ABP- Thank you for taking part in this interview, LB. Back in April of this year Alien Buddha Press had the privilege of publishing your poetry book “The Adventures of Stick People on Cars”. Can you tell our readers what went into the writing of that book, and how you feel about it now 6 months later?
LS- This book of poetry was inspired by my travels and specifically those stick figure stickers folks like to put on the back of their cars of stick people families, pets, sports, other hobbies, etc. I told my friends I was working on a car stickers poem and asked them to text me if they saw anything interesting. I got the typical texts with religious stickers, school logos and the ever popular around my area: “OBX” (Outer Banks). My very favorite one a friend saw on a car was “Sink or Swim bitches.” I thought that sticker belongs in a poem and it’s in the title poem! There are more poems in the book about lifeguards and beaches, snorkeling, fishing, clouds and thunderstorms, bears, receipts left in library books, premonitions, word poems (I write based on the word of the day), the government shutdown that happened back in February, an anti-War poem and a Stick people poem I wrote about all the stickers I saw while traveling through Virginia. These days my poems seem to most often be place, travel or what I call natural type poems. Looking back at this collection now 6 months later, it reminds me of how much I view life as just that an adventurous curiosity of sorts. I’m very pleased with the collection and proud to have it published with Alien Buddha Press.
ABP– Also in 2019, you were one of 10 poets who participated in “Masks Are Never Enough” a third book in a trilogy of poetic responses to the art of Marcel Herms. Was that your first experience with writing poetry based off paintings? How would you compare it to your normal process?
LS- I truly enjoyed the challenge of writing poems in response to Marcel Herms clever and thought provoking artwork. This was only my second experience writing poems based off of paintings. I wrote a few poems last year for an exhibit at my local arts council in combination with an Art of Poetry project held monthly around the area. My normal process is triggered usually by a word or situation I wish to write about, not so much something visual. I gravitate to the words on the page more than images from the words.
ABP- Who are some of your biggest influences?
LS-Ted Kooser, Nikki Giovanni, Hart Crane, Coleridge, and Rilke are some of my favorites. I like their use of language, their presentation in their poems and the power that lives in their words and personalities. To me, they embody what it is to be a poet.
ABP- What do you have planned for the end of this year, and in 2020
LS- I am working on a sequel to my locally set mystery in North Carolina, “The Glass River.” That book was nominated for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award in 2018. It’s become so popular around town, that I started a follow up to it. I also will have a few new poetry chapbooks coming out as well. I enjoy writing fiction but poetry is my first love.
ABP- Do you have any other books or projects which we have not already mentioned that you would like to promote?
LS– I have a new psychological thrilled called “Intent” that’s recently out. Also one of my more popular books that combines poetry and literary fiction is “The Mailbox of the Kindred Spirit” about the famous mailbox on Sunset Beach in North Carolina. I also had my first young adult novel published which is set local to my area too, it’s called “Cackalacka.” My most recent poetry collections are “Things to Do on Vacation in Washington DC during a Government Shutdown” and its prequel “Things to Do on Vacation in Washington DC with your Dog.” One of my favorite poetry books I wrote is called “Constellate.” It’s all beach poetry about North and South Carolina beaches such as Ocean Isle, Sunset, Myrtle, etc. I love being near the ocean, or near the water. The beach makes me feel at home. I also wrote a book about writing called “Electric Melt: (How to Write, Publish, Read Walt Whitman and Survive as a Writer and Poet). So many people contact me to ask me about being a writing or how to publish, I wrote this in response to that.
ABP- Thanks again for taking this interview, LB. The floor is yours. Feel free to share any poetry, any announcements, shoutouts, or anything you would like with our wordpress audience.
LS-Thank you for featuring me and my work this month! I so enjoy encouraging anyone to read or write poetry which means I really like talking about it too. My website is www.lbsedlacek.com or you can find me on Facebook @lbsedlacekpoet or Twitter @lbsedlacek
I’ll leave you with one of my poems from “The Adventures of Stick People on Cars”:
Burger Worz Receipt Left in a Library Book
Served by Nathaniel
on July 24th
1 Chicken Sandwich
with lettuce, tomato
pickles and jalepenos
and sriracha mayo
with a small
drink and a
small fry all
for only $10
you, Miller Williams
William Miller we
appreciate your business
we thank you
so much even
though you didn’t
leave a tip
but kept this
receipt that you
left in the
poetry book I
checked out of
the library after