Interview with Alvi Chowdhury

Interview by Ethan Velez

Let’s start with the title – where did it come from, how did you decide on it?

The title “The Art of the Anxious” came very naturally to me. Anxiety is a constant thread throughout the piece, and it dawned on me that my declamation wasn’t a performance of art, but rather a display of my anxiety. And the title, I feel, perfectly captures that essence of the piece.

What was the best part about writing this?

The most rewarding part of writing this piece was finally being able to describe the emotions I’d been keeping bottled up for so long. It felt incredibly freeing to express those unnerving feelings in writing.

Do you feel that you had to revisit this memory to write about it? 

I definitely had to revisit the memories of performing declamations in high school and even the physical feelings coming back to me as I had to read aloud this writing for my Creative Writing workshop. Although there was a more fulfilling and freeing feeling after reading in my workshop. 

Did you learn something from this process?

I learned a lot about how to express vivid details and emotions without simply spelling out these details to the reader. This also helped me pack what was a short period of time in real life with enough detail to create a longer narrative, stretching a few moments into a captivating story.

Click here to read Alvi Chowdhury’s essay “The Art of the Anxious.”