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Equatorial Poetry - Radoslav Rochallyi

I’m delighted to share with you this interview with poet Radoslav Rochallyi, our Cyber Smut contributor and one of the most exciting experimental poets I’ve come across in years. I hope you enjoy it.

xx Julianne

Director at Guts

1. Who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?

My name is Radoslav Rochallyi, I was born in 1980 in Bardejov, Czechoslovakia. My roots are a mixture of Lemko and Hungarian origins. I studied philosophy and later I got my doctorate. Part of my education is also the study of mathematics and visual arts, which significantly influence my work from a formal point of view. The content of my work has been shaped by frequent encounters with the death of loved ones in childhood. The different styles and themes I have used have basically dealt with this fact of finitude. I used to write dark poetry as a young boy, and the older I get, the more I turn to happiness and joy, because it is a better guide in life than sadness.

I am a writer, poet and artist currently living in the Czech Republic. My work combines elements of philosophy, mathematics and visual arts. I have published over a dozen books and my art has been featured in various international exhibitions and magazines. I try to combine mathematical precision with poetic expression, creating - or at least trying to create - works that challenge conventional boundaries and invite the reader to discover new perspectives.

In my writing, I often use mathematical symbols and structures to create a unique form of poetry that I call "Equatorial Poetry". This approach allows me to express complex ideas in a visually and intellectually engaging way.

It is interesting to note that I began my exploration of mathematical poetry in England. In the town of Attleborough in the summer of 2001, and partly in Hastings in August of the same year. I haven't been back since. Which I regret to this day, because it was in England, in Hastings, that I experienced my first and so far last genius loci.

2. Tell us about your first published book of poetry.

My first published poetry collection Panoptikum: Haikai No Renga is a collection of poems written in the Japanese haiku style. This collection of poems explores themes of human experience and perception through short verse. The book was inspired by my early experiences with literature, especially the philosophy of existentialism and voluntarism, and reflects my fascination with Japanese poetry at the time and the themes I was living with at the time. To be honest, I don't remember much from that period more than 20 years ago. If you will allow me, I would rather write about my last book, "A vague report of a strange time: a non-mathematically poetic", where there is equation poetry, which is closest to my nature and way of looking at the world. Because the equations themselves are short and give the poetry a different dimension.

3. When did you write it?

The texts for the book "A vague account of a strange time: non-mathematically poetic" were collected over four years. Basically, it was a part of the texts that did not fit into my previous book "# mathaeata". It was finally published in 2023.

4. When was it published? How did you pitch it?

As I wrote, the book was published in 2023. I submitted it directly to the publisher. There was call for submissions. So I used the standard, boring, but proven way.

5. How long did it take you to find a publisher, and who was it?

I sent it to three publishers who specialize in experimental poetry. I received a positive response from the Yorkshire publishing within a month. But that was an exception. It usually takes much longer.

6. Do you have any advice for poets who are currently pitching agents and publishers?

Absolutely. Before you send your manuscript anywhere, make sure the publisher publishes the kind of literature you write. I'm not saying a small miracle can't happen, but it's unlikely. If you write experimental poetry, it is best to send your manuscript to a specialized publisher. And, of course, do not send unsolicited manuscripts. Wait for calls.

7. What have you been working on recently?

I am currently enjoying an artistic residency at the Potôň Theatre in Bátovce, Slovakia. It's quiet, peaceful, and I have an assigned studio to work in, which is great. I am currently converting my poetic equations into paintings and trying to figure out how to adapt the horizontal rigor of the equations to different shapes.

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You can find out more about Radoslav Rochallyi's poetry and artwork on his website:

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