Exclusive Interview with Tyler Knott Gregson
Tyler Knott Gregson is a poet and a photographer, widely known amongst his readers as 'The Typewriter Poet'. His Haikus inspire in their simplicity because it has become rare to find beauty in the mundane. His poems are capturing in their tone and in the way he utilizes his words. His photography is simply breathtaking, to say the least. All his aforementioned works can be found on his website.
1) You are a poet and a photographer and they are both very compatible with each other in that poetry and photography both aim to capture a moment or a series of moments in life, they just use different means to do it. What got you interested in both poetry and photography in the first place?
have always written, for as long as I can remember really, so that came along
naturally. I always thought of photography
and the way I take a picture as an extension of that, as a way of writing
without doing so. I have always treated
photography as a way to stop and freeze tiny little moments in time and make them
feel grand, and in a sense, I think I try to do the same thing with my
writing. Tiny moments made large.
2) Your poetry is so capturing in its simplicity, both in its presentation, using a typewriter, and in the words of the poetry itself. Is this thematic simplicity something that you aim for in your poetry?
For me, when I write anything but poetry, I often find myself using too many words, I love to describe, and just like I always try to use photographs to convey the same spirit as a poem, in a sense I think I try to use writing to make photographs in the reader’s mind. With poetry, however, I have tried to simplify. To whittle it down to the minimum that expresses that feeling or emotion I felt whilst experiencing it. I think sometimes, less IS more and it’s such a challenge to say what you need to say without taking pages and pages to do so.
3) I think that poetry has evolved (for lack of a better word). Contemporary poetry is different from Victorian poetry, Shakespearian poetry, and those poems that we refer to as classics. How do we get literary magazines, poetry readers out there, and perhaps the world, to accept that poetry has changed stylistically, and not everyone adopts the three aforementioned styles?
This is a thing I face every single day. When people think of the word poetry, they think of exactly what you described. Both in style and in substance I think people expect poetry to be something old fashioned, something using language we don’t often hear anymore, and when it strays from that, its adoption can be slow. I think poetry can be, and should, and Is evolving and there are so many beautiful kinds of it now, from the dark and gritty of Bukowski, to the almost musical and lyrical poetry of people like Sarah Kay and Anis Mojani.
4) I think that one of the hardest things out there for a poet is finding and capturing an audience, I can relate to that sentiment. But, you seem to have found a huge following of readers, how were you able to capture your audience?
Honestly, by writing. A lot. I post a Haiku a day, a Poem a day and a photograph with a prose caption every day. 3 a day and I just never strayed and I think people eventually noticed, and for some reason that still blows my mind, I enjoy it. The best advice I think I know how to give is to just write and write and write for YOU and you alone. If you write for others, it shows and it won’t work. Write for you, what moves you, and the people will come. Very “Field of Dreams,” no?
5) You are a very talented poet and right now, you publish your poems online only. This is good because it makes it easily accessible to your readers but, do you have any future plans to further your poetry career like publishing in magazines, publishing a book, or do you want to keep it low key and keep publishing on your website only?
I do actually. I have plans for a book, or series of books based on the typewriter series, and I am actually in the process of trying to make that happen right now. We’ll see what is to come, but hopefully some fun and big things!
6) What advice do you have for aspiring poets out there- like myself- that would help us improve on our art and further our career for the nearer future?
As I said above, the most important thing is to write. Just keep writing. Even if you’re stuck even if the words don’t want to come at first even if you feel out of sorts, write until you cannot imagine not writing. It won’t all be amazing, it won’t all strike a chord, but it will be you and it will be honest and real. Write because you must, and let the readers worry about the reading.