Felino, tell us about your new chap Artist in Residence. Why is it important? How does it differ and how is it alike in comparison to some of your other works?
Thank you, Nobius. Topographically, Artist in Residence is a poetic interpretation|acknowledgment of Jason Moran’s 2006 album of the same name. Its construct is a delving into examining multiple angles of how this album affects, and has involved me over the past circa four years. Finishing at just over 15 pages, the ten-suite poem is the longest I have completed, and also the poem I have spent the most time creating. I spent about four hours writing, and listened to each of the ten recordings several times.
I cannot proclaim its importance, as I do not view my writing within the spectrum of significance.
The comparisons are multilayered with my other work, being that at its base, metaphysical arrangement is core in its responsibility of spoken definition. An arduous awareness is comprehended, in that feeling the focal delineations within the recording must be examined upon juxtaposition of individual and whole, as unified per the agreement of Moran’s isolated genius. He is indeed a pianistic genius; he overcomes the quotidian labels of “jazz artist”, “pianist” “professional musician”; his improvised and predetermined techniques are bodies of musical belief, asking for the listener to respond and imagine, ponder and examine.
Dating back to 1/9/09 I have been involved in, nearly solely, the interpretation of others’ artistic beauty, which has served for inspiration for various poems. 2009 created my Painters’ Exhalations series, which was an ekphrastic delving into proclaiming my love for paintings. In 2010, I have continued with attempting to understand others’ artistic realities, in writing my Approbations poems, consisting of poetic praise for my preferred genre of musical sentience.
This book differs from my other works in the aspect of elongation. Typically, I write short poems, under one page in length, taking say, five to 15 minutes to complete. As stated earlier, this poem is much longer than my typical aspirations to create accretive evaluations.
Do you consider yourself prolific? How often do you write?
Prolificacy is the determination of several options, including understanding one’s organized effort, proclivity of engagement, and innate comprehension of necessity to create multifarious layers of one’s artistic endeavor(s) of choice.
My answering this question is insignificant, as I write daily, a minimum of three poems; this self-labeling of insignificance is existent because the act of writing a poem is naturalized, rather than a rugged battle consisting of dialogue with struggle and manifested absence. My writing daily has been part of my routine since 7/1/09. In search for the rarified function of elation (which poetry wholly creates) I strive to become insistent on fathoming newness, the newness of uncovering a poem from the presence of absent pre-known manipulation; no other intellectual or artistic interest carries this brand of intense beauty within my current form of existence.
Why do you create?
To form an occurrence of reciprocating understanding, regardless of depth; when I receive a note from someone that has read one of my poems, I become excited for the opportunity of a dialogical paradigm, as it relates to philosophical investigation of poetic discernment.
Believe in writer's block?
No; I have not understood this descriptive term of deprivation; the comprehensive answer I can conjure comes not from myself, but from Rainer Maria Rilke: “If your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is no poverty and no indifferent place.”
How do you approach a write?
2010 has brought forth an understanding merit of interpretative examinations. Here, metaphysically, I have become awakened even more so to my love of jazz music, as I have, outside a collaborative piece with Kane X. Faucher – dedicated all of this year to writing after various jazz recordings. The poem’s consistency is never predetermined, nor related to preconceived directives from wanting a certain style of aggregated purpose to be revealed. The sacred procedure is the unfolding spectrum of uncovering the unseen; the poet’s responsibility is to locate the visually dispersed, and augur an existence of relevant acceptance.
How will the explosion of e-books and other tech (I-Pad, Google books, Smashwords, etc) effect both the future of reading and readers themselves? What about authors and publishers?
Function of ease and widespread availability are aspects of these technological furtherances. They also appeal to variants of learning styles. As a bibliophile, I am intrigued by the relative ease that is evident in using, say, an ebook reader; although, I have many, many books, my ebook reader affords the ability to have access to hundreds of books via portability’s allure.
Many, at one time of what would have been called staples in society’s everyday uses, e.g. movies, books, —are leaning towards dispositions of antiquation. Many publishers, especially within the small press, offer free, electronic publication in lieu of the hardcopy version associated with monetary fulfillment. I feel this will continue, ad infinitum.
Why is the small press important?
Collaboration breeds the small press’ various opportunities. As an active participant in the small press’ process of necessary understanding, from both vantages of poet/editor, there is often a familial sensation experienced. The importance lies within promoting authentic artistry.
Do you feel the small press and large corporate conglomerates like Random House, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble's can co-exist or are we at odds?
