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Interview with The Poetry Bandit

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Poems are always seen as a window to the writer’s heart, and a door to the beauty of life. Words are worth worlds when they make your soul swirl. And such is the case of – The Poetry Bandit.

This week, The Circular interviewed Jon Lupin, a Canadian Poet. He writes as The Poetry Bandit and has garnered a lot of appreciation on Instagram. For his craft of writing, he has also been listed on CBC’s “Ultimate Canadian Poetry List”.
Is there a story behind the name- The Poetry Bandit ?

Yes, I’m an alcoholic in recovery. In 2014 I started to write again after my wife came home with a typewriter and started to write herself and share on Instagram. I needed a handle. So, I decided up The Poetry Bandit because I was stealing back my love of writing and creating from my addiction. I try to write daily.

How do you feel your poems have shaped up over the years?

They have matured. I take pride in trying to say a lot or paint a complicated picture with as few words as possible. My long form has definitely improved. I’ve been writing in some fashion or another since I was 16 – that’s 24 years.

How has your audience reflected upon your poems?

 Many people who know they have an addiction to drugs or alcohol have confided in me when no one else proved worthy in their personal life, and I have worked very hard to ensure these people receive the right advice and a place to professionally help them if they are willing.
Are there any other poets/writers who really inspire you?

John Keats. Milton. Shakespeare. Wordsworth. Shelley. Poe. The Classics. 

You’ve written several pieces of poetry and also, a few books. How has been that journey?

I have a self-published book of poetry out called My Sober Little Moon that chronicles my first year of quitting alcohol and that struggle. You Only Love Me When I’m Suffering is a follow-up book to that, but also is my first traditionally published book with MacMillan Publishers. Encyclopedia of a Broken Heart is my third book, but my second traditionally published book with MacMillan and will be available in October 2019. The journey has been nothing short of amazing.
If ever given the opportunity to go back in the past, would you still choose to become a poet?

 I would. Poets are versatile. And feel everything. It’s a great way to live your life.

What do you think the future holds for poetry? Any tips for aspiring writers/poets?

Poetry has a dicey future in my opinion. On social media, it is slowly becoming a world of short one-liners – while this is great for Instagram and an instant read, it is not good for the book industry. If you’re going to make a poetry book, people want something to sink their teeth in. People in bookstores are RARELY the same people who follow you on Instagram. If you want to make a splash, make sure your books are meaty. 

Jon Lupin and his family | Image Credits: The Poetry Bandit via Instagram

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