Interview with Akasha Weeratne

Interview by Daraen Kyi

What was your process in writing this? Why did you choose a poem format, for example? What led you to this topic?

The process of writing this was surprisingly easy. I was feeling a bit sad one day and needed an outlet for my emotions. So, I started typing away. I chose poetry because it allows me to capture my feelings without being constrained by a specific structure, just going with the flow, the topic just came from the specific situation I was in.

Did you base this poem off of anything in real life? Did you have personal experiences that inspired you? What sparked your imagination?

The inspiration for this poem came from a person and a period in my life when I was feeling lost and searching for direction. This individual entered my life at a time when I was still figuring out adulthood and became a dear friend who always encouraged me to write. They inspired me to write about experiences that may not be my own, but that I could draw inspiration from. I am grateful to this person for helping me become more active in writing and for encouraging me to take risks in my art and to not be afraid to share it with others, this poem is inspired heavily by them and my love for them.

How did you feel when you were writing this piece? How do you feel looking back at the piece now?

As I reflect on the time when I wrote this poem, I realize that I was feeling melancholic. Although I didn’t recognize it at the time, my emotions are clearly evident in the words. Looking back now, I feel a sense of pride in my work and I believe that I have grown more confident in my writing skills since then. If I could, I would go back and reassure my past self that I am not such a bad writer after all.

Click here to read Akasha Weeratne’s poem “The Man Who Loved the Stars.”

Akasha Weeratne is a student at CUNY’s LaGuardia Community College. She is an activist, poet, and actor who was born and raised in New York City. Her background is a mix of Latinx and West Indian heritage. Akasha’s love for writing began at a young age, serving as an outlet for her to express her thoughts on generational trauma, sexual violence, and colonization. She sees writing as an opportunity to create art in a world dominated by Western ideals and eurocentric standards. She aims to unify her culture through her writing and amplify voices of other marginalized groups.