Humans of Spectrum: Komal Surani, Poetry Editor
Why did you decide to participate in the production of Spectrum?
I was involved in Spectrum last year and I knew I wanted to be involved Spectrum this year, especially because publishing has been something I’ve thought was interesting ever since I was a little girl. I have always liked the idea of being able to work with other people to talk about how they feel about certain pieces of writing and how you feel and how different everybody perceives a specific piece of writing.
What do you look for in the submissions that you receive for the magazine?
I am definitely looking for pieces that make me feel something. I have always maintained that a writer’s job is to inspire feeling in a reader, and so I want to pick pieces that hit me in the face a little bit. Pieces that feel personal and alive even if they’re not personal at all. And then for me, characters move me. People written well move me. And I find myself drawn to pieces that use characters and emotions well.
What genre (fiction, poetry, nonfiction, art) of Spectrum interests you most, and what about it speaks to you?
I am particularly interested in poetry and prose as well, only because I write and read both of those, so I feel like I know what to look for. As for why I’m drawn to them, I think it’s because I find that they both are about people. In my personal life, I’m a little obsessed with love and relationships, and I think it’s so easy to find those things in poetry, even if they're not explicitly mentioned.
Can you share a story about your own writing?
All my writing has always basically been about people in some sort of relationship. I tend to be much less concerned with plot than I am with characters, and often my stories reflect that. I also usually write about relationships that are falling apart and I never make it anybody’s specific fault. For me in my own writing it’s about exploring this fascination I have with love and relationships and this idea that a relationship can be your whole world and seem magical, fantastical, and like it’s going to last forever, and then break apart. That nothing is perfect and nothing lasts forever and even the greatest loves can end and it’s not any one person’s fault. It’s about being human and how sometimes humans grow apart instead of together.