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Featured Artist: Harrison Hejazi

Updated: Apr 23, 2021

I am Harrison Hejazi, a Canadian scholar who works with the Government of Ontario as a data scientist. I also provide lectures and workshops on various technical and non-technical subjects, including Emotional Intelligence (EI), and am a peer reviewer for multiple scientific journals. I have a PhD in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Despite my strong technical background, I’m also very interested in photography, abstract photography, poetry and music. I create photos for poems, quotes and pieces. I am familiar with Persian poetry too and have translated multiple poems from well-known Persian poets to English. I have written multiple short poems and lyrics and, additionally, have done a few collaborations with other poets. I am often inspired by my dreams. More recently, I wrote a poem, called ‘You’, which is completely based on one of my dreams.

What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry to me is the flow of eloquence and inspiration and allows me to offer my emotions, such as love, happiness and sorrow. I think poetry is like painting but, instead of colours, we use words to describe our feelings and emotions.

What inspires your poetry?

I’ve been very interested in the work of some famous Persian Poets, like Forugh Farrokhzad and translated some of her work to English. You can find a feeling of loneliness and sorrow in her poems with a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. I later tried to follow a similar outlook in my poetry. Photography is another great source of inspiration for me where I found ideas for my poems and short writings. My dreams also inspire me quite often.

Most recently, I met a wonderful British writer and poet, Ophelia Shakespeare (@OpheliaShakesp4), on twitter. Her poems are very strong and quite imagery. They somehow depict the same kind of sorrow and loneliness, but often with a more positive and hopeful outlook. I’ve been lucky enough to do a couple of collaborations with her.

Which are most important to you: (1) joy, (2) peace, (3) patience, (4) kindness, (5) self-control, (6) faithfulness, (7) gentleness, (8) love, or (9) goodness? If you can, explain why.

They all are important. I’d even add empathy if I could. If I have to choose though, I’ll go with kindness and love. Kindness allows you to care more about the needs of others around you, especially people whom you care about. It’s closest to empathy in my opinion. Love, to me, is more than just an intense feeling of affection. It’s a deliberate attitude of goodwill and devotion to others. I think life is meaningless without love, whether it's love to someone or something.

What sort of things are you looking forward to improving this year?

Generally, I’m interested in free verse poetry, but would like to learn more about and write other types of poetry too. I’m also looking forward to doing more collaborations with other poets through poetry and photography.

What is one big dream you have?

I look at poetry more as a hobby but it’s my dream to publish a poetry book one day. Also, I’d like to complete my first novel in a year or two.

I'm a #dreamer and often inspired by my dreams. I wrote this #poem, called #You, based on a dream. The poem is for someone who is very special and dear to me and I like her with all my heart. I think by far this is my best poem and will be my favourite for ever.

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