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Featured Artist: Tony Anderson

Updated: Apr 23, 2021

I was born on October 13, 1980 in war-torn Iran one day after my father was sent to frontline by the government. I was named Cina that is an old word having the same root as Sinai (the desert and mountain in Israel). The name means Phoenix in old Persian language. Yet, I am apparently using a pen name. Nothing special happened in my life like many others! I grew up, in the country while being fascinated by books, of any kind. My main interest was science, what I finally studied at the university. However, beside science I read classic novels. My favorites were changing from age to age. I started with White Fang by Jack London, at age of 8 and continued exploring literature with Mark Twain, Victor Hugo, Ernest Hemingway, Somerset Maugham and many others. My biggest regret is that I did not read enough of Russian writers, when I was less busy. In Persian literature I read Hafiz, Khayyam, Rumi, and Saadi from classic poets and they inspire my poetry to a great degree. I left Iran in 2012 to live and work in the Czech Republic, which has been my home since. Currently, I am a university professor of Physical Chemistry in the Czech Republic but will leave the country to a different destination by the end of this year.

My poetry are available in my book: Vintner: What's tragedy? A half-written love story

What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry is a way to express my feelings in terms of metaphors. It is a therapy for me that has worked so well so far. I started poetry in November 2019 after about a year of hardship due to some personal issues. Poetry helped me to talk to myself in a very personal language. Surprisingly, people in the writing community found my personal notes and started following my Twitter page. To be honest, I had no idea if the things I was writing, were poetry. I still am not that sure about my writings.

What inspires your poetry?

Each of us have had events in our lives that had affected us to some degrees. I had a life changing experience that affected my whole personal life. We make choices that can be right or wrong, good or bad. But right and wrong are relative concepts. Whoever I am, I am the result of my choices as well as chances provided by the world. I have tried to make the best choice each time. Still, I make mistakes too. Not all roads are paved and not all destinations are visible from afar. What I write is a personal story wrapped in metaphors, ornamented with words. Sometimes, what I write is profoundly different from what readers perceive. Yet, I prefer to play this word game as long as I feel entertained.

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.

If I want to rate the above mentioned words, I will arrange them from the most important to the least important as the following:

Peace, self-control, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, love, faithfulness, and joy.

Peace of mind is a goal in my life. To reach this state you need to be patient and have self-control. Besides, you will have a calm mind if you are good, gentle, and kind enough. Faithfulness has a certain meaning for me. Being faithful to whom? To oneself? To others? Faithfulness comes naturally with love. If you are in love, you are faithful. Finally joy; I don’t mind not having joy in life. Peace of mind is way beyond joy.

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

Surprisingly, 2020 have been a great year for me so far! I got a permanent position as a professor in chemistry in a good institute. I published a book and enjoyed my family life to a great degree. I am looking forward to improving my professional life both as an author/poet and as a scientist. I do not know to what degree I can handle both these tasks, but I will do my best to do it!

What is one big dream you have?

In writing career, I hope my book to be read by a million people! I know it is too much to expect, but the story that I write is a common experience among many of us. I think people will find it interesting if they start reading it.

In my professional career, I am working on increasing the capacity of memories by designing new approaches to record data. A dream that may come true in future is that we can save our memories on an external brain and perhaps live forever as a cyborg!

I know I have two dreams instead of one, but sorry, I can’t choose one at the moment.

"Burn me

Wear my ashes as an eyeliner

So, I might see your eyes enough

We may see the world together

Open my chest

Wear my warm blood on your lips

So, I may kiss your lips enough

To listen to your voice forever"

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