• Half Papyrus

Anna Shtorm

Author Interview

Anna Shtorm was born in Leningrad, USSR in 1987. She moved to the city of Penza at the age of 4 when her mother left her father. At this age, she was already encouraged to write poems by her grandmother, who had an extremely big impact on Anna's creative talent. She went to high school with linguistic specialization and studied newspaper production in Municipal professional training inter school center. By the age of 15, she was writing poems, song lyrics, short non-fiction, and fiction stories. Despite that creative writing came naturally Anna dreamed to become a pathologist. But her mom persisted Anna pursue a career in journalism and teaching as it was a "safe choice". She graduated with a Master's degree in Journalism from Penza State Teaching Training University in 2011. During her studies, she worked for different newspapers and magazines in Penza. From 2006 till 2008 she lived in the United States. In 2011 she went to Poland for the one year teaching internship. And already in 2014 she moved back to Poland and started her career in IT in addition to writing. Anna Shtorm writes in three languages: Russian, English and Polish. Since August 2019 most of Anna's work is published on Medium. She writes poems, articles, and non-fiction with fiction twist stories.

How would you describe your literary endeavour in a nutshell?

First, I have to confess that I am a new formalist. Please do not throw the rotten tomatoes in me :) I stand proud with all my rhymes and metrics (even the forced ones) and look into the brighter future where poetry rediscovers itself again. I explore modern themes and use traditional forms, and I will definitely continue to do that. I can describe my poetry as digital sorrow wrapped in overdressed rhymes. I aim to reach people who do not get the poetry, who think it hubristic and lame. I want them to read it and say, ‘Oh my! That’s what I feel! That’s what I’ve been through’.

Your writing is an inspiration. Where did you get the idea of writing such beautiful poetry instead of a full-length novel?

Pain is the best inspiration. Boredom is the ultimate motivation to keep writing. Grey and hopeless days of our life are a perfect narrative to follow. I am like the earthworm. I get in the reality as it is and enrich it with magic and irony. This is how my poems are created.

Are there any easter eggs in your book that only a few people will find?

Absolutely! One of the poems refers to my next upcoming poetry collection. Do you guys know which one is it? In addition to that, if you look up the title of the poems on SoundCloud, you can find some pretty cool audio performances based on the poems. This is your chance to hear my voice and get an idea on how I want those poems to sound.

There are so many unique characters in your book. What is the most difficult thing about writing characters for the opposite sex?

I don't think that's an issue for me. I am a fan of postgenderism and the perks of liberation that it can bring to people. So in most of my poems what gender is the character is irrelevant because the situations and the feelings are relatable to everyone.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I would choose Tardis as with my poetry I aim to take the readers on a trip through time and space.

Being the successful writer that you are, you must have experienced peaks and valleys in your writing career. What advice do you have for budding writers?

Friends over Lovers is my debut poetry collection. So it’s way too early to define myself as a successful writer. However, I would like to encourage other creative people to look into self-publishing as in our internet days this is the easiest way to get your message out there in the world.

Your work would definitely pamper our readers with intricacies of complex relationships and mind numbing thoughts. Any last thoughts for our readers?

‘Poetry is lame

Find yourself a better thing to do!’

Say it every day.

Till the time it really gets to you.

Give up all your words.

All that nonsense brought by your imagination.

Even if it hurts

You’re supposed to fight this cursed vocation.

Monetize your tears.

Find a better way to channelize obsession.

Surely in years

Poetry will not come back in fashion.

Quit like quitters do.

Through admission farewell denial.

Be a better you

Wipe accounts and delete all files.


Poetry is lame?

It’s the most exciting thing to do!

I have no shame!

I persist no matter what and you should too!

How can the readers reach out to you?

Twitter | Medium | SoundCloud | YouTube | Web