Ronald Hoffman

Biography

Ronald Hoffman is a small press digital publisher of poetry, fiction and art. His first chapbook of poetry, The Songs of Barnabas Collins is a collection of poems of stream of consciousness writing from the fictional persona of Barnabas Collins, a product of super robotic/humanoid Singularity. Barnabas channels channels the various poems of long forgotten individuals through data recovery and brings antiquity to life through human expression, something that is quite valued thousands of years from now in a time where boundaries of life and death have long since been breached, and acts of human sentiment have become virtually nonexistent. Ronald has has also published an lp, Autumn Years, which showcases the same existential themes as the chapbook The Songs of Barnabas Collins, ageing, death, retrospection, seeing the child as father of the man. He performs lyrical ballads and poetry on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpzsfhd6hYpXk3PxAqu2tqQ.

Smashwords Interview

Who are your favorite authors?
Henry Miller, Charles Bukowski, Lester Bangs, T.S. Elliot, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Irving Stettner, Geezer Butler.

Henry Miller for his free and easy flow and rich symbolism. He was able to see every task with a sort of zen perspective. He was always in the moment, pouring his heart out over a flower, or thinking of the well being of his children. And he always wrote with a sentimental nature towards women he was hopelessly in love with. Imagine walking away from the world he had known for 38 years in New York and going to Paris to start a new life as a writer even though he had yet to write his first novel.

Charles Bukowski because of his minimalism. The scene in Ham on Rye where he won the ROTC competition in fair measure because he was more relaxed was something that would stick in my head because Bukowski was entirely indifferent and therefore lacked the anxiety that goes along with performing because you have something at stake. Later, in Ham on Rye, he decides the study of world literature and creative writing courses wasn't the way toward his writing voice. It was the intense awareness of one's existence and separating the individual away from the expectations of relatives and society that made Bukowski and Henry Miller fascinating to me.

T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost for their lyricism. Eliot was a master manipulator of tone. The Four Quartets plays on the mind's ear just as freely as if the lyrics are being spoken with dramatic voice inflexion. And of course, there is the dramatic tone that Eliot, Dickinson and Frost share that makes them so appealing to me. Emily Dickinson's metaphor and symbolism, particularly of death and nature were always very appealing to me, her spartan lines were so powerful with drama and I found her short poems much more to my liking than poems with many more lines. I think the French Symbolist poets Rimabud and Baudelaire were just as much of a writing influence as Eliot. I read them as a young man in my teens and could more relate to them than I could with Alan Ginsberg or most of the Beats. Although, I have always liked Lawrence Ferlingetti as someone who wrote about every day things in a very profound way, and with rich, yet minimalist symbolism. His poems are generally the length of a song and therefore play out like a performance.

Lester Bangs was a writer for Creem Magazine and others in 70s, and passed away in 1982. He had a very distinct, although shrill and dismissive tone at times. But he masterfully churned satire with the most brilliant and biting prose that one recognizes quite readily among the music critics for the rock and pop magazines of the 70s. There was a lot of humor, and satire, and the classic rock and roll narrative, and that was Lester Bangs, among others, in the 70s.

Geezer Butler, the bassist for Black Sabbath, i have read in numerous publications, was the primary songwriter for most of those great old Black Sabbath tunes, and those were some of the greatest rock and roll lyrics written. There was nice arrangement of words with the vowels and consonants which flowed well with the guitar riffs. There was always a complete message with no dangling ideas, phrases or sentences like in a lot of 80s metal. When I was a boy the lyrics were always a part of the package. And for the most part I was too self absorbed to care much for standard rock and lyrics talking about love relationships or partying. I was always reading or writing or playing guitar since 12 or 13. Or listening to music, which i did a lot of, listening to Black Sabbath. Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors. And the lyrics of these bands' songs were influential because they were bands that stood out for me because they were interesting lyrically as well as musically. If i didn't know what the singer was singing I could usually hum the notes for the same effect in my mind anyway.

Walt Whitman was optimistic about his place in the Universe, and saw the connection with the flower that henry miller couyld see, or emily dickinson, or robert frost. he also was determined to explore his own voice with a life long determination that all authors who have ever inspired me have. He published Leaves of Grass himself through many revisions, after being universally rejected by American publishers.

And Irving Stettner, who shared the same emotional, sacred experience of existence that Henry Miller did, and who gave me my first real publication credential in his Stroker magazine. It was quite an honor to have been published by someone who influenced me through his magazine as well as his drawings, postcard sketches, and handwritten notes, and the novel Thumbing Down the Riviera. The short stories and poetry he published by others brought me to the works of Paul Bowles, Henry Miller, Bukowski and Muhammad Mrabet.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a rural area in Ottawa County, Michigan. Both of my parents came from a rural living environment, saw things more from a do it yourself perspective, and were always suspect of outside influences. My mother was Catholic, and my father had converted to Catholicism because that's what he had to to in the early 60s if he wanted to marry a Catholic woman, but he kept to a more conservative and self absorbed way, a more disciplined way, both he and my mother actually, than i was prepared to conduct myself with. I wanted to explore more than rules and regulations and appearances.

The rigid old school guilt mechanism in Catholicism and the folksy way relatives would talk and banter about every day things always shared a sort of mystical quality about them it. As a catholic boy growing up in a predominant dutch protestant community the floor was laid for a very cynical and negative view on life for me, personally. I would be harassed by the protestant boys in the neighbor constantly, whether it be for my satanically infiltrated religion, or for stupidity due to my public school education. It profoundly sapped my ambition, yet at the same time, the fields and streams, the trees and wooded paths of my youth, along with the country music that was constantly on the radio throughout the day have always been a foundation of symbolism for which my poetry returns to establish root relation to a sort of engagement with divinity.
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Where to find Ronald Hoffman online


Videos

Mommy, Mommy
Reading of the independent poem, Mommy, Mommy. Dec. 17, 2016

Books

The Songs of Barnabas Collins
Price: Free! Words: 3,070. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » American poetry, Nonfiction » Comics (nonfictional)
18 songs by Barnabas Collins covering the emotional reaction to birth, life, and death, and facing the horror of awareness we as humans all must face. From the elementary school child, to the reactionary ideologue that a person seemingly becomes, along with old age that follows, Collins captures the emotional bond of the old man as he looks back toward his childhood and views a commo

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