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Franklin poet signs new book 'Joy of Being'

Poet Dr. Veera S. Rajaratnam, or VeerajaR, will sign her first book of poetry, Joy of Being: Poetry for the Heart, Mind and Spirit, at the Williamson County Public Library Monday, Aug. 30 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Dr. Veera S. Rajaratnam

Poet Dr. Veera S. Rajaratnam writes about the “perfection” in the world found in nature from gardening and cherry tomatoes to butterflies and flowers, as well as expressions of love for family and the divine. 

“Everything is just so perfect,” she said. “I love gardening and everything I see in nature inspires me from cherry tomatoes to butterflies, especially butterflies.

“Every spot and every stripe is so perfectly placed, so perfect that it cannot be recreated by man.”

Veera, with pen name VeerajaR, will sign her first book of poetry – The Joy of Being: Poetry for the Heart, Mind and Spirit – Monday, Sept. 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Williamson County Public Library in Franklin.

The library served as a safe, creative place for Veera to practice and nurture her skill of writing poetry, she said.

As a member of a library writer’s group, Veera gained the encouragement to keep writing and pursue publication of her first book.

“At first I thought, ‘Why would anyone want to hear what I have to say,’” Veera said. “But then when I started reading my material, everyone seemed to like it.”

However, Veera first developed a love for the written word as a child growing up in Sri Lanka under the guidance and support of her mother—an English teacher. 

“My mother always encouraged me,” Veera said. “I won a few [writing] awards, but she always wanted me to be in the medical field.”

Luckily, the left-brained scientist mixed her creative right brain talents into a successful career using both as an accomplished researcher, poet and painter. 

“You really have to use your creativity as a researcher because everyone has to ask questions and everyone solves problems differently. 

“Some of the things that I have seen [as a scientist] are so perfect, so perfect that they cannot be reconstructed by man. We just scratch the surface. It humbles me.”

Veera moved to the United States from Sri Lanka in 1985 with her husband soon after they married so that both could attend universities in Wisconsin.

After earning her doctorate in biomedical biology from Marquette University, Milwaukee and researching at universities in New York and Pennsylvania, she moved to Franklin in 1999. 

Since, she has served as a researcher in the study of cancer and diabetes and now serves as a medical studies consultant and as a medical editor.  She has served on the faculty at Vanderbilt University. She also has three children, all of whom attended Centennial High School.  

“Ever since I came to Tennessee, I thought it was so beautiful. With the waterfalls and lush, green beauty, it reminds me of home,” she said. “There is a lot of creative spirit here—so many artists and writers—I feel so at home.”

“There are also so many religious people here who revere God. I feel blessed.”

Veera is a member of the Arts Council of Williamson County and a member of the Women’s National Book Association. 

Her work has previously been published in poetry anthologies. Joy of Being is her first full book of poetry.

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Posted on: 9/25/2013


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