Writer and poet Scott Laudati is the author of “Play The Devil,” “Hawaiian Shirts in the Electric Chair,” among other creations.
He sat down with the Daily Lobo to discuss his latest addition to the world of poetry, “Bone House.”
The New Jersey native said he started writing at the young age of 14.
“Art was something (I was) always around, and I realized at 14 if I ever wanted to sit at the table I had to get good at something,” Laudati said. “So I started writing. And it was all bad for a very long time.”
He began writing poems in college but never had the time to completely devote himself to a novel. As he wrote poems, he would tuck them away in a drawer for safekeeping, not thinking that anything would come of them, he said.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in journalism at Ramapo College in New Jersey, he finished his novel that two publishers showed interest in. After collecting his poems that he had previously tucked away, he thought he should also pitch his loose poems in a form of another publication, Laudati said.
“I realized I’d probably never have the opportunity again, so I asked one to publish all my loose poems and the other to publish the novel. It’s a really lucky accident that I’m now a poet,” he said.
However, his goals for “Bone House” were much more deliberate, he said.
Laudati said he wanted his second collection of poems to be as real and personal as possible.
Everyone is always trying to push a positive attitude, and he was sick of that mentality, he said.
“The world’s falling apart, and I decided if it ends before I get another book published, I wanted to get all my fear and sadness and anger onto paper,” Laudati said. “ I put my bones on the page.”
“I think everything gets better as you move along,” he said. “You take criticism and learn along the way. Each of my books is about where I’m at that exact moment.”
The goal for “Bone House” isn’t to try and make anyone feel good, but rather to bring the other side of life back into art, Laudati said.
Contemporary poets like Rupi Kaur use three or four lines paired with a drawing and open up a new realm of poetry through their easily digestible and favorable poems, Laudati said.
“They all say basically the same thing about self-love and being brave or strong, and I find them disingenuous in the way I find it impossible that Oprah wakes up every day and says, ‘Thank you for this breath,’” he said.
Laudati said he strives to find his own voice and style while maintaining his sincerity to himself and his journey as a writer.
“Only a few years ago, poetry was a lonely medium that no one wanted to read,” he said. “Thanks to these short and easily digestible ‘poems’ on Instagram, a whole audience has blossomed up that is now interested in poetry.”
“Bone House” follows themes from lost love and not getting let down, to bringing the hilarity of everyday life that tends to be forgotten, he said.
With three publications under his belt, Laudati spreads the idea of making your own path, rather than trying to chase trends, he said.
“Every single person has a completely unique talent in them,” Laudati said. “What’s popular today won’t be remembered in two years. If you waste your time trying to catch it, you might miss your moment.”
Shayla Cunico is a culture reporter with the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ShaylaCunico.