Rumki Chowdhury: The aesthetics of your poetry is very much related to women and female empowerment. It seems like each word is truly a letter from the petal of a dahlia flower. Can you describe the emotions that you went through in order to write such a beautiful, yet delicate collection of poetry? What inspired you?
Isha Loona: a mixture of anger and disappointment I would say. When writing about female empowerment, I believe there’s a fine line between venting and creating art. It’s kind of challenging to not cross that line when you’re so indulged in your feelings. It’s frustrating. But, I think that’s what makes it that more beautiful; to literally convert anger and frustration into a beautiful piece of poetry is, special.
I find inspiration in a lot of poetesses. I admire the work of beautifully resilient female writers. It’s inspiring, and to be honest a lot of my work is inspired by various artists like Lang Leav, Warsan Shire, Suheir Hammad and many more.
I think in order to write about something, you have to have had experienced it to a certain extent. Being born in a South Asian household, I think it’s natural to say that I’ve seen a thing or two. Sexism is a normality. You meet misogynists all the time. I’m not here for it. I think it’s important that more of us talk about it, especially when coming from a culture where misogyny and sexism is the norm. We shouldn’t shy away from it. I guess my need for having a voice was my biggest inspiration in order to kick start this journey of mine.
RC: Why did you choose The Dahlia as the title of your book? What does it mean to you and what do you want it to mean for the world?
IL: The Dahlia flower expresses sentiments of dignity and elegance. I’ve always admired the flower and the symbolism behind it. The common Dahlia symbolizes staying graceful under hardships, drawing upon inner strength to success. Staying kind despite being tested by certain life events. The symbolic meaning behind the Dahlia flower is in fact a huge inspiration to a lot of my poems. And for good reason. I always wanted to name my book, The Dahlia. In fact, I wanted to name my first book (Embellished Plague) The Dahlia. I reckon it’s not a very unique name for a poetry collection, but all in all, the Dahlia flower holds a unique place in my heart and I wanted to showcase that by naming my second book after the beautiful flower.
RC: Tell us a little bit about yourself, what you like to do during your free time, your hobbies?
IL: I study English and Danish literature, and I blog on Instagram. I love makeup and fashion—but not more than art and poetry, haha! I’m a painter too. A lot of people don’t know that. My free time is dedicated to my friends and family. I love spending time with the people I love and I’m thankful for the people I have in my life.