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Poetry provides comfort in despair

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Georgia Blanchard

Chief Copy Editor

Scott Laudati, author of “Hawaiian Shirts in the Electric Chair” and several short stories and poems, recently released “Bone House,” a collection of poetry inspired by his life in New York City. 

Laudati has been published in several literary journals and recently won two awards from the City College of New York for his works in both fiction and nonfiction. 

“Bone House,” his newest work, is written in flowing, unrhymed sentences broken up into short lines. Laudati’s raw, plain-spoken honesty catches the reader’s attention and holds it as they turn each page.

“I wanted to be as honest as I could and not hide anything,” he said. “I wanted to put all my real emotion on paper.”

Kyle Kouri, lead singer for the New York City band Anarchists, said he appreciated the fearlessness and openness with which Laudati wrote “Bone House.” 

“All of Scott’s writing has conviction and soul,” Kouri said. “It’s like a great album, and I return to my favorite poems like I return to favorite songs. 

“The whole book is really sincere, fun and also dangerous.”

According to Laudati, his main inspiration for “Bone House” came from working the night shift at a hotel in New York City. The book’s sense of loneliness and despair is something he wanted to share to help others who are experiencing similar feelings. 

“’Bone House’ tells the story of my friends and I who are living in this horrible time when everybody tells us that it’s all going to work out because we’re Americans, and then nothing works,” he said. “It’s for anybody who’s feeling like me — just this permanent despair — to know that there’s other people who feel like that. 

“I’m not going to make you happier, but you’re not alone.”

Laudati attributed his start in writing to the art-centered culture of his New Jersey town during his early teenage years. 

“It was very cool to not play sports and just be an artist,” he said. “Everybody was painting or writing or making music, and it rubbed off on everybody.”

Laudati said his two main inspirations in writing are Jack Kerouac and New York punk poet Jim Carroll. 

“When I was 16, I had a substitute teacher give me a copy of ‘On the Road,’” Laudati said. “When I read that, I was like, ‘this is amazing, but I think I could do this. I get why these sentences sound like this.’“I found Jim Carroll, and that was when I figured out that you could write in a natural way and say exactly what you’re saying and not try to cover it up with metaphors about flowers and everything else.”

Thom Young, author of the book “Instapoet” and various collections of poetry, said Laudati motivates him to be a better writer. 

“One thing Scott does with his poetry is tell a good story,” Young said. “There’s really emotion there, like love punched you in the gut as you stepped over a dead body in a dark alley in Brooklyn — it’s like that.” 

Laudati said the main thing he tries to avoid while writing is distractions, especially after a long day at work.

“You get home, and you’re tired, and then there’s a hundred new things on Netflix every day,” he said. “I want to leave something behind; I don’t want to just be another person that went through life watching TV.” 

Laudati will be rereleasing his first novel “Play the Devil” this coming spring, and he plans to release another collection of poetry in fall 2019. 

Links to purchase “Bone House” and read Laudati’s other published works can be found at scottlaudati.blogspot.com.