Bolivar T. Caceres is a New York City artist who writes poetry and fiction. He is the author of the chapbook Outside my Garret Window. It is available on Amazon. He writes for and edits the film blog, Film Studies 401, which analyzes a classic film every month. His poem, Rain in the Streets, appears on ShortEdition. Connect with him on social media @BolivarTCaceres.
1. Tell us about you and where are you from?
Hey! Before we start, I want to thank you, Jasveena, for this interview, and for giving artists like myself a place to share themselves and their work.
My name is Bolivar T. Caceres, and I live in the Bronx, New York. On my good days, I consider myself an artist. Although I dabble in all forms of creation — drawing, illustration, music, video making, etc. — my focus is composition, literature, and film history. My passion is storytelling.
In 2019, Short Edition published my first poem, “Rain in the Streets.” You can read the poem on ShortEdition, and you can also watch the “Rain in the Streets” Poetry Video on my youtube channel. In 2020, I had the pleasure to release my first chapbook, “Outside My Garret Window.” It is a collection of poems written by a poet who searches for a way to connect with their world, using poetry as a tool for discovery. It is available on Amazon. One of the poems in this collection, “Untitled,” about identity, has an animation video you can watch. I create all my media, including the “Untitled” animation.
I studied creative writing and filmmaking in college, and with that knowledge, I created my first blog, “Film Studies.” It is where we dissect sight and sound for pre-80s classic films. I work on this project with my good pal and editor, Mike Gates.
2. Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
In my mind, yes, but maybe this is something we should ask them. Haha. Facades being as they are and all.
3. Why do you choose to write more above your other forms of creations?
It’s not that I choose it; it is that I have to do it. It’s like you have to eat or… or like you have to go to work to have food, a home, the amenities, right? Well, I have to write to be non compos mentis. Haha.
4. What writing are you most proud of?
Although I love all my babies, those that I published, that I shared with readers, hold the joy of a bird seeing its fledgling soar alone for the first time.
5. Congratulations on releasing your first chapbook, “Outside my Garret Window.” What is it about?
“Outside my Garret Window” is a collection of poems nominally written from the perspective of the Garret Poet — an aspiring poet who lives in a poor and narrow attic. The chapbook is about discovery, love, hope, and independence; these themes glue the poems together. It’s also about paying respects to the bards and artists that wrote and created before me, which I try to do so with the language and allusions to classical literature and mythology.
In his space, the Garret Poet desires to be a bard, but he aims to connect and understand the world around him — past, present, and future. In a way, I think we all want this. So, when the reader closes “Outside my Garret Window,” I hope they know what the Garret Poet learned, that one can be part of this world as themselves, may it be as a poet or… whatever you want.
6. Why did you write “Outside my Garret Window”?
Although there have been many poems written and many attempts at compiling a manuscript, I didn’t go out and initially plan to write a chapbook called “Outside my Garret Window.” — But I guess it’s been a long time coming.
However, I ultimately wanted my first book to be a homage to classic literature and art. I also wanted to show how poetry can embody one’s spirit, voice, and passions. And how that spirit can connect us to everything in life — people, places, and things. I think Emily Dickinson’s poetry did this beautifully. From these thinkings, I guess “Outside my Garret Window” developed.
“Outside My Garret Window” Book Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfYf3zCBGOY&t=29s
7. What do you think makes a good story?
You. Readers are smart, and they know all the stories already. They see the twist, the turns, and although many remarkable writers keep readers on their toes, they know that no story is new. So, why do they continue to buy books? Why do they read? They come for you, your thoughts, your voice, your way with words. They come to see how you morph the old into something fresh.
8. What motivates you to write?
9. What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
When one closes “Outside My Garret Window,” I hope that a word, a phrase, a thought, lingers with them and grows like vines within them. I hope they are obsessed with these thoughts and feelings; So much so, they have to write to be free themselves. But the above is all is idealistic, right? All you should hope for is that the person who reads your books to be well. All one can do is to continue spreading positivity. For me, I try to do this with my creations, and I guess I hope my creations radiate it.
10. Okay, last one, If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
It can be me, you, Dickinson, O’Hara, Dick, Shakespeare, God, Ummm…Ummm. This is a hard question. I don’t want to exclude anyone. There are so many people. Can it be just everyone dead and alive? We can have a huge banquet, feast like how we imagine Viking gods did after a battle. Yeah! Everyone dead and alive at the banquet. Final answer.
11. Do you have any closing thoughts that you would like to share with the world and our readers?
Bless. Yes. Thank you all for your time and for reading this interview. I hope you’ll go out and read my chapbook “Outside my Garret” and connect with me on social media. And lastly, continue being beautiful.