—from Rattle #64, Summer 2019
Tribute to Instagram Poets
Kat Lehmann: “I’m a Ph.D. biochemist, which means I occasionally let my freak flag fly a bit by writing science poems. I wouldn’t say that Instagram is the primary venue through which I share poetry. I enjoy publishing in journals and have a couple of books, but Instagram has a special place in my poetry writing practice that is not filled by traditional venues. I learned to write Japanese short form poetry as part of the Twitter haiku and tanka community. Twitter helped me develop my precision in word choice ‘back in the day’ when tweets were limited to 180 characters. I loved exploring the depth possible in a tiny space, and I believe this economy helps me when I write longer poems. Twitter led me to join the analogous communities on Facebook and participating in NaHaiWriMo and similar groups. Three years ago, I joined Instagram in advance of my son getting a phone. I knew young people were on Instagram, and I wanted to be savvy with the medium before my son had a presence on it. Soon, I fell in love with the visual component of Instagram for presenting poetry. I get a real nerdy thrill when I can zoom onto a page of poetry and show the lush texture of paper. I play with lighting and props. I print poems and take them outdoors into the dirt, river, and garden. I use Instagram as a statement that poetry is at home everywhere; it fits in the real world. I can make a poem beautiful in an immediate and multi-sensory way, and the people on Instagram are primed to receive it and provide immediate feedback. Where else can a writer receive an instant response from readers and have fun with presentation in the process?” (web)
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