Poetry Spotlight: Nav K

Hello Poetteers,

In this series I'd like to highlight my favorite poets. If you remember, a couple months back I highlighted the top ten poets you should check out. 

I had the honor of getting in touch with Naveed Khan and interviewing him for you today.

When and how did you get introduced to poetry?

I've dabbled in poetry since I was a boy, but only as a means to really grasp what it really is. It wasn't until much later, in university, that I took the opportunity to really dive into studying it properly. Studying English in university, I had some freedom in choosing what area I wanted to focus on in my third and fourth year, and although slightly reluctant at the time, I elected to study poetry more thoroughly. At the time, I was convinced that I still did not understand most poetry well enough and wanted to learn more, and even after having done so I don't think I can comfortably say that I know everything. The world of poetics is so deep and vast that it may not be entirely realistic to say that one may be able to grasp all of it in his or her lifetime. Poetry moves with the motions of life, it is ever-changing and developing.

I would have to credit my introduction to poetry to the love of music. I discovered early on that music is written in some form of scheme or meter (take rap, for example) and I sought to replicate it in my own style.

What is your inspiration behind your poems?

The inspiration behind my work is life itself. I like to think of my approach to my work as a form of journaling my experiences, not necessarily the day-to-day but at least the most significant parts or those that stand out in some way. My writing is a way of documenting the world around me. That includes people, places, events, thoughts, and feelings. I don't think there's any greater inspiration than that happening right before our eyes, either to understand, record, or to unearth some deeper meaning.

What keeps you going back to poetry?

What has always intrigued me about poetry is the fact that so much can be said in so little words. A novel or stories written in prose have an infinite space for storytelling and development, but poetry is much more brief and packed with layers of meaning. It is this complexity in the realm of storytelling that draws me back to it every time. That, and the fact that it is perhaps the oldest surviving form of art. Ancient poets told their tales orally (such as Homer), and going even further back, through inscriptions and drawings on stones or walls. It's fascinating because so much of human history is recording in and through poetry. The fact that all existing religious texts are written more or less as poetry says enough about its depth and power.

Do you write in one sitting or over a span of days?

How long I spend on writing depends on the writing itself, and often on whether or not I am able to find the right words and record them down in a way that I can agree to be at least satisfactory. This means sometimes, I'm able to do it in one sitting, which can span between several minutes or hours. Often, however, and more recently, I find myself working on writing over spans of several days or weeks, and in some instances months. There have been a few occasions where I've worked on a single piece for up to a year. They're not necessarily the best pieces because they took so long, they just needed more work until I could consider myself to be happy with them.

Do you read your old poems?

I always try to revisit my old work every once in a while. It's a good practice and it reminds me of who I am, where I'm coming from, and the experiences that have brought me to my current moment. Most of the time, revisiting my old work reminds me that I have a lot more work to do, and it also indicates patterns in my writing and allows for me to reflect on my strengths and areas of opportunity. My writing is a part of myself in a way that I'm always looking for ways to improve and develop. Nothing about writing should ever be static, the same way human development is never static.

Who are your favorite poets?

This question is interesting because if you read into a poet enough, you'll find there's something to love about each one. So I don't think this question can be answered as an absolute, but I will mention some poets that I adore, which include Neruda, Rumi, Wordsworth, Cummings, Amiri Baraka, Fred Wah. I'm a huge fan of Robert Frost.


I learned a few things and hope you did too. I'm glad to have Naveed on my blog. You can find him on Instagram and on his website. Thank you,