Contributor Q+A with Ayesha Asad

Ayesha Asad is from Dallas, Texas. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in PANKCosmonauts AvenueReunion: The Dallas ReviewMenacing HedgeNeologism Poetry JournalSanta Clara ReviewThe Mantle, and elsewhere. Her poems “Eid, Homemade” and “I Drove a Car to Venus” appeared in Sundog Lit Issue 17.

Tell us a little about your writing process (from the first word to the last edit).
During the semester, I try to find time in between classes to write poems. Many of my poems are often influenced by recent events (or even recent recollections of old events), and sometimes, I’ll begin writing with an idea in mind that develops and grows more fleshed out as I continue to draft. Often, I tend to agonize over certain words I think don’t fit in as well with the rest of the poem—this is where a thesaurus really comes in handy. After I’ve finished my draft, I like to let it sit and simmer for a while; it waits patiently until I’m ready to edit.

Is there a place that has inspired your writing? If so, where is it and what about it made for good material?
There isn’t one specific place but a jumble of places: the field with a railroad track tucked behind a row of houses in my neighborhood (my father used to take me there when I was younger), my old high school, with its lone minaret nearly touching the sky, the hot Texan landscape. All of these places contain their own memories, their own stories, and that’s why they sometimes appear in my writing. Even less outwardly tangible places, such as heaven and hell, tend to resurface in my work—really, I think my writing is greatly influenced by my childhood and how I was raised.

Coffee, tea, or neither?
Tea! Though I must admit I prefer hot chocolate over both.

Physical books or e-books?
Physical books! E-books are nice (and can be quite cheaper sometimes), but nothing can compare to the feeling of holding and reading a physical book.

Any recommendations for readers, i.e. books, movies, television, art, anything under the sun?
I know so many people have watched this already, but I loved The Queen’s Gambit!