Jeevan Bhagwat

Jeevan Bhagwat's picture
Photo credit: 
Jarryl Bhagwat
Biography: 

Jeevan lives and works in Scarborough, Ontario where he co-facilitates the Scarborough Poetry Club at the Toronto Public Library's Agincourt Branch. His work has been published in literary journals across Canada, the U.S. and internationally. In 2003 and 2005, he was awarded The Monica Ladell Prize for Poetry from the Scarborough Arts Council and in 2015, he was the recipient of the Scarborough Urban Hero Award for Arts & Culture. His preferred poetic style is free verse but he also enjoys poetry that uses a metrical approach. He has always been a big fan of John Keats’ poetry, but he also admires the work of Pablo Neruda, Patrick Lane, and Roo Borson. Jeevan loves poetry that examines the human experience and is deeply rooted in nature. He believes that poetry is the most human of all arts and allows us to find commonalities in one another. His books include The Weight of Dreams (2012) and Luminescence (2020) which were both published by IN Publications.

Micro-interview: 
Did you read poetry when you were in high school? Is there a particular poem that you loved when you were a teenager?: 

I read a lot of poetry when I was in high school. Poetry helped me to make sense of my feelings and allowed me to use my imagination in ways that other art forms could not. When I read poetry, it enabled me to navigate the topography of my dreams and make sense of the world I inhabited.I loved John Keats' beautiful poem “Ode to a Nightingale”. It is so rich in imagery and metaphor and really inspired me to develop my own poetic vision and voice. I still love reading it.

When did you first start writing poetry? And then when did you start thinking of yourself as a poet?: 

I started writing poetry when I was 9 years old. I started thinking of myself as a ‘real’ poet when I was in high school. It was then I started to write poetry on a more consistent basis.

What do you think a poet’s “job” is?: 

I believe that a poet’s job is to speak up for those whose own voices have been suppressed or altogether silenced. 

If you have a poem in our anthology what inspired you to write it?: 

I do not have a poem in the Anthology at this time.

If you had to choose one poem to memorize from our anthology, which one would it be?: 

Pied Beauty” by Gerard Manley Hopkins is the poem I would choose to memorize.

Publications: 
Title: 
The Weight of Dreams
Publisher: 
IN Publications
Date: 
2012
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
Luminescence
Publisher: 
IN Publications
Date: 
2020
Publication type: 
Book
Poem title(s): 
The Language of our Silence
Title: 
The Saving Bannister
Publisher: 
Canadian Authors Association
Date: 
2006
Publication type: 
Anthology