Sonia Iris Lozada - Revealing the Unspoken Hidden Moments From Our Lives
SONIA IRIS LOZADA is a poet and performer fascinated with time, history and dreams. She got her start playing and recording with alternative punk bands in the 1980s, and is the founder and publisher of LOZT Magazine, which covered many bands of that era. Sonia is also an actor for both stage and screen. Her other passions include design, decoration and spiritual development. She’s been writing poetry since she learned how to spell. As our Author of the Day, Lozada tells us all about her latest book, Inspire Me: Raw.
Please give us a short introduction to what Inspire Me: Raw is about.
INSPIRE ME: Raw, is about revealing the unspoken hidden moments in our lives. Showing vulnerability by speaking truths of courage and faith. The poems cover the rough terrain from Chicago to Los Angeles with honesty and acceptance. As a singer and performer, the words give a glimpse into a spirits' reconciliation of her most difficult days. My hope is that my words can lighten the path of others.
Was there anything in particular that made you want to tackle this?
While I was home after surgery, I started meditating. I realized change is stimulating; it allows for new opportunities. I enjoy minor changes but being thrusted into the unexplored psyche after surgery; the history I knew of myself—dissipated. Losing my autonomy for two months WAS challenging but the spiritual awakening ensuing it, altered those perceptions. The benefit from this event? I once again encountered my passion for poetry which I’ve written since childhood. From a lengthy hiatus, these poems emerged; raw, uncensored and full of what life throws at you.
In which way is this book autobiographical?
Most of Inspire Me: Raw is autobiographical. Some poetry pertains to events I've witness have made an impact on how I've experienced life.
You have an unique bi-lingual, bi-cultural perspective on life. Tell us more about this.
I was born and raised in Chicago. I am first generation born on the mainland with Puerto Rican parents. We spoke Spanish at home so I learned English in school. As soon as I learned to read and write, I wrote poetry. It has always been an outlet for me. The advantage to being bi-cultural is knowledge and understanding others' differences. Growing up it was difficult to switch between one and the other, but I have found it enhanced my creative in storytelling. As an actor and singer, I've been able to perform in English and Spanish showing their subtle nuances. Some comments I've heard from others regarding Inspire Me: Raw are "I didn't know that's how life was for you" and "I'm happy to have a representation of what it's like to be bi cultural". A well known poet read my book and advised I put the poem "Citizen" first since it was timely for the political climate at the time..
In which way has playing and recording with alternative punk bands influenced your writing?
I’ve always been attracted to underground art, music and performances. When I had my fanzine LOZT: Magazine for the Artist Musician (a play on my last name and the fact the punk music was unique) and while interviewing bands, some musicians wanted to put my poetry to music. They asked me to write lyrics and then Bob Casale (RIP) of Devo produced one of my first demos. It was exciting to work late into the night recording vocals and seeing the lyrics I wrote put to music.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I love to decorate and upcycle. I've been doing upcycling before it had a name. Furniture is my favorite to makeover with paint, reupholster and my style is modern eclectic. As do most writers, I also love to read. I prefer mostly non-fiction but I'm constantly learning new ideas and reading the latest research in areas of science and psychology.
Some readers describe the experience as daydreaming through your eyes. What did you hope they would take away from the book?
That they are not alone. Sometimes I've felt isolated in my thoughts and feelings afraid to show vulnerability because of what I felt others would think. What I discovered from the reviews is how relatable the book is to other's experiences. Before I published to Amazon, THE KDP representative told me several times to press the publish button. At first, I was fearful of expressing my life experiences and how it would be perceived. What I hope the readers take away is no matter how fearful, letting go can be rewarding.
Inspire Me also recounts some childhood memories. Why did you find them important to include?
I've met others who have gone through childhood trauma and refused to address their issues. A few of these poems were difficult for me to publish so I was thinking of using a pen name. Eventually, I felt that I needed to show the true self. I hope that it can inspire others to deal with their pain as well.
Is there a theme that runs throughout the book? A hidden message of sorts?
Yes, life can be challenging and depending on your perspective you can let it rule your life or you can take charge.
How long did it take you to write and compile Inspire Me: Raw?
I would say about six months. The writing of the initial poems was quick because I write from emotion and/or dreams. It's important to catch the sentiment, as I can always work on the editing later. It took a few months to get notes back from the editor.
What was the very first poem you have written?
I was about five years old when I wrote my first poem so I don't recall what it was about. It was most likely a Mother’s Day poem. I also used to make arts and crafts using a stanza from one of my poems as gifts for my parents.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? Favorite writing spot, time of day to write etc.
I love nature. Everything about its beauty, terrain and its power. When the weather permits, I go to Griffith Park here in Los Angeles with a notebook and pen and just write about how I feel. The poems Tree and Merry-Go-Round were conceived at this park. My interest are also in physics, spiritualism and psychology. I meditate every day and my second book FOLLOW: Akashic Dreaming through Time deals with the past-lives and how each incarnation came from meditation and dreams. I mostly write in the morning and yet some of my favorite poetry came to me at night. I have been know to stay up writing, Yet, I only edit in the morning when my mind is the clearest.
What are you working on right now?
Inspire Me: Perception which is a follow-up to Inspire Me: Raw. It was supposed to be part of the first book, but these poems had a different message. Since they deal with perception I felt that they were too complex to edit. Inspire Me: Perception also addresses change similar to Inspire Me: Raw but the change is about current life and it's experiences and beliefs. The new book is due to be released this summer.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I love hearing from readers. They can reach me at this website: PoeticResurrection.com. I'm very good about responding to emails. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/poetic.resurrection/ Also, I've made videos out of some of these poem which can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAJgk3HMADdbg3iIyzHlH9A?view_as=public
Information on my acting/performing career can be found at this website www.SoniaLozada.com.