FETHI SASSI was born on the 1st of June 1962 in Nabeul Tunisia. He writes prose poetry and short poems. He participated in several national literary meetings. He is a member of the Tunisian Writers' Union and a member of the Literature Club at the cultural center of Sousse. His first book of poetry entitled "A Seed of Love" was published in the year 2010. The second entitled "I dream .... And I sign on birds the last words " in 2013. The third book of poetry "A sky for a strange bird" was published in Egypt as well as a short poem book entitled "All the universe is only the face of my beloved".
Welcome to Scarlet Leaf Review!
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
My name is FETHI SASSI. I m a poet from Tunisia in the north of Africa; born
in 1962 in Nabeul; very attached to learning and writing. I have four Arabic
poetry books; and some others translated … coming soon.
Q: Do you think that your school years have had an impact in your writing career? If so, what were you like at school?
Really; I was a child with a great interest in studying, always in the first rank
with a great interest in books and reading. At the same time, I collected the best
expressions to make wonderful texts that’s why I ‘m going with great love to the
prose poetry where the pictures are the most important. On the other hand, I was
had a scientific reasoning and love for mathematics and this world of writing. They were very organized and fulfilling.
Q: Were you good at English or like Einstein you excel now in a field that was a nightmare for you as a student?
I like English and German languages … only because English is one of the keys which I can use to open most of the closed doors.
Because of my translations I stepped worldwide and I am near readers from everywhere.
Q: What are your future ambitions for your writing career?
I have a lot of ambition but the most important is to bestow my poetic voice all over the world; I would like to cry for all and whisper: we all are brothers and we need love… and nothing more than love. Another ambition is to translate for the Arabic library the work of many poets and know the poetry all over and the different ways of fulfilment.
Q: Which poets have inspired you and how? What was their impact on your work or your literary perspective?
Before, I was interested in the poets of the pre-Islamic era, to build and have a strong and a correct writing with the desert meaning first to love and fly. But in the secondary school, my purpose was on the poet full of dreams and desire, Nizar Kabani . His poetry has taught me how to love and how to respect a woman. And this beauty, the woman, can be everything: motherland, life and so on. But it was not lonely. I have been inspired by several creators as Saadi, Darwish, Ounsi, Maghout and many others.
Q: So, would you mind telling us what you have written so far
When I was twelve years old, I began to write my first poems. I was learning how to walk on the whiteness but I always felt that I was describing to the world how I felt, and how I saw all things. In 2008 I ‘ve decided to present my writing to the club of literary creators of Sousse and decided finally to publish my first book on 2010 (seeds of love) and in 2013 I dream …and I sign on birds my last words. In 2016, I published A sky for a strange bird and in 2017 As a lone rose … on a chair together with my first translated book with Scarlet House in Canada - And you are the entire poem.
Q: Where can we buy or see them?
I would like to put all my Arabic poem books on Amazon site to begin advertising my poems to the entire world but I do not find the help to do it. (I would like to find a person that can seriously help me to put them in all the sellers sites).
Q: What genre are your books and what draws you to this genre?
My books are a ticket to the heaven of love. They are a cup of wine with the smell of passion, a little journey on the waves with a breeze of happiness … a wonderful
butterfly flying on the edge of every heart.
Q: When did you decide to become a poet? What was the decisive factor or you just took a pen and starting writing poems?
When I was twelve, I tried writing for the first time. It was a challenge to be
different from others. In the darkness of my room, when all the world is asleep,
some deep whispers come to my mind as an inspiration for a coming prophet.
But surely there is in my heart a sadness never been slept for one day … this pain
Is only the ink of my writing that told …where here you are?? What do you do in this empty world lonely as a story never to be told. Too many questions but no
answers , and surely the poetry is no more that a question but with no answer .
Q: What makes you write? What’s the force behind taking your pen (or your keyboard) and put verses down?
Pain is my direction. Happiness never led to creation; only the sadness full of
questions takes you far to the philosophic way of being; it is the force and the
power made especially for all writers to give the real meaning and explain issues.But surely the method of writing is different from one to another; one take his pen to make this creation and other his brush to draw as
Socrates [said] to" Videros" in "The Conversations "
Do you know "Videros " What makes the writing marvelous
It is that is resembles painting tremendously?
and so on; too much method but the main purpose is the search for the absent
Q: Do you write full-time or part-time? Do you have a special time to write or do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
I am mad of writing; I try to write non stop to take the real breath for Life. When inspiration comes with all devils to dance on whiteness; take it by hand and fly with to the far sky. But I feel the night would be the time more efficient to create a wonderful words.
Q: Where do your ideas come from? Or is it just the spur of the moment, a special feeling you experience or a specific conjuncture that offers you inspiration?
My feelings offer me usually the prayers of writing
Q: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Step by step is the long travel of writing. Every book is really a step; is a part of
Q: In your opinion, what is the hardest thing about writing?
