|Read All Over celebrates the bookworm in all of us, showcasing readers in Vancouver and the books they love most.
|Chris Gilpin is the Co-Director of Verses Festival of Words and Hullabaloo: BC’s Youth Spoken Word Festival. He’s also a spoken word poet himself, having won the 2011 Vancouver Individual Slam championship, as well as the 2012 Erotica and Nerd Slams. You can find out more about his work at ChrisGilpin.com|
What are you currently reading? Your thoughts on it?
The Undisputed Greatest Writer of All Time by Beau Sia. Poems like “Seriously Wanna Get Naked With You Right Now,” “So You’re Not Into Asian Guys,” and “Did I Really Need to Write the Previous Poem?” let you know that this is a new kind of no-holds barred poetry. His poems are ambushes, but sincere ones. He’s not trying to shock or impress with irony or linguistic flourishes. He has something to say and he makes sure you hear it. I’m really looking forward to his first-ever Vancouver performance at Speak Bloody. He’s a huge figure in the spoken word movement but no one here has ever seen him perform.
How do you like your books served up best – audio books, graphic novels, used paperbacks, library loaner, e-reader…?
I’m a conventional book guy. I have an entire bookshelf filled with poetry books, anthologies, chapbooks, and CDs. But a lot of the poetry I hear these days comes from YouTube or MotionPoems.com – or live performance. I’m at the Vancouver Poetry Slam at Café Deux Soleils nearly every Monday.
Who is your favourite Vancouver/Lower Mainland writer?
Geoff Berner is the best poet in Vancouver. People think I’m joking when I say that, but I’m deadly serious. Just because he happens to sing his poetry instead of speaking it doesn’t make any difference to me. The words are what matter and his lyrics are as good as any published poetry.
What books have changed your life?
Orality and Literacy by Walter Ong completely changed how I view the literary and oral traditions. After reading it, I realized that, while we use the word ‘illiterate’ to describe a lack of literacy, there’s no equivalent word to describe a lack of orality. So I came up with ‘snoral’ as a new adjective for text-based performance that fails at public speaking and puts you to sleep.