Between Nepal and Canada: In Conversation with Pushpa Raj Acharya, Edmonton's 2013-14 Writer-in-Exile.
Pushpa Raj Acharya
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Pushpa Raj Acharya is a poet from Nepal now living in Edmonton, Canada. He is currently a member of the Borderlines Writers Circle/Writer-in-Exile programme for the year 2013-14. His poems have been published in Canada, Japan, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. His poetry collections include Dream Catcher (2012) and Chayakal (2006). Chayakal or 'The Phantom Time' is a long Nepali poem that explores connections among myth, history, and literature in the context of Nepalese civil war (1996-2006) during which the communist revolutionaries fought with the state. Influenced by T. S. Eliot's idea of paying tribute to literary tradition, and his poem 'The Wasteland', Chayakal plays with some canonical Nepali works of fiction and poetry. Dream Catcher is composed of poems on nature and journeys - both inward and outward. From 1999 onward, Acharya was a part of a project called 'Conservation Poetry Movement,' which included travelling to villages across Nepal. The project involved a group of poets writing and reading poems with the villagers. Acharya has performed poems in the ancient streets of the Kathmandu valley. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Alberta in Canada. In the following conversation, Acharya talks about Nepali literature and its place in world literature, and his journey as a writer. This interview was conducted face to face in October 2013; the conversation was then extended via e-mails from November 2013 to April 2014.