Books Magazine

Author Interview: Radomir Vojtech Luza

By Aprylskies @edgarandlenores
What are your goals/hopes for the poetry community in the future?
  • My goals and hopes for the poetry community are that there will be a coming-together, a lack of egos of sorts. That the poetry, the work will come first not how many books a poet has or how many times he or she has been featured. There are no elite poets, just poets. Too often I have seen certain poets get preferential treatment simply because of their names. That is wrong. I believe with my whole heart and soul that the Los Angeles poetry community can be or is the strongest in the country. We have the potential here to produce wonderfully-talented poets. We have already proven that we can. We must simply trust our gut, our instincts and go where nature leads us. Like the Beatles said, "Let it be."

What are your personal goals as a writer?
  • I want to keep writing and publishing books and recording spoken word CD's and touching and moving people. That is what art, and especially poetry, is all about. I would like a more personal relationship with this city which I have a love-hate relationship with. I would also like to learn more about God and love and incorporate them into my work more intensely. Metaphysics and philosophy, I would hope, will play a larger part in my work in the future, as will sports, romance and just what it means to be human. After all, what else is there? But most importantly, I want to get to know myself better and improve myself through my poetry and art.
How many books do you have available and how can we get our hands on a copy?
  • Unfortunately, I only have four books right now that you can get your hands on through Publish America.
  • 1. "Starving Swallows"
  • 2. "The Last Collection"
  • 3. "The Fourth Nuthouse In September"
  • 4. "The Cafe Latte Tapes"
  • The rest all perished in my move to Los Angeles. It almost killed me. I ended-up walking a small wheeled luggage around skid row for ten days and sleeping in shelters, bus stations, buses and subways and did not think about much more than survival. I have single copies of three or four other books, but that is it. Fortunately, I have four spoken word CD's set to music that you can also get your hands on through
  • 1. "Straight Outta NOHO: Incomplete"
  • 2. "Nothing Water"
  • 3. "In The Dark Of Morn: A Poetic Journey Towards Love"
  • 4. "The Forking Road: A Poetic Symphony In Four Parts" (The Yellow Album)
  • And if you want to see me in action go on YouTube and type in RADOMIR VOJTECH LUZA.

What exciting new ventures do you have for the near future?
  • On November 24th at 7pm I am reading with a lot of other poets as part of the new Lummox Magazine reading. I am honored and proud to have two of my poems included in the new collection. On November 30th from 5pm-9pm I am reading poetry and hosting the First Annual Midtown North Hollywood Neighborhood Council Arts District Holiday Open House. On December 1st from 3:45pm-5:45pm I co-organize and host UNBUCKLED: NOHO POETRY at T. U. Studios at 10943 Camarillo Street in North Hollywood (Behind Odyssey Video) (Off Vineland). (FIRST SATURDAYS). On December 15th I am reading a children's poem at the MTNHNC Christmas Event. On December 20th I read from Lummox Magazine again at Mari's Wine Bar in Downey, CA. And on January 2nd I am resuming my stand-up comedy career after five years in retirement at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank at 8pm. I previously performed at some of the major clubs across the country for 20 years.

Who are your favorite contemporary poets and why?
  • I really don't have any favorite contemporary poets, but William Shakespeare's poetry has always spoken to me. Its depth, passion and dramatic nature have a place in my soul of souls, my yellow little heart. As a union actor (SAG, Actors Equity Association) I have never read work which understands and comprehends human nature as well as the Shake. The other poet I admire, and many do not, because she is misunderstood, is Sylvia Plath. Not only did she have the courage to roar when many women were silenced or afraid, but her poetry was so very alive despite the way her life ended. I am reading "Ariel," the last thing she wrote before killing herself, and it is so full of vivid imagery and heartfelt ardour that sometimes I can't read it anymore. It also scares the shit out of me because it is so midnight dark. So full of focus. Such a beautiful disaster. Such a way out.

Los Angeles is saturated with so many talented artists and writers. What do you think makes one stand out in the crowd?
  • I think one who is not selfish or egotistical. A poet, be it man or woman, who thinks of the work before himself or herself. Who loves art and understands the importance of it especially in today's society. Civilization was built on art, on poetry, on oratory. In America today the arts are the first thing cut, and among the arts, poetry is the first thing to go. We can't go on like that. We just can't. We are shooting ourselves in the soul. We must find a way to fund the arts, to fund the written and spoken word, to give kids in grammar and high school who want to be writers and poets an alley, an avenue, a boulevard to that end. We don't want them saying, "I can't follow my goal because there is no security or money in it." We have to get away from the idea that athletic scholarships, which are wonderful, are nonetheless the only way to get into college. We need more scholarships and grants in the arts and particularly in poetry and english. We need corporations, which are made of people, to hire arts and english and creative writing majors. So to answer the initial question, a poet, an artist who loves the city, and understands that it is not just about show business and the Oscars, but feels a duty, an obligation to make a mark on society with his or her work because it matters, it simply is too important not to risk your life on. A warrior, an indian chief.

What advice or wisdom do you have to offer the Los Angeles poetry community?
  • To keep on doing what they're doing: loving the written and spoken word. To not be impressed with the tall buildings going up downtown or the music clubs on the Sunset Strip, but to concentrate on what matters: writing the best poetry you can without putting stuff in the way that distracts you or completely changes you. I know darkness. I am bipolar. I have been in four mental hospitals. And I know that the cliche is true. It isn't how you react when you are faced with success, it is how you react when you are down, on the rocks. I have lifted myself out of suicidal depression after suicidal depression and made it out here to my promised land: Los Angeles. I have lived in New York City, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Atlanta and LA has probably the most vibrant poetry scene in the nation. The amount of venues and talented poets is mind-boggling. Just keep following your heart, taking advantage of any breaks that come your way, and I can't stress this enough, love what you are doing and understand how fortunate you are to have the opportunity and the gift to do it. That is not true in many parts of the world.

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