Interview and Photography by Jorge Lara
VIM: Greetings Vogue! Your newly published book of poems "Vogue 3:16" is out now. Tell us how you came up with the title and how did you select the poems for your book. How has it been performing those poems?
VOGUE ROBINSON: Hey Jorge! Yes, my book is finished and in circulation! Whoo hoooo!!!! Funny you ask about the title. I have a list of potential book titles in a notebook. This one felt the most fitting. Simply put, my birthday is 3/16. However, the book is also about my own spiritual journey. The rest of the details on the title can be found in the book itself :)
VIM: You are a member of the Battleborn Slam community. For those poets out there interested in performance poetry, what advice would you give them if they wanted to take reading on the mic to the next level? Do you still remember your first performance on the mic?
VOGUE ROBINSON: Perform as often as possible to as many audiences as possible.
B: "comparison is the thief of joy" - Teddy Roosevelt
What makes performance poetry so fun is the diversity. Your job is to be yourself. All you should ever ask yourself is "Did I say what I needed to say?" And it's hard. But working with that perspective will help you grow.
C: (laughs) yes, I remember my first time onstage. It was at "Elevated!" San Diego's Premiere spot for spoken word (Hella HBO Def Poets have touched that stage). I asked the host, Chris Wilson, to stay up there with me. Bright lights beaming in my face. Paper in hand, shaking. Me, reading a poem about how short guys get underestimated. It was a cute poem. I think I sang in it too.
VIM: You are a transplant from San Diego. How has it been for you here in Vegas? What do you think of the local poetry scene?
VOGUE ROBINSON: Dang, now I feel like a surgical procedure! (Laughs) I love Vegas culture. Honestly, I feel like y'all work really hard to prove you have culture and debunk myths about the city, but the scene speaks for itself! I feel like I was welcomed with open ears and hearts immediately. I still remember the storing silence the first night I performed at Human Experience. Vegas is good for my general self esteem. And obviously, I connected to a man I truly love in this city. I owe ya one, Vegas!
VIM: You host your own reading as well. Tell us about it? I have not had a chance to attend yet, but I am looking forward to the next one.
VOGUE ROBINSON: I co-host Words In Motion with Brandi "The Prince" Madison. She is a
fellow writer who just completed her 1st Chapbook, "Poems About Her".
Our other partner is the manager of the venue/restaurant, WILD. She approached me about having spoken word in her restaurant and Brandi was already kinda looking for a new venue for "Words in Motion" so it worked out when we all came together.
The goal of "Words in Motion" is to create an inviting and kind atmosphere with love and respect. The seating kinda forces you to sit next to strangers and if you're a bit brave, you'll even share laughter and delicious food with them.
Wild is a vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free friendly restaurant. I highly recommend the lentil curry, ginger lemonade + liquor, and ANYTHING from the desserts! Anything.
THURS 4/17-- 7PM
WORDS IN MOTION @WILD
(Ground level of the Ogden)
150 N. LAS VEGAS BLVD. STE 100
LAS VEGAS, NV 89101
VIM: Tell us a bit about your life growing up. What were your early inspirations, experiences in the world of art? What motivates you now?
VOGUE ROBINSON: My grandma majored in Art History and taught every level of education
from collegiate down to 2nd grade. She also painted, mostly watercolors. I used to go with her to the county fairs to sell and display her work.
We also had a mini-farm, Pygmy goats, pot-bellied pigs, chickens, geese, etc. and a garden.
Anytime a school project called for an art aspect, she loved getting involved. That's probably why I love school supplies. All the possibilities!
I was also privileged to grow up in a home that had a full scale library. 3-4 set of encyclopedias, multiple dictionaries, and multiple books about faith.
My education, well-rounded-ness, and love of language has always been nurtured.
Life has always been my inspiration.
VIM: What can expect next from you? Working on another book of poems or
just concentrating on this one at the moment?
VOGUE ROBINSON: I have a trifecta of things in the works at the moment!
A: Tentatively Titled, the "Denture Love" Tour! (See attached flier)
B: A line of T-shirts based on my poetry
C: Recording a CD with DJ Rooter of subHOP
When I finished choosing poems for "Vogue 3:16" I made sure I titled it as vol. 1 to remind myself that there is so much more to come. I have at least 5 poems that I want to edit and put in the next collection. I need to figure out the theme, cover art, and subtitle. In the next 3-5 years, I'm sure the next book will be completed. I wanna focus on the first book and give it 100%.
VIM: I am looking forward to watching you and the Battleborn Slam team perform for Pop-Up Poetry this coming Friday. What are looking forward to this National Poetry Month. How will you be celebrating?
VOGUE ROBINSON: My life is always running on poetic fluid. LOL, by that I just mean, all year long, I am a poet. It is awesome to see so many other poets posting their writing on facebook for others to read. It gives poetry a lot more exposure. I'm not one for posting unfinished work online, so I don't think I'll be posting poems I write in April online...but ya never know! I plan on celebrating by making my poems into a reality. I'll be going to more concerts, dancing in the moonlight, and travelling this wondrous world.
VIM: You last performed at Provoke Infusion, hosted by Paloma Solamente and Logan Writes. How was that?
VOGUE ROBINSON: Logan has become a close friend of mine and I am very happy to say, I
have super-supportive friends! She and Paloma have always been welcoming and kind to me. It's awesome to have an opportunity to perform in front of different audiences. You can perform in 3 different places in the same city on 3 different occasions, and you''ll begin to recognize the faces of open mic frequenters. That is what makes the city small. But what is also amazing, is to perform at a different venue almost every day in the same week and meet brand new people. You get to share your work to brand new ears! I love it. It reminds me that no matter how old a poem gets in my mind, it's always new to someone else, and thus, I should give it my all.
AND that audience reminded me how much I love my poem for Amy Winehouse. I never expect people to empathize with the piece because it's such a long poem. But they received it and I felt understood. It
reminded me why I perform.