Boshra Rasti-Ghalati is the author of several poems and short stories that have been published online and in paperback including Together, Apart, South Florida Journal of Poetry, Literally Stories and Surry Seen – Surrey Art Gallery Anthology. When she is not writing, you might find her reading about political discourse and human rights.
What is your writing process?
When it comes to poetry and short stories, I am a pantser. I am old school in that I write everything out in my messy, constantly changing, cursive. Then, I read the poem or story to myself and if it doesn’t sound true, I rip it up and throw it away. If it feels right, I type it out.
Tell us about your story for the anthology. Where did your idea for ‘Everywhere Inside’ come from? Were there any challenges writing it?
The idea for ‘Everywhere Inside’ came from a newspaper article I read about a British-Iranian political prisoner, Nazanin Ratcliffe, who is basically being used as a political pawn in the never-ending shit-show which is present day politics. She’s not the only one; Julian Assange, Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend, etc. are all examples of the blatant abuse of power we are seeing everywhere outside.
In ‘Everywhere Inside’ there’s a striking mythology of repressive and resistant ideas, often symbolised by capitalisation – how did you come to use that form?
In University, I learned of oppressive regimes and their dictators: Stalin, Hitler, Polpot, Khomeini – and in no way am I letting these dictators off the hook as a writer, but we have terrible oppression in our own backyards. All we need to look at is social media and the technological giants of the world who have really helped divide us politically using emotionally manipulative and cunning ways. We are “Everyone Inside” and have been divided by “Everyone Outside,” even though we outnumber them and ironically, they will also become ‘Everyone Inside’.
Tell us about your favourite reads. What do you like about them?’
I adore dystopian literature and science fiction. The world-building and imagination needed in these genres brings people out of their current reality into a new one. This spark of imagination is what, I believe, can save us from ourselves. My favorite writer is Alexandr Sozhenitsyn – The Gulag Archipelago, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. For something from Australia, in Uni one of our courses prescribed this novel which I really liked, Mudrooroo’s: Dr Wooreddy’s Prescription for Enduring the Ending of the World.
How did you hear about GSP?
I believe I found you on Submittable.