Posted by Literary Titan
“In between… life” is a collection of 30 poems capturing a range of emotional experiences in the most apt words possible, but without making it feel inaccessible. What was your goal when writing this collection?
Well, what has driven me is that I have read plenty of poetry books that are all very well done, technically close to perfection and so forth, but that fail to engage the reader, to grasp his/her attention and say, for example, “Wow, that was written to me, that relates do what I think or what I have experienced in my life” you know. This sort of connection I think it is very important, otherwise, it becomes too distant regardless of its technical quality.
Only to give you an illustrative example, there is a female reader who sent me a message through my website saying that she felt like some of the poems had been written specifically for her. For me, as a writer, this sort of spontaneous and genuine feedback is the most valuable reward I could get because it is a clear indicator that my aim has been achieved in connecting the writing with people’s real feelings, sensations and emotions. It is simply priceless.
My favourite poem is “Turning the Page” because of the evocative imagery of unrequited love. What is your favourite poem and why?
If my book was a music album, I would say that some of its working titles would be “Today” and “Especially for you”. The first one I understand that is quite straightforward and evident on its intent right from the first lines, but even so it is also powerful in its message and underlying meaning of attachment and union. With regards to “Especially for you”, it has been written in such a way to initially give the impression that it is addressing male-female love, but as the lines go on it becomes clearer that, in fact, it is talking about another type of love and I appreciate this subtle shift. So, yes, those two are among the ones I like most, even though I could talk about a couple of others as well. But it is fine this way.
I loved the idea behind this collection, of sharing poetry as widely as possible. And the imagery that accompanies each piece is spot on. What was the art direction like in this book? What made you choose each picture?
Well, since the conceiving of this book I had decided that contrary to other titles available in the market, I could try to offer a more substantial reading experience that would transcend the writing. My wish was that the readers could not only read the poems but also visualise them as much as possible and establishing an even stronger bond with their content. Therefore, I have done an extensive research for relevant and meaningful imagery that more than simply illustrating each poem, could ‘translate’ them, so to speak, and convey a subtle complementary message linked to the core idea of the respective poem. Therefore, with this proposition, the book not only becomes differentiated in comparison to many others out there but, more importantly, it offers a unique and broader reading experience. Fortunately, the feedback has been quite positive and people are enjoying the project and fully engaging with its content and design.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
For the time being, I am focusing my energies primarily to promote “In between… life” but for the near future, I may start working on a new prose book eventually for the end of the year or first quarter of 2018.
Unplugged! If there is a single word capable to accurately summarize the atmosphere of this book, that is for sure the most appropriate given that, similarly to an unplugged performance of your favourite band/singer, the selected poems in this book also convey the sensation of filling out the room and taking your senses to a different state of mind. They address topics such as love, romance, perceptions about life around us, and new discoveries. Nonetheless, they are ‘unplugged’ of unnecessary features, meaning that they make the reader feel at ease from the very first lines and engaging you just like an intimate conversation with your closest friend.
Posted in Interviews
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Posted by Literary Titan
In Between… Life by Luiz Valério de Paula Trindade is a collection of 30 of the Brazilian poet’s English-language works. Each poem is headed by a full-page, colour photograph that is related to the topic of the poem, showcasing the poet’s other loves of photography and travel. In the introduction, he states that his vision for the collection was to capture a range of human emotional experience in the most apt words possible, but without making the poetry feel inaccessible and distant. It’s supposed to feel like a conversation with a friend.
I loved the idea behind this collection, of sharing poetry as widely as possible. I can certainly imagine philosophising about some of the topics late into the night with a friend. Unfortunately, in places this aim detracted from the poetry itself, leading to the telling-rather-than-showing, shallow exploration of Human Dignity, or some of the repetitive, clichéd references to an unapproachable woman in impenetrable armour.
In other places, though, there was evocative imagery that I instantly related to; Turning the Page is a mature description of unrequited love, and it’s expressed as a rounded story. Many of my favourite poems appeared in the latter half of the collection, and most had this same characteristic. The well-chosen order of the lines and stanzas of You Don’t Know allowed me to travel with the main character as their feelings developed, and the ending felt like the cliffhanger in a novel – I wanted to find out what happened next!
Love is a common theme, but I felt as though more aspects of it could have been covered besides the romantic one – Especially For You was a notable exception. Within the romantic poems, Today stood out for me, written with a beautiful simplicity that was still deeply imbued with meaning. The repetition of similar phrases has a strength of several other poems. How combines this with descriptive imagery which really got me feeling its frustration! The rhythm adds to this nicely, but I thought the ending of it was a little awkward. I put this down to the occasional, unnatural syntax. I can imagine that in the poet’s native Portuguese these phrases would flow smoothly.
The last two poems I want to mention are Why I Write and Words. As a writer, their content resonated with me, and I think their description of the process and the importance of writing could help people who have different creative outlets to understand why I spend so much time doing it!
Overall, I believe the collection did cover a range of aspects of the human experience, and although it didn’t work for all of them, the poems that did benefit from the simple phrasing were very effective in bringing the emotions alive for me.
Pages: 94 | ISBN: 154303988X
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