Tyler Knott Gregson is a poet, author and professional photographer based in Helena, Montana. Gregson has accrued fame as a poet on social media platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter since 2009.
• Charles Williams (Charles Walter Stansby Williams was a British poet, novelist, playwright, theologian, literary cr...)
• Andrea Gibson (Andrea Gibson is an award-winning poet and activist who lives in Boulder, Colorado. Their poetry ...)
• Shawn Michaels (Michael Shawn Hickenbottom, better known by his ring name Shawn Michaels, is an American actor, p...)» All Poet Interviews
Hey folks, I am Tyler Knott Gregson and I write things, photograph stuff, travel places, see people, and then come back home to Montana. I’ve written a haiku a day for over 8 years straight, and I have written a typewriter poem every single day for almost 2000 days. I have a new book out, Wildly Into The Dark, and you can snag it and help me donate $1 to @TWLOHA charity by going to: http://tylerknott.com/wildly. I’m here for you, Ask Me Anything.
I follow you on Instagram and I think you're brilliant.
Now that that's out of the way, how did you get the courage to share your work with people? I write a lot but I never have the courage to allow people to read what I write as I never feel like it's finished or that it's ever good enough.
I think You're brilliant. I don't think I've ever needed the courage or had the courage to post the things I write, I just write and write and write and then share them and kind of forget that anyone is going to read them. I am oddly removed from the effect (if there is any) of anything I write after it's written. In that way, I just don't really Think of it. I just write because if I don't I'll pop something in my brain and I don't want to do that. Write for you, forget the rest.
What are the best and worst moments of your life? What songs would be the soundtrack to those moments?
Wow, starting off strong. I don't think either have happened to me yet, but so far, I think the worst would be an amalgam of events all tied for it...losing loved ones, losing pets, loss in general. For the best, probably standing knee deep in the sea on the far north coast of New Zealand after being chased by killer whales in a storm while surfing. I think Sigur Rós music is probably the soundtrack to all the big events.
Do you ever feel uninspired and if so how so you conquer it?
I wish I did, but I don't. I am always, annoyingly at times, inspired and in total awe at everything around me. I kind of exist on this permanent odd plane of wonder and it's what fuels absolutely everything I do. I don't know how to conquer it because so far it's never happened, but maybe just by FINDING the wonder in all things.
I love the support you've given to TWLOHA through the years. How has depression/mental illness played into your life?
I have Aspergers, which isn't a mental illness but it's a condition that totally affects all I am and all I do and sometimes makes me feel on the teeter totter edge of a little bit crazy, so the entire mental condition is important to me. As someone who has lost people to suicide, as well, I know what that pain personally and directly feels like. I don't want anyone else to. Ever. So I'll do what I can how I can, whether it's with TWLOHA or answering emails or whatever. I'm here.
If you could breathe music, which song would you inhale, and which would you exhale? You just seem to me to be the sort of person who would breathe music.
I do breathe music, and this is so beautiful that you said it this way. I would breathe in "Intimacy" by Ketil Bjornstad, and I would breathe out "Von" by Sigur Rós.
Tyler, my fiancée and I discovered love about a year ago. Until then, neither of us cared much for poetry or love songs. But now we feel a connection to many of them, your work in particular, so much so that we're dedicating a wall of our bedroom to you! I just wanted to share our appreciation for your way with words. I'm excited to read through Wildly Into The Dark with my fiancée tomorrow, and I can't wait for our mini print to arrive! Do you have details on when those will be shipped out? (I had to ask at least one question.) I hope you enjoy your tour!
Wow, thank you. I've never had a wall dedicated to me, so I am officially moving up in the world. I'm not sure on ship dates, but I would assume soon as the brains behