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Guest Interview with poet, SANJEEV SETHI (1 Viewer)


Staff member
Media Manager
This month WF interviews a regular contributor to Flashes. Sanjeev Sethi has authored four books of poetry and Bleb from Hybriddreich in Scotland is his latest release. He is published in over thirty countries and his poems have found a home in more than 350 journals, anthologies, and online literary venues.

Sanjeev Sethi.jpg

Thank you for joining us, Sanjeev.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your writing interests?

I am an Indian writer based in Mumbai. I have been writing and publishing poetry for almost forty years. Bleb is my fourth collection.

Who or what inspired you to write your first poem?

I was a lonely child and extremely sensitive. I recall the joy of reading poetry … whenever in my little mind I could make sense of poetic lines, it would delight me no end. I had this daybook where I used to indite. I have memories of my school magazine publishing my poems. As with many poets, I fell in love, or what I thought was love, when I was thirteen or so. The bliss and baggage that comes with early love crept into my poems. I guess there was enough inspiration in it.

I am intrigued by the title of your book, Bleb a Wee Book’. What does Bleb mean? And why 'Wee

As it is a compilation of ‘wee poems,’ I wanted the title to be a teeny-weeny word. A cursory look at the titles of the poems drew my attention to Bleb. As you know, Bleb means bubble or blister, so it is interpreted in my mind as temporal. Everything thing in life is fleeting; treat the blisters as such. But readers must create their own meanings of what they read. This is a fundamental difference between perusing a poem and other forms of writing. Poetry requires no instruction. The reader must make sense of
the text in a manner they wish to.

Bleb has been published by Hybriddreich in Scotland. They have a series: The Wee Book of Wee Poems. The basic premise is that the poems have to be a maximum of ten lines, excluding the title. In the last year or so, I have been intermittently published by Hybriddreich in various anthologies, chapbooks, and in their flagship magazine Dreich, so there is a certain comfort, and of course, mutual respect with Jack Caradoc, the dynamic editor. When I received an email from him asking me to send a manuscript for their Wee Book series, I jumped at the offer and put it on hold whatever else I was scheduled to do to string together 31 poems that spoke the most to me then.

There are thirty-one poems; which is your favourite and why?

As the cliché goes, I have no favourites, but it is safe to pickup the eponymous poem: Bleb

Dialectics and dogmas: fountainhead
of misguided miseries in mind, even
as skin craves skin, you and I, next
to each other empty of evanescent
safeguards. The arrogance of touch
nudges me to notice my littleness,
smallness of search.

Who is Bleb's target audience?

Anyone who reads contemporary poetry. I hope they enjoy the poetic experience and hopefully see bits of themselves in some of the settings.

When you are reading poetry, to what topics or styles are you most drawn?

This is a complex question, but it requires a simple answer: any poem I can relate to is my kind of poetry. There is no one reason for falling in love with a poem. Sometimes it is the theme or the structure; at other times, it is the poetic diction. It is essential for the poem to possess aesthetic integrity; poems must pass through the rigours of poetic regimen for them to appeal to me.

What advice would you offer to aspiring poets hoping to publish?

I am no one to advise, just urge my young friends to read. This is the mantra. Everything else will follow.

The internet has opened the options. There are a lot of fine venues that offer publishing opportunities. Once you chose to go via the slush pile route, please don’t let rejections deter you. This comes with the territory.

What importance do you place on critique?

It is a vital aspect of the creative writing process. I only wish journals allocate more space to it.

Which poets are an inspiration for you? Are those well-known poets or rising stars?

I have no favourites. I just read and read. A line here, an idea there, a beginning somewhere, a turn of phrase, a full poem sometimes, many poems by another. I keep flitting and flirting. I am not a loyalist. I am a slave of the poetic form, not of individuals who create it.

Where and when will 'Bleb my Wee Book' be available?

BLEB COVER - Sanjeev Sethi.jpg

Hybriddreich has allocated Bleb a page on their website. The link will connect you to Bleb at the sales
channel at Hybriddreich.

Bleb SANJEEV SETHI (Wee Book) | Hybriddreich Ltd


What are you working on next?

It has been a packed season; even as I was celebrating the arrival of Bleb, I was offered a contract from CLASSIX an imprint from Hawakal with an advance royalty. This is unheard of in poetry.
CLASSIX is a dynamic publishing house based in Delhi and Kolkata in India. It is run by poet Kiriti Sengupta and Bitan Chakraborty, a short story writer. His Landmark (Short stories in Bangla from Shambhabi) has just been published.

I have wrapped up Hesitancies, my fifth collection. Soon it will be published. The good folks at CLASSIX work at a frantic pace. Being authors, they are sensitive to poets and understand the perplexities of being one.

This has been a good run. Touchwood!

Please also include links to your social media platforms/website

I am not on any media platform. Perhaps I am a troglodyte, but I am prolific. I am published in this or that journal every other day in some part of the globe. This is my way of keeping myself visible on the global literary circuit.

Author bio.
Sanjeev Sethi has authored four books of poetry. Bleb from Hybriddreich in Scotland is his latest release.
He is published in over thirty countries. His poems have found a home in more than 350 journals,
anthologies, and online literary venues. His other books of poetry, Suddenly for Someone (1988, Atma Ram
& Sons, Delhi), Nine Summers Later (1997, Har-Anand, New Delhi), This Summer and That Summer (2015,
Bloomsbury, New Delhi). He is the joint-winner of Full Fat Collection Competition-Deux organized by The
Hedgehog Poetry Press UK. He is in the top 10 of the erbacce prize 2021. He lives in Mumbai, India.

You can also read more of Sanjeev Sethi's poetry on Flashes.


Staff member
@Sanjeev Sethi 'Once you chose to go via the slush pile route, please don’t let rejections deter you. This comes with the territory.'
This is good advice as too many writers become disheartened by rejection.


Staff member
That is great advice and that feeling of being rejected is very real. Learning to see it as something that simply comes with the territory is what we all need to see.
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