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Robert Levy - equally known in both poetic and hippie environments. It has contributed greatly, if not fundamentally, to the development of both. Ever since I can remember, he has always been a significant figure in the cultural life of the capital. Poet, editor, screenwriter, he is one of the people who never gets tired of searching and creating great art, opposing the template and the overall taste. He is the author of the poems One of the Needlepoint and Babylon - containing extremely strong and valuable poetry that never bores the reader as many times as they read.


His latest book, Dromomachia, came out in January 2018. Since then, a lot has happened to him - leaving the country, starting a new life and a new job in Germany, new texts, new perspectives. Today, two years later, I talk to him about his new poem, which, I hope, will soon be released on the Bulgarian book market.

How does your writing affect the climate in Germany?


It depends what you ask me. If it is literal - not at all. It's not the climate that determines whether you're feeling well somewhere. If the question is rather metaphorical, then it has a positive effect on me.


You are about to publish a new book. As I understand it, Lexicon Publishing is working on it. When are you planning to premiere?


From now on, everything is beyond the author's and in the hands of the publisher. I do not have plans.


Dromomachia has been a kind of diary of your life for the last 20 years, and maybe more. The forthcoming book contains entirely new texts. Are there any "treasures" you haven't released yet that you plan to include?


To be honest, Dromomachia is a book that has been written since the first half of the 80s. And in the new one there are several poems from this period.

How important is the role of the editor? How would you look at a book published without an editor?


Without an editor? For the sake of the world, I would not have made this experiment. When I choose an editor, I choose people I know who have exceptional taste, a sense of the word and are not inclined to conform to the author's ego. As a result, my editors are exceptional Bulgarian poets (I repeat, I chose them myself) - Marin Bodakov of Dromomachia and Kristin Dimitrova of the forthcoming book.


For a long time, you have been creating unique "Poets in a Frame" and "Poetic Mondays at Delta Blues bar" series, which gave you the opportunity to shine the best Bulgarian poets. Now Mondays are running, but without its creator. Do you miss them? Don't you plan to resume Poetry in some other form?


Poetry couldn't have existed without me at all. In contrast, my other project, Poetry Mondays at the Delta Blues bar, goes well without me. He is very good at the moment the poet is Hristo Mukhtanov. He has a knack for inviting good authors and a high sense of responsibility to this popular format. The only difference I see between him and me is that he is more inclined to give way to younger and more unfamiliar artists, as I emphasize more on established names. I'm not sure, but his approach seems to be better. To resume any of my formats, I have to give up something I am currently building! Not another format - your life from the beginning! No, I will not resume Poets!


They say that the side is better visible. What does contemporary Bulgarian poetry look like from beyond the borders of the country?


It looks exactly as I saw it before I left - at a high European level. If anyone in Bulgaria has or intentionally instills low self-esteem, this is his or her problem. I don't know why we tend to downplay our achievements! Maybe because the "inflated balloons" in literature are more visible from afar than from afar ?!

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# poetry today

In almost every interview with a Bulgarian poet I read, the same questions are asked: Which is good writing, after all? What is the difference between popularity on social networks and true writing success? Where does Bulgarian poetry go?

Each interviewed poet agrees that popularity on Facebook is not a guarantee of talent, and that there are too many "writers" seeking quick and easy "glory", however subjective that term may be. It turns out that none of them are among the gifted, or vice versa, that they all are. What is your opinion?


In general, I think Facebook is not a good platform for poetry. In no case am I saying that posting online should not be done. I'm just against using social networks. Poetry should be published on Facebook when there is an event (such as a premiere). Otherwise the result is Augustine - enormous popularity for absolutely hollow, poetically arranged words. Facebook is the realm of mediocrity.


Where do you find your inspiration or where does it find your inspiration?


I have said before that the poet writes when the Lord dictates. And when and where he chooses to whisper in your ear, it's his job.

Usually young poets are asked which poets have designed them. As an experienced poet, I will ask you: Which poets have you shaped with your advice and your writing?


No one! I avoid giving advice because poetry is very personal. In addition, in order to shape someone, I have to be on an exceptional level myself. I don't have one. The only thing I learned from anyone was that I "taught" one of our most talented poets how to arrange a poem before she reached the editor.


What to expect from the new book and Robert Levy?


Expect to be the typical Robert Levy. And nothing more.

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