Everyone has a story to tell; each one of us a writer of poetry – some, without even realising. That stream of consciousness that runs in our veins? It’s poetry waiting to be written. We believe in the power of words, and that power is what urged us set up PoetsIN.

It’s because of those inner streams, that we bring you this regular interview feature, Writer Profiles. An interview with a writer. Some you’ll know, some you won’t.

This week it’s a very special soul who will soon be releasing her Workstation Blues book through PoetsIN Publishing. Her name is Jaylan Salah Salman.

Sit back, grab yourself a whole carrot cake and feast your eyes on this week’s writer profile.

Jaylan Salah Salman (and a beautiful dog)

What is your relationship with words and how has that evolved?

I write before I knew the weight behind the words I am writing. I read everything my eye falls on. Since I was too little to recognize the meanings of the individual words, I realized the beauty of combining them together. My official submission to the craft of wordsmith began with a poem by William Wordsworth which I read in school. It changed my thinking of how powerful a text can be.

How long have you been writing, what is your favourite style of writing and why?

I have been writing since I was 3 or 4. I have a drawer filled with childhood scribblings and poems that perfectly rhyme and rhythm. Now I prefer free verse since it breaks all kinds of rules and allows the poet to unleash their imagination unbound and non-apologetic.

A picture of a poetry pad

I have a drawer filled with childhood scribblings and poems…

Many of us have experienced times where writing has helped us overcome times of pain, describe the first time you realised the true of power of words.

My first heartbreak, pain was so demanding and incomprehensible. The only way with which I overcame its heaviness was through drafting my first short story collection which went to win a major national literary prize. Thus, I understood and valued the power my words could possess.

Many writers love to read. What is your favourite book and why?

One book; too difficult! However, one of the books that really shaped the way I empathize with humanity in all its malicious fragility is “The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy.

The God of Small Things

Sum up yourself in a haiku or micropoem.

La Loba

A darkened Amazonian

that breathes fire on your neck

yet blows the whole place up without carving her way

into your bones

We all have moments where we truly connect with words we read. What quote inspires you the most. Why?

“. . . the newspapers of Utopia, he had long ago decided, would be terribly dull.”

― Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey

This quote is the one that keeps me going. Being a small town girl where safety and harmony are expected of every human being, and having lived a turbulent life with ongoing clashes and hurricanes, I read this quote and I feel at peace. I am not going to be a newspaper clipping in Utopia!

Describe your writing process.

There are long periods of rushes; drafts that lead to nowhere really and this process could last for months but when I sit down to write; I could go for 5,000 words in a blink. My article writing process is more organized, well-sought out. But creative writing has it’s ups and downs.

I could go for 5,000 words in a blink.

Writer’s block, real or a myth?

A M.O. (Modus Operandi) most of the time.

What is your favourite word?

Thorax, also ubiquitous. Fascinating words indeed.

Finish this sentence… Words are the epitome of…


Thanks to Jaylan for talking to us. Watch out for her book Workstation Blues, which will be published by PoestIN Publishing later in the year. For more about her, check her out on Tumblr Twitter and Facebook

If you, too, are a writer and like what we do at PoetsIN, then get in touch to talk to us about being interviewed yourself. Drop us an email on paul@poetsin.com

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