We hope you enjoyed reading about Rupi Kaur in our first edition of Poetry Thursdays. Today’s spotlight is 26 year old poet Ricky Laurentiis, who is just as influenced by visual art and history as language. Race, violence, sexuality, and the American south (he was raised in New Orleans) are themes throughout his debut book Boy with Thorn, and while they may not be personally familiar for all readers, they’re visceral threads of experience that transcend human history. The book was published last year but ultimately got its start years ago, notably when a fellow poet agreed only to share his work when Laurentiis had come up with something to share with him – the kind of push artists often lament but require.
Listen below for a reading of two haunting poems by Rickey Laurentiis:
The poems in Laurentiis’ collection can be traced back to his first poetry class in 2007. And if you’re wondering about his process, this interview with Poets & Writers for their Eleventh Annual debut poets list will clue you into the making of Boy with Thorn from conception to publication. He explains,
“My point is to say that the process takes time, so much time, and, while I’m a fan of putting artificial restraints on a poem so as to get to more creative uses of language, I’m not a fan of artificial time restraints on publication. Just as I think that there’s something potentially problematic in knowing too much about what a poem is about when starting, so too I think there’s a problem in trying to know or demand when you should publish a book.”