A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Tanya Sangpun Thamkruphat

Q1: When did you start writing and who has influenced you the most?

Tanya: I started writing for fun when I was about in second or third grade. My brother and I used to hand make tiny books of our weird stories using green bar computer paper, old pages from wall calendars, cereal boxes, crayons, and colored pencils.

Currently, there are so many great modern writers who have influenced me, like Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Amy Tan, Jhumpa Lahiri, Jose Hernandez Diaz, Victoria Chang, and Elisabet Velasquez. I could go on forever with this list.

Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Tanya: I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was creating stories for my tiny, handmade books. There was no doubt about it.

Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career?

Tanya: There hasn’t been one specific person who helped me. I think it has been a village of family and friends who have encouraged me throughout my writing career. However, when I got specifically into writing prose poetry, my mentor, editor, and friend, Jose Hernandez Diaz, was a great support. He has been kind, encouraging, and helpful with feedback and figuring out where I should submit my work. Of course, being part of the writing community on Twitter has definitely helped me connect with people like Jose and with writing opportunities and other wonderful writers. Without the writing community on Twitter, I don’t think I would have known where to start with my writing career.

Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work?

Tanya: I grew up in Santa Ana, California and lived there for over 25 years. One thing about Santa Ana that truly influenced me was the Santa Ana Public Library. Living only a maybe five-minute walk away allowed me to have easy access to all the books I wanted to read, to learn about other writers, to participate in the various reading programs, and to connect with the reading community. All of that influenced the writer and person I am today. However, being able to regularly travel to visit family in Thailand also influenced my writing. I try to talk about my Thai heritage and the culture as much as possible within my writing, whether it’s a travel piece or poetry.

Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you?

Tanya: My poetry has been the most meaningful and intimate creative work because it’s based a lot on my personal experiences and experiences of others that I’ve witnessed.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Tanya: I love reading. I usually have 4-6 books at any given time in my reading queue. Also, I love to binge watch TV shows and movies while relaxing with my partner and our cats.

Q7: What is a favorite line/ stanza/lyric from your writing?

Tanya: It’s a line from one of my early, untitled poems (it was one of the winning poems in the 2018 Button Poetry Short Form Contest):

“I am not a theorem.
I do not have to prove myself.”

Q8:What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always come back to you as an inspiration?

Tanya: In general, I love upbeat and motivational songs. Songs that move me and that make me want to seize the day. I have a couple of Spotify playlists with songs like that. However, I can’t really say there’s one specific song that inspires me.


Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, etc that you would like to promote?

Tanya: I do! My second poetry chapbook, It Wasn’t a Dream, was recently released by Fahmidan Publishing & Co. It’s filled with surreal prose poetry about everyday life experienced or seen through the lens of various unlikely characters, like a wolf, heavenly gods, and a giant spider. People can purchase a digital copy of the chapbook at https://www.fahmidan.net/it-wasnt-a-dream-digital-chapbook


Website: www.tanyasangpun.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MadameWritelySo
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/madamewritelyso/

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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