Susan.
WHERE do you live?
In Norway. The land is stunning, stark and beautiful. The society is sane, safe and socialist. It is one of two places I have set foot on and immediately felt dissipate my lifelong restless feeling of not belonging. I’m half Norwegian by blood, so maybe it’s an attraction, like dowsing. When I didn’t live in Norway I longed for it. When people in Hawaii said we lived in a postcard, I knew I had to make my way back here. I did and fortunately I have had the privilige of staying.
WHY do you write poetry?
Each poem is an attempt to freeze a moment, a scene, in which I sensed there was more to it than the thing itself. The moment felt larger than the sum of its parts. We all have them, these glimpses, moments when we stop and take a breath because there’s a poignancy or wonder at play. Poems are attempts to see inside such moments, glimpse if not discover the universe within.
WHAT else do you write?
I was a poet until I discovered that creative non-fiction was the desired form for many a failed poem. I write short prose lyrical essays and long prose memoir as well as poetry, fiction, and blogs. For a while I enjoyed writing textbooks under an alternate writer persona.
WHAT else do you do?
Reiki, stained glass art, gardening, reading, watching Netflix, staring out my window contemplating by my good fortune to live on the edge of a wilderness reserve. I am intrigued by the creative process in all its forms, and so I teach and hold writing workshops.
WHEN will your next book come out?
I’m working on racking up the requisite five hundred rejections for my newest collection, a love story in poems. I hope it will get published this side of 2025. Other projects in various states of drafting, but not ready to publish, are a memoir and two more poetry collections.