Tyler Knott Gregson has made quite a name for himself on the internet with his various poems and haikus. He is also a photographer and lover of all things creative. Since there isn’t much more known of him than that it was an honor to sit down with him and learn a little more about the man behind the mysterious persona he has crafted. For more information on his work please see: http://tylerknott.com/
Where are you from? What are some of your fondest memories from there?
I was actually born in Newport News, Virginia, but I grew up all over the United States as my dad has been in professional baseball my whole life. My fondest memories actually are of just that, traveling this amazing country and seeing everything from the richest of the rich to the poorest of the poor and everything in between. We live in a country filled with stories, and my childhood let me see so many of them.
Did you always have an active imagination?
Always, always always. I started writing so very young, but even before that it ran rampant. Creativity has always trumped logic to me, always.
Is it fair to say you do love words? When did you first discover your love of words?
I love words more than any other art form. I think it’s the fact that everyone is given the same 26 letters (in English at least) and has the same choices to make. That all creativity comes from putting them together in different ways, forming them together in ways that feel beautiful or feel ugly or feel however you are trying to portray them feeling. I think I began writing poetry at 12, but loved writing from the moment I knew how.
Do you find there is a certain freedom to be found in writing?
So much freedom. As I said, we’re given 26 letters and it’s up to us how we put them together. The choices we make dictate the outcome of every single thing we write, and it’s completely up to us. I love that.
A lot of your work deals with love. What are your personal feelings on love? Do you think it is imperative to living a life well lived?
I think, and always have thought, that love is the reason we’re here. I think it’s the answer to the question as to why we are what we are. All kinds of love, romantic, platonic, familial, whatever, to give out love without any regard on getting it back…it’s the reason. The reason.
There isn’t much about you out there, though your work is everywhere on the internet. Do you enjoy being a little mysterious or are you just shy?
Hmmm. I think the most surprising and enjoyable thing I’ve found in how people are relating to my poetry, is how many different Ways they are relating to it. Everything from relating it to their significant other, to their parents or lost relatives, to their pets. People are finding love in so many different ways in my words, and I do not wish to ever take that away from anyone by offering up what I meant in the poems I wrote.
Are there any little known things about yourself that you’d not mind sharing?
I have been struck by lightning. I’ve almost died a few times. I have no fear of death. I started following Buddhism when I was 12. I am odd, I am sure.
What do you hope people take away from your work?
Great question. Honestly, I hope they take what they Need from it. I get a lot of criticism online for only writing a certain kind of poem about a certain kind of subject, love, but I think people who say those things are missing a great deal of what I write of. So MUCH of what I write of is about loss, Not having what you need, missing out on things that feel desperately crucial. I write about hurting as much as loving, and I think. I just hope people take away a feeling of hope. That no matter how dark things can get, there will be light again.
You are also a photographer. Do you have any on subject you like to capture most?
I love capturing people, the real sides of people. I love nature, and I love photographing animals and landscapes. I Just love trying to make big things seem small and small things seeming big and everything in between.
As a writer do you have a dream project you’d most like to accomplish before you die?
It will never happen, but I would love to be Poet Laureate. I’ve always dreamed of that honor.
What are your feelings on death and such?
I briefly touched on it above, but I have no fear of death. To Buddhists, death is just a continuation. The last light we see in this body is the first we see in the next. There is nothing to fear.
Are you surprised at how well received your work has been so far?
Shocked. I write for myself and to get things out of my head and to be completely honest, I never expected anyone, anywhere, to relate. I am blown away by the response, and the kindness I’ve received.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
Right now, I am putting everything together for the book that will be released through Penguin Books and their imprint, Perigee. Fall of 2014 is the scheduled release date and I’m hoping people love it.
Is there anything you’d like to say before you go?
Just thank you. There are a lot of misconceptions about me on the internet, so it’s fun to clear a few up. And so everyone knows, the “titles” in my Bio line on my website, are not self proclaimed, they are all things I have been called by meaningful people in my life. I’m not that egotistical (smiles).