The first moment of birth .. the moment when one discovers the world after a big silence in The memory. This moment is a cesarean birth that separates life and death’ it is the fugitive moment coming with a full inspiration .
Q: Now, what about the easiest thing about writing?
In this way, there are no easy things; everything has a special role to play until
we finally have the book in our hands .
Q: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I have never stopped reading since my childhood. Reading was and is my passion;
And right now I like to Be with some special authors as Sarkon Bolss ; Saadi
Youssef; Ouns Hadj Bessem Hajjar and so on … I usually read the excellent magic realist Marquez; and Gualliano …
Generally, paper book is the best way to read and to smell the perfect paper
perfume. But if the book is only in ebook I can read it as I do now .
Q: What book/s are you reading at present?
At present, I’m passionate by the short stories of the great Sarcon Bolss .
Q: Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I work with a group of proofreaders in English and Arabic; they control all my
work to keep my texts with no mistakes; I never do a perfect work alone . It must
be some professional touches on the final texts.
But now I need only someone to help me to put my books on the international
great book sellers as Amazon and Create Space and so on.
Q: Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
Yes, indeed ; every work has to take a good period to go back to the publication .
I keep all my books on my desk to complete all the details needed to be in the final
State to the way of publication.
This period is important for the decision of last touches. Surely so many things
can be changed; it is in fact the last decision .
Q: Who edited your last book and how did you select him/her?
My last book is And You Are the Entire Poem. This poetry book is translated. It has been recently published in Canada by Scarlet Leaf House. I was invited by madame Roxana Nastase to work together on a translated short poems book . We have been in fact good friends for a good while .
Q: Tell us about the covers of your books. How did it/they come about?
In general I select my book covers with the meaning that leads the book ; to be
in a direct relation . And about my last book I have a deep friendship with the
fresh painter Pascal Chove; he has given me with great love a wonderful image
to put it on my cover book ; and I think that I will choose some others only
because our common and mutual view on poetry and art .
Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Yes, of course; with no doubt. The book cover is really an important part of
the buying process; due to the fact that the cover is the first picture that
meets the reader and generally it can help readers to buy .
Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around ?
Self-publishing get some advantages and in the same way some disadvantages
But it is a method between some others to keep the book in the library for readers .
But the writer must see the possible way to the reader and get to work with it .
Q: Would you or do you use a PR agency?
No ; I do not use public relation ; really what I use to do is only the power of my
texts , and the beauty of my poem .
Q: What are your views on social media for marketing? Which social network worked best for you? Any tips on what to do and what not to do ?
All social media has a huge impact on the marketing.
I use Facebook due to the great number of users. But on the other hand I use
contacts with hotmail, yahoo; gmail ; and others .
Q: Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
Yes ; in fact from time to time I was interviewed about my first book and now no
more ; because in Tunisia from a long time culture was not for culture but for
friends and personal purpose .
Q: Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
The main problem that has all Arabic writers is an efficient strategy for selling
books , we have unfortunately only the first state of the book production and no
more especially in Tunisia ; no distribution . That’s why we go to the FACEBOOK
and TWITER and so on to find the way to make our books known .
Q: What do you think of “trailers” for books?
They are very important for the marketing of the book , for a big number of sale
To give the writer a great chance to be read from all and everywhere .
Q: What is your favorite motivational phrase? What is your favorite positive saying ?
I feel really motivated by two words they are only my little boat in this big life sea
Love and work ; I cannot live without .It is my travel ticket in this difficult
poetry experience . And woman gives me this travel .
Q: What is your favorite quote?
The great Nietzsche " Without music , life would be a mistake " .
Q: Where can you see yourself in 5 years-time?
I feel that I will fly all over the world and my poetry will go further than I. Our real
wings are our poetry books and no more.
Q: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why ?
My father is the great personality in my mind, the only man on this earth who spent his life with one purpose in mind our happiness and success .
Q: Where do you see publishing going in the future?
The publishing is getting more and more difficult with time. I’m in the way to
discover the self-publishing. This is a way quick and efficient to the readers .
Q: How can readers discover more about you and your work ?
I hope for all readers will contact me on my face book accounts and my blog too ,
And I will answer all questions and enquiries.
Blog : https://sassifathi62.wixsite.com/mysite-2
Facebook : ttps://www.facebook.com/fethi.sassi.54
Twitter : https://twitter.com/lapoesiepourtoi
Amazon Author Page : https://www.createspace.com/pub/member.dashboard.do
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.)
Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4570266-fethi-sassi
Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.
Who said that romance is dead?
Fethi Sassi brings you peerless lyrical verses reminding of another century, singing love, eternal questions, joy and loneliness. They will warm your soul and make you feel as if you were part of an endless time.
If you look for that indefinite feeling that only love and reflection could bring, then this is the book for you.
ASCENT OF HER DESIRE
She was travelling by night
in the twilight jubbah;
crying behind the cloud ascent of her
who took away her harlot night?
To bring joy to readers everywhere.