Interview With Richard Quaz Roodt – PART ONE

May you kindly introduce yourself to the Lyrical Bacteria blog readers and hence Lesotho poetry fanatics?

Hi. I’m Quaz. Poet/emcee from Jo’burg. I write, perform, and facilitate poetry workshops. I’m part of Likwid tongue, a collective of creatives, and was also until recently the after school programme director for keleketla library. I love my cat, Peanut. And I don’t care much for olives. Peeps can check out my blog http://www.quazism,wordpress,com for more hate speech directed at olives.

1. SIR, lately we have seen how blogging has made it easy for people of different talents and professions to share thoughts and material; among this we have poets and writers. To the modern day- poetry, what do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of poets running their own blogs? Ultimately what do find to be the importance of blogging?
I’m always looking for new avenues to get my work out and to connect with new people so I didn’t really have to put much thought into the idea of blogging. It brings the world closer to me and my craft. I mean I have never personally met you Sechaba, our interaction has only been online, but we both have an understanding of what the other is about…Everything is geared towards online platforms these days and I think anyone that doesn’t follow the same route could lose out on great networking and personal exposure opportunities. I don’t know if I can speak for the entire poetry fraternity, but for me it is important to have a blog or a website, because it serves as a readily accessible portfolio of the work you do. I recently got booked for a corporate gig because someone at Intel saw my blog. So its worth having.

2. Some poets and writers have shot at the idea of blogging indicating that more blogging the more one’s work is bound to be stolen and hence may later impact on the publishing efforts they may have. What are your thoughts on this statement?

The threat of your work being stolen is real and it is a sincere concern, but that’s why we need to make sure we copy write our work. And also be selective of the amount and type of work you going to put on your blog, And think about this, someone watching you perform on stage or reading your poems is just as likely to steal your work as someone reading it off your blog or website.

3. As a poet, performer and writer who has been around could you say poets, general society or rather poetry fanatics are at a stage where they have come to appreciate the use of Internet where one could say blogging is bringing a positive change to poetry spheres in South Africa?
I do think society, poets included, are starting to understand ,this beast which is, the Internet and the reach and marketing power it gives one .Not necessarily blogging but social networking sites like Facebook and twitter are the everyday choices for many. There are a lot of very cool blogs but I do think a large chunk of the Jo’burg poetry fraternity is not present in the blogging world. .

4. What do you find to be the mammoth challenges young poets face, especially young poets you’ve interacted with, either the UJ AA grew or those who attended the Poetry 101 with Mak Manaka & Liquid Tongue.

They are: lack of Performance platforms, lack of workshops, lack of critical engagement, no funding, lack of reading, lack of interest from “those that made it”. Poets with no interest in publishing, the list is endless. The beautiful irony of this is that all you need for poetry to exist is a thinking mind, so in essence none of these should challenges matter.

5. How do you think above mentioned challenges could be tackled??

Instead of yapping on and on about the hardships, roll up your sleeves and become the answer to the challenge. It’s easy to complain, doing and fixing is what gets results. Writing a poem about a problem is not solving the problem. Solving the problem is solving the problem


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