Linda Kaye lives in the Mt. Washington area of Los Angeles in the hills east of downtown, famous for L.A.’s very first museum—the Southwest Museum. This area of Los Angeles is also currently home to many musicians, artists, and community and political activists, including writer Jack Smith from the LA Times.
Kaye is a native Angelino who grew up in the San Fernando Valley. She claims to be both a first-generation Valley Girl, and The Original Hipster. Educated at Antioch University and Cal State Long Beach in psychology and social work, her day job is working as a psychotherapist for an out patient mental health clinic, and as an adjunct professor at the USC School of Social Work. Linda also loves to travel. She shared, “Just tell me where you want to go, and I’ll join you! Hawaii, Buenos Aires, Thailand, Israel, France, Greece, Italy – all have seen my happy face. I’m down with all future adventures.”
In April 2014, Linda told Archive 405 about how she makes poetry:
How did you start writing poetry?
In February 2012, The Eagle Rock Center for the Arts was hosting a tribute show to celebrate, Don Cornelius, famed host of Soul Train, who had committed suicide a month before. My then neighbor, DJ Peanut Butter Wolf was spinning the music and videos for the show, and he invited me to attend. While walking into the venue, I saw a very handsome, Johnny Depp-looking man enter before me. We began talking and he turned out to be a writer/poet, who shared that he hosted a monthly open mic poetry salon. After going to it, I was instantly inspired to write. My first attempt was a poem titled “20 Years Left” which was written to the song, “Whatever Lola Wants,” from Damn Yankees.
What is your style?
My style is influenced by a beat that I feel when inspiration hits me. It stems from a sensibility towards the organic evolution of day-to-day experiences, and my instinctive intuition to share the wisdoms I have learned. As an educator and therapist I have a great responsibility to impart to those who are listening something worthwhile–juicy tidbits that touch the heart and soul.
What would you say are some of the driving forces or inspirations behind your work?
I’m very present and listen and pay attention wherever I am. It could be a phrase from a story I’m reading, or a comment someone makes on the street. All of a sudden I’m writing a poem. I recently attended a poetry workshop given by the famous poet, Suzanne Lummis, who is also the granddaughter of Los Angeles pioneer Charles Lummis. She placed some items on the table to inspire us. I was immediately drawn to the string of pearls, which then sparked an instant flow of creative thought, resulting in the poem, “Pearls of Wisdom.” Here’s a verse—
Pearls of wisdom she wears around her neck
Unbeknownst to her she parades the earth in search of insight beyond her years her hair tangles as she twirls the beads through her fingers while thoughtfully contemplating her demise
What topics and themes do you work on?
Anything that strikes my fancy at that moment.
What themes would like to work on?
My next show will be June 15 and the theme is “Fearless.”
What is your favorite piece right now?
“Love Lost and Fairy Tales”
Though it must vary from piece to piece, what do you hope those who hear your work will take from it?
A sense of honesty. My work comes from my lust for life, a joie de vivre.
What is next for you and your poetry? What do you hope to achieve with it?
For my next production, “Fearless,” we will hopefully share a true state of abandonment!
The poets will be sharing acts of fearlessness in their lives.
Do you have an audience in mind when you write? Who is your ideal audience?
The audience is anyone who shares a love for the art of poetry and spoken word. All are
welcome—and sometimes there are surprises!