Today we're sitting down to talk with Paul Kiritsis, author of Fifty Confessions.
FQ: Has writing always been a part of your life? When did you decide to write books for publication?
It has been for the last ten years or so. Writing is a very personal process and quite therapeutic. Without doubt, it is an extension of me. I sometimes feel like I’m communing with the unconscious part of my personality that seeks constant reassurance and to a degree, atonement. I’ve been writing on and off since my teenage years though I only started to take it seriously the last five. Origin: Poems From The Crack Of Dawn was my first book and I had formulated the concept for that through active visualization in 2004.
FQ: These poems get really personal. Was it scary to put it all out there on the page for public consumption? (And, if so, how did you overcome that challenge?)
Well to be honest, I was quite hesitant in publishing them. The first draft of this work was even more graphic and taboo. I had some interesting feedback from individuals who read the book before its publication. Some recommended I curb the visuals and language; others said I should leave it unchanged, primarily because it was the way I was feeling at the time. As you understand, changing too much would somehow detract from the trajectory of social commentary and the powerful rhetorical points I was trying to make. Only a few poems didn’t make the final cut. I've always been a very open and honest person. Writing is soul art and soul art should be shared, registered in our collective consciousness and remembered from time to time, regardless of content. I only hope that publishing them for the whole world to see isn't something I'll come to regret in the near future.
FQ: Do you have any projects in the works?
Yes I do. I am currently working on my first non-fiction book; a travel memoir based on my incredible experiences in Greece, the ancient land of my forefathers. Much of the folklore and legend explicated in this book are not to be found anywhere else. I am working under the rough title of Shades of Aphrodite. It should be out by early next year.
FQ: Considering that these poems are a reflection of a serious health-related journey, how are you feeling these days? How has the tone of your poetry changed as your health has evolved?
Indeed, it is. Human beings are incredibly resilient beings. The reserves of stoicism and resolve tapped into by people in the face of adversity, especially those suffering mystery ailments, is not only commendable but venerable. Providing that whatever ails you isn’t terminal, you eventually learn to live and manage chronic illness. Sometimes you aren’t offered a choice. You just have to deal ith it.
The tone of my poems has definitely changed through time. I wrote a lot about love, infatuation and romance in my earlier works but now everything seems to come out more hard-edged, visceral and sexually-charged. The evolution or devolution, dare I say, seems to be rather baffling!
FQ: Do you have any advice for those who are facing a similar challenge of undiagnosed health problems or those brushed off by medical doctors?
Yes. Human life is sacred, and the sick should never give up in their quest for better health or recovery. Always seek a second, third, fourth and even fifth opinion. Do as much research as you can on the internet. Seek doctors or specialists who are top of the range in their respective fields. Go overseas if you have to. There are alternative options that one should try should Western medicine fail to garner any results. As of late, many people are taking the holistic approach back to health and wellbeing through treatments such as Chinese medicine, energy and ozone therapy. Many of these methods are relatively safe and non-invasive. There is now substantial evidence which support the hypothesis that chronic illnesses of unknown cause can be cured through such means. Most importantly, don’t lose hope. So often it seems to be the greatest and most formidable weapon we have against any ancient enemy.