The Edited Read: Post-it Poetry

Just came across an interesting interview on the blog “Little Word Studio” – where Melissa Kandel interviewed a writer based in Hollywood (self-styled as sob), who writes post-it poems and places them around his favourite walking route.  Here’s my quick highlights of what was said – see the full-length interview here.

Why write poetry on Post-its?

  • I went to grad school for directing but fell into writing out of compulsion. I was an English major in undergrad so I have those roots and it takes a ton of money and time to make a movie, where all it takes is a pen and paper to write. I’m currently trying to sell some scripts and get attachments for a movie I’m directing while working on the second draft of the aforementioned novel while also doing a ton of freelance film-related work. Basically, the old Hollywood Hustle.

What is the writing process?

  • Everything is an inspiration. I get hit constantly with little thoughts that I jot down into Notes on my phone, then I’ll try to sit down for a few hours once or twice a week to write them all into a longer word document and re-shape them. In addition, I’ll force myself to write a dozen or so new ones while I’m there and have the time.

Writers you admire?

  • As far as the authors, my lifelong obsessions are James Joyce and Shakespeare. But beyond that we have the other modernists, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, W.B. Yeats, etc. I love the Romantics: Blake, Shelley, Wordsworth, etc. Let’s see off the top of my head without cheating and looking at the bookshelves 12 inches from me—Carroll. Pynchon. Mark Z. Danielewski!, Fitzgerald, Austen, Auden, Donna Tartt, (OK, cheating now) … Eh— you get the idea. Everyone. I wish I read more philosophy.


Creative Takeaway

This week’s challenge: follow sob’s writing process, making short notes of words/phrases during the week, then sit down for an hour or two and stick with it until you get about 20 phrases.  Then write them on post-its and/or instagram.

Or if you like the physical texture of paper and pen – write them on postcards and post to friends.



Instagram Poet – Neil Hilborn

In marked contrast to Rupi Kaur, Neil Hilborn has much less soft focus, his Instagram feed is basic typed quotes, interspersed with lots more photos, of his book, his travels, rooms, a dog, and a sense of life on the road.

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Instagram Poet – Rupi Kaur

Case Study: Rupi Kaur.  One of the most successful (ie most followed on instagram with 1 million followers, most read in published book) poet is Rupi Kaur whose use of Instagram is masterly – because alternates words and pictures.  Her posts appear in rows of 3 squares – below is a screen shot of one such row.

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Usually, the pattern is to alternate between a poem with her own hand drawn illustration and photos of herself (good self-publicity).  In this row of photos, on the left is also a video – made of her publishers from around the world reading each line of her poem in their own language.  The video was made for Women’s Day.  From this, we learn that she is well published in many languages, she’s addressing a huge worldwide issue (women’s standing everywhere) – as well as the text of her poem.

The whole project of her poetry grew bigger and bigger – including at one point Instagram censoring her work – which was a turning point.  From the start her work has tackled her life’s experience as a Punjabi woman and the essential womanly experience. This video tells the story in less than 5 mins.  There is also a TED talk online.