By Annie Newcomer:
The Flapper Press Café features the work of poets from all over the world. This week, we are happy to welcome Anna Banasiak to talk about her poetry and passions.
Anna Banasiak is a poet, writer, and occupational therapist who loves helping people through art therapy. She is the winner of many poetry competitions in London, Berlin, Bratislava, and Kamena. She publishes books of poetry in India and Japan and belongs to the Japan Poets Association in Kyoto. Her poems have also been published in New York, London, Surrey, Australia, Canada, Africa, China, Cuba, and Israel.
Please meet Anna Banasiak!
AN: Anna, welcome to the Flapper Press Poetry Café. What in your childhood might you be willing to share that set you on a road that included writing poetry?
AB: I was a very sensitive child. My father used to read me stories, poems, and fairy tales, and I remember reciting fairy tales by heart. I also loved to draw and write on a piece of paper, it was was my secret, magical key of imagination, the way to forget sorrows and create new fantastic worlds.
AN: You wrote to Flapper Press, "I taste life with the language of metaphysics.” Help us understand more fully what this means. And in being embedded in the abstract, such as “being,” “knowing,” and “cause,” do you ever worry that this focus on what cannot be concretely touched will limit your writing in any way? Please explain.
AB: Studies in philosophy taught me how to "taste life with the language of metaphysics."
AN: Please share the ways that helping people with art therapy through your profession as an occupational therapist provide inspiration for your writing. And does it ever work the other way around? Does your poetry provide inspiration for you professionally?
AB: I love my work. This is a sense that gives me joy every day; I'm learning humility and discipline.
AN: You shared that "The tree is a metaphysical universe for me, the essence of poetry and the quintessence of suffering." I immediately thought of the Banyan Tree in Lahaina. This tree was only 8 feet tall when it was planted in 1873. At the time of the recent fire, it was 60 feet tall, and through all the devastation caused by the fire, people draw hope in the news that this tree might survive. Why do you believe this is true? And why are symbols important to humanity? Will you or have you already written a poem on this tree?
AB: Symbols are important to humanity because they're universal and they help to understand things.
I feel like a tree, because there is a tree of life in each of us, immortal, the tree is a metaphysical universe for me, the essence of poetry and the quintessence of suffering.
I think I'll write a poem on this tree!
AN: How might you describe your writer’s “voice”? Does it ever change, or does it remain relatively the same?
AB: My "voice" changes as time passes. Over the next years, I [am] gaining new experience.
AN: If you could chose any publication to have your poetry showcased in that has not already published your work, which would it be? And why?
AB: I think it would be Depression and Art Therapy because they show how poetic metaphysics can "heal our souls" and have therapeutic action.
I'm a poet and occupational therapist. I love helping people through art therapy. I taste life with the language of metaphysics.
AN: Please, ask yourself a question that intrigues you that only you would know to ask about your poetry and then answer.
AB: Does my poetry reach directly into the hearts of people? I hope so.
AN: Thank you for visiting us in our Flapper Press Poetry Café. Please share 3 poems with their backstories for our readers. Thank you!
I wrote this poem as a reflection on the sense of existence. Writing can be magical and leads to transformation of our minds. Coming back to childhood can be therapeutic and a dreamy place where we can hide our fears and start an amazing journey through time and imagination.
Loneliness is an artistic soul.
Love is a spiritual source from which we draw the meaning of existence and life energy.
It keeps us balanced and drives to action.
Annie Klier Newcomer founded a not-for-profit, Kansas City Spirit, that served children in metropolitan Kansas for a decade. Annie volunteers in chess and poetry after-school programs in Kansas City, Missouri. She and her husband, David, and the staff of the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens are working to develop The Emily Dickinson Garden in hopes of bringing art and poetry educational programs to their community. Annie helms the Flapper Press Poetry Café—dedicated to celebrating poets from around the world and to encouraging everyone to both read and write poetry!
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