Finding beauty and self-acceptance in our ever-changing modern society can be found with the help of many creative outlets if one allows it. When faced with a struggle early in life, poet, author, and visual artist Steven T. Licardi found his calling in the written word. The West Islip native exudes positivity and brings forth social issues in his poetry to connect with and inspire his audience. Taking the stage from South Hampton to the Upper East Side, Licardi’s greatest personal achievements as a poet are opening for award-winning poet Buddy Wakefield at the Velvet Lounge in East Setauket, and performing throughout California.
Before all of the numerous honorable mentions, awards, and truly making a name for himself in the world of poetry, his journey began with writing as an apparatus for Licardi to express and understand his emotional states. As a child he was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder, which made it difficult to connect with his emotions. Creativity allows Licardi to fully connect his mind and spirit.
“I think writing and specifically poetry provided the best way for me to make sense of my emotions. My manifestation of a PDD was a developmental disconnect between my cognitions and my emotions, and the ability to express myself helped to bridge that gap.”
The road of self-remedy has also paved the path of self-discovery for Licardi who has built his confidence and stamina to use his talents to be heard, understood, and cause emotional reaction. This seems to be a driving force for Licardi, as it would for anyone who is immersed in the creative world. To do something of passion that attracts attention as Licardi has accomplished is a true success. Not only his words but his delivery resonates a powerful punch of hope, even when addressing serious issues.
“My writing and my art are inspired by a desire to get people thinking, to explore a facet of culture, of society, of life, or of humanity. That is why a lot of my work deals with social issues (mental health, death, pop culture, etc.) I want people to understand, to think, to feel. To experience something new”
Once an obstacle, now Licardi praises the mere experience of feeling an emotion, any emotion. What can bring more of an emotional force than the thought of death? Specifically, your own death. The ultimate inevitable end-game we all face has fascinated Licardi for quite some time. He is in the final stages of finishing a novel he began 10 years ago which explores death from the point of view of the main character “Anaximander”. Working on this project has guided Licardi to an unexpected new outlook on life.
“If you embrace death, invite it into your home, sit and have a cup of tea with it, take it by the hand and say, “Come with me. Guide me” (because a good guide always knows what your final destination will be), it will show you how precious everything is. A glass of water becomes a delicacy. The fact that nothing will last makes everything beautiful and perfect.”
Licardi’s poetry strengthens our perceptions and challenges us to believe in something, stand up for it, experience new things, and embrace life and all its beauty. He will be performing at SPARKBOOM’S JINGLE BOOM: HOLIDAY BASH event on Saturday, December 20th at Huntington Arts Council’s Main Street Gallery located at 213 Main Street from 6-10PM along with James Kim, Frankie A. Soto, Meredith Nussbaum, and Bri Onishea. There will be craft beer courtesy of Saint James Brewery, treats from Stella Blue Bistro, Hint water, prize giveaways courtesy of Sip Tea Lounge, Lotus Vintage, Kilwins Huntington, and Escape Pod Comics, live music and windows tinsled out by Reme and Caitlyn Shea.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.
Great article Jenna about an awesome writer and performer. ~ Don Uhrie