LORETTA COLLINS KLOBAH SAYS:
I want to write poetry that is alive, fresh, vibrant, contemporary in feeling, readable, thought-provoking, playfully subversive, powerful, and yet still tender. I want it to be full of the energy, culture, history, music, natural beauty, spirituality, and social struggles of Puerto Rico, and other islands of the Caribbean where I have visited or lived. The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman pulses with salsa, Latin jazz, reggaeton, bomba, the music of the trovadores, the cuatro, bachata, Kweyol rap, R&B, mento and the quadrille, rocksteady, roots reggae, and Ricky Martin’s pop music.
I have been writing poetry since primary school, because that is my way of processing life and engaging with the world. I don’t write love poetry, and I don’t rhyme. I write because I want to communicate with readers in a way that matters, makes an impact, or makes some kind of beneficial difference in the reader’s thoughts and in the society. Can poetry do that? I still believe in the power of the word.
Loretta has been nominated for the Felix Dennis Prize for best first collection in the Forward Prize. READ her own account of her craft - as recounted to me - at Caribbean Beat here.