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We who are about to breed: Soraya Shalforoosh.

August 17, 2011 \pm\31 12:00 pm

Mother and child and tiara.

[In which WWAATD asks writers and other artist types about life as breeders/parents/kid-keepers.]

Name: Soraya Shalforoosh

1. What is your kid’s name, age?

I have one son, Dylan Yahiaoui. He just turned three. Yes, named for the poet. He is Gemini cusp of Cancer. I am Taurus cusp of Aries. I’m curious how this Air / Water / Earth / Fire thing will work out.

2. How do you balance your time between parenting and writing? 

I have been in a “peer workshop” for years with Jeffery Conway and Gillian McCain. I was able to keep this workshop up during pregnancy and soon after giving birth.  We actually meet less frequently now, as two of the three have moved out of NYC, but we do our best to continue. This workshop has been where I have produced most my drafts and work. Carving out that weekly time is very important for me.

Even though I live in the ‘burbs now, I still work full-time in the New York, so I do have the opportunity to stay late sometimes and go catch a reading too. And, working full time, and then staying late for a reading feels sad; you of course want to be home with your kid(s).  So I make sure I carve out more time with my son on the other side.

I have also brought my son to all my poetry readings. YES! He has been in the Bowery Poetry Club, little cafes, and restaurants, in the tri-state, etc.  Once, he ran up on stage and hugged me, which got applause from the audience. Poets are cool and typically kid-friendly. I just make sure to have someone walk him around during the other readers, so he doesn’t interrupt someone else’s reading. I decided it was very important to expose him to this life at a young age.

3. What is the best piece of advice about being a parent and a writer?  

Even if you have to break, for months, years, whatever it is, remember you are always a poet.  It will not leave you.  If you have to put it down for a while, it’s ok.  You will write again. And always have two notebooks with you. If a toddler sees a notebook, they will want to write/draw too. My son will not let me on the computer. He will want to watch Thomas the Tank episodes. So, if you can afford two laptops go for it (I can’t—donations accepted).

4. How has your writing changed since becoming a parent?  

It is messier. He always grabs my pen.

5. Tell us something we don’t know about you and being a writer-slash-parent.   

I have a poem called “New York Woman” in the American Poet, The Journal of the Academy of American Poets, about how I hive at having a home in the ‘burbs and having a domestic life. I think writing out my fears made them possible.  Or?

Also that kids are creativity. They are constantly exploring and inventing. Recently, Dylan stuck his finger in grapefruit middle and said “belly button.” I like the way he uses language.  He also loves plosives. Great sounds, great images.


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