Interview by Claire Green
Scrolling through Tumblr feeds can guarantee to place one in a state of endless emotions ranging from self-pity to raging sexual tension. Actober Reid has taken part in placing us here by sharing his poetry on Tumblr for the past year and a half. You will feel a sigh of relief and rarely overwhelmed when reading his poetry. Perhaps his sincerely romantic tone has something to do with it. We live in a world where everything is overly dramatic. We feel so deeply all the time that I have begun to question the sincerity of peoples’ words and actions. Reid has a way of expression that emits effortless passion as genuinely as a creative can. Learn more about this charming poet and how he intends to reach his fans through words.
When did you start writing and why?
I started writing when I was about 19. I did it to impress a woman I met.
You used to be in to photography. Has poetry taken it’s place as your favorite medium of creative expression?
Ahhh, I was heavy into photography! And some day I miss it. But for now, poetry and writing is all I do. In the past I thought that I could focus on both but time has taught me to make a choice. I chose poetry. So, yes, it is my fav medium.
You published a book of poems a while back. Can you remind me of the name? I can get it on Amazon right?
I did. It was called Thoughts Her World Gave Me. I wrote it to have somewhere to group all of the poetry I wrote during and right after my first relationship. I actually self published the book on my own and distributed the copies I made on my own. But I’m not ruling out amazon for future releases.
Do you have plans to publish another book of poetry?
Absolutely. Im working on a few ideas right now. In the mean time, I released a short poetry ebook entitled NastyHabit for free on my personal writing blog, ForPoetry.
What is your creative process for writing?
The easy answer is to say I don’t have one but that probably wouldn’t be the truth. Most writers have a process. I usually try to have a topic or idea going in. One based on real experiences or emotion. After and idea and a title, it’s all description from there. It just flows.
Is there a spoken word spot that you favor? Where can your fans find you performing?
Just recently I was speaking with friends about getting back into spoken word as heavily as I used to be. My fav places to see or perform spoken word was at The Nile on VCU’s campus before it moved. Lately it’s been all short poetry but I will begin performing again soon. My plan is to eventually hold my own readings and performances.
You also just joined twitter recently. Dare I ask why? What significance do you find in it for your craft?
I think it’s important to give those interested in your work more than one means of finding it. Twitter is another outlet for my own creative purposes and a really popular tool for writers. My twitter handle is @actober_reid for those interested.
Do you feel some sort of responsibility to incorporate the injustice occurring against blacks in 2015 into your poetry?
Of course. It’s important to me to speak up. With my work I try to spread awareness and to make people more knowledgable and thus more open.
Marketing ones self is extremely important today: how do you do that as a poet?
My approach to marketing is to let my work speak for itself. When I started posting poetry online a little over a year ago, I didn’t have the following that I do now. Eventually it spread like wildfire. Word of mouth has been my greatest. On the internet, people discuss and share the things they can identify with and relate to. I’ve been lucky enough for that to be some of my poetry.
Which statement best describes your work: Mostly for personal creative expression or for the enjoyment of others?
Mostly for personal creative expression. Whether I was my only reader or I had a million, I’d still be the same poet with the same poetry.
You can view more of Actober’s work here.