Coexistence is already evident. Amazon for example, carries books by both poet laureates, and the poet of extraordinary talent, whose name is not associated with publications of inherent mainstreamism. With the abundance of poets in existence, and the longevity in which both large and small press entities have as realistic goals, the coexistence will continue to reside as topic of debate over the legitimacy of both brands of poetic output.
Tell us about some of your other books?
Since January, 2008, I’ve had 28 collections accepted for publication. During the next year, I have seven of those forthcoming from some wonderful presses, including Wheelhouse Press, NeoPoiesis Press, Bedouin Books, Virgogray Press, Diamond Point Press, Silkworms Ink, and Desperanto. Each of these collections includes poems from my larger series “Painters’ Exhalations” and “Approbations”.
Are you a full time writer? If not, what is your day job?
I am honored to work as a case manager and advocate for developmentally and physically disabled adults. The human services field has proved to be a critical blessing to my dispositional passions of supporting others in various aspects of their lives.
I write every night, but no, not fulltime.
What's the worst job you've ever had?
I’ve held several jobs, ranging from assembling custom computers, to filing for a law office. Retail, however, has proved to be the most challenging for me, as various aspects of this type of environment is conducive to controlled and uncontrolled chaos.
What's on your recommended reading list?
I’ll answer this question with a list of some favorite poets:
Duane Locke, Constance Stadler, Matina Stamatakis, Kane X. Faucher, Gillian Prew, David Wolach, Serena Tome, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz. This is a truncated list of genius.
Philosophers whose inspiration transcend that of philosophical vernacular, and have lead my thinking of metaphysical examination:
Nietzsche, Hegel, Camus, Adorno, Heidegger. More exist, but again, a truncated list.
How did you get into jazz? Do you play? Are there other types of music you enjoy while you write?
Circa 2000, I had a conversation with a then coworker whose musical spectrum was extremely vast. He, at the time, possessed over 3,000 cd’s of various musical genres. I cannot recall how, or why, but we began talking about jazz, and I asked if he had any recommendations. The first albums he recommended were Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. Later that week, I purchased both recordings, and they remain my two favorite jazz recordings in my collection.
I do not posses the ability to play a musical instrument. In my seventh grade music class, I learned to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on the xylophone, and was content. My mother purchased me a beautiful trumpet for a birthday gift several years ago, but I’ve never attempted to take lessons; perhaps I will, eventually.
I’ve attempted to listen to classical music when writing; it created a disparate affect on my writing, but not the entrancing facet that jazz music provides.
Your vocabulary skills are top notch-bar none. How'd you acquire such a mastery of language?
Language uncovers and dissolves perfunctory, relegated truths; an imperative responsibility of the poet is to provide observations sans the valueless construction of clichés. I study language’s various functions to posit my immanent and isolated vantage of environment, whatever spectrum of this noun that is present when writing a poem.
You are also an accomplished editor. Share some of your experiences.
I am currently a contributing editor for the journal Sugar Mule, and consulting editor for Post: A Journal of Thought and Feeling, which is an honor for me. Individually, I edit and publish Counterexample Poetics, an online journal of experimental artistry, and Differentia Press, which is dedicated to publishing electronic chapbooks of experimental poetry.
I’ve had opportunity and pleasure of publishing some of the finest poets in existence: Duane Locke, Constance Stadler, William Crawford, Matina Stamatakis, Kane X. Faucher, David Wolach, and others. This is a specialized cultivation of relational aspects that I feel the small press offers. The authenticity I search for in publishing poets has created in me a particularized searching for specific writings, that of complete genuineness.
What advice do you have for other writers (new or seasoned)?
Become acclimated with your environment on a level of philosophical exploration; challenge truths that are supposed and advantageous to only the few through their ideological connection. Learn to become a fundamental advocate for language outside the use of cliché, and understand the sacred aspects of poetry, e.g. interpretation, uncovering the unseen, finding beauty in the predetermined, predefined assumptions of what has become outcast from the vernacular of inclusion.
Do you prefer writing or editing? Why?
Editing is enjoyable, as I am able to interact with artistry of various interpretations.
Writing, however, is the sacred aspect of my life of which I have a passion for etching its existence into my daily structural practice.
What does the future hold for Felino A. Soriano?
Artistically, I plan on continuing with my “Approbations” series for the duration of 2010. I also plan on continuing my collaborative work with Kane X. Faucher.
Counterexample Poetics and Differentia Press are fundamental to my happiness, therefore, both will continue to seek and showcase authenticity in artistry.