On the heals of my interview with C.J. of the StarTribune, I received another interview request from Minneapolis Happenings. Minneapolis Happenings is a digital magazine that is all about Minneapolis. When asked by the editor, Wendy Jacobson, why I agreed to the interview, I jokingly let her know it because I wanted to usurp my friend Erica Hanna (follow here on Twitter here) as the Twin Cities top Twitter personality. Seriously.Read: An Interview with A Poet: StarTribune
I met Wendy for a fun-filled conversation where I thoroughly believe I had Wendy’s head spinning with all of the things we discussed, much of which didn’t make it in to the article which you can find here. I have been finding myself getting additional requests for interviews, which is something that while I am comfortable doing, I tend to still decline those requests. I prefer to remain behind the scenes, helping out those endeavors that I find near and dear to my heart.
The only thing that I didn’t like about my interview with Wendy was that my Groucho Marx mask broke before the interview, so I didn’t have a disguise. Granted I did pick up a pair of Sun-Staches from Party City, which I think are pretty funny for a disguise. So without further ado, I thought I would also include the entire text from the Minneapolis Happenings article. Enjoy.
Did you know that Twitter has its own unofficial poet laureate, and that he lives right here in the Twin Cities? It’s true.
His name is The Product Poet and he loves writing about products, charities, travel and food. In poetry.
Naturally, we wanted to meet him, and after some back and forth of poetry banter consisting of 140 characters or less, we were lucky enough to secure a meeting with the masked poet.
That’s right; he is masked. No one knows his real identity (well, not no one, but certainly not a lot of people). We wanted to understand who he was and why he does what he does (hey, that rhymes!).
First and foremost, The Product Poet loves poetry. In fact, he’s been writing poetry pretty consistently for 20 years. He started as a young boy in St. Paul and never stopped, really.
To help spread his love of poetry and as a way to keep it alive and fresh, he took to Twitter three years ago. His first tweet was on April 17, 2012. Since then, he has accrued 148,000 followers and has sent out over 72,000 tweets.
He engages with brands and companies on Twitter and does so in some sort of poetic form. Whether it’s haiku or in rhyme, the tweets fly out of his brain, through his fingers and into the Twitterverse, usually in about 15 seconds.
There’s no planning on his part. It’s all on-the-fly, and many times, what he tweets out is a reaction to something he sees on Twitter.
The Product Poet has made lots of friends in the three years he’s been doing this. In fact, many brands look to him for social media help and training. Others invite him to participate in their weekly Twitter chats, and The Product Poet usually obliges.
Oh, and he makes no money for his efforts. All of his tweets are free, and if he does engage with a company in some training capacity, he asks that rather than the company pay him, they determine how much his efforts are worth and make a donation to their favorite charity in his name. Pretty cool, huh?
In fact, when he’s not on Twitter as The Product Poet, he is busy running two companies. And when he’s not doing that, he’s spending time with his family.
So why does he do it?
Because, he says, poetry is a dying art form and this is his way to not only promote it, but to try to keep it alive.
We’d say his efforts are not in vain and that he is making headway with his mission. He’d say Twitter is the perfect platform to carry out his mission because he can get his poetry out to literally thousands of people with a couple of key strokes.
Beyond brands, he has tried to engage with the U.S. Poet Laureate, the Poet Laureate from several states and other poets on Twitter, but to no avail. He has found that they either don’t have a Twitter account, or they have one but are not active on the social media channel.
Who does The Product Poet cite as his favorite poets? Edgar Allan Poe and Billy Collins.
And what are some of his favorite local businesses to tweet about?
A few spots he mentioned include Stella’s Fish Cafe, Yum Bakery, Travail Kitchen, St. Petersburg Restaurant and Vodka Bar, and Prime Deli and Restaurant.
If Twitter isn’t your thing but you’d still like to check out The Product Poet, you have lots of options. First, he has a website where he publishes his poetry and writes reviews. From there, you can check him out on Facebook, Instagram, and a number of other social media sites.
But if Twitter is your thing and you aren’t already, click here to follow The Product Poet for tweets daily and steady.[hr gap=”2″]Please follow Minneapolis Happenings on Twitter here and visit their website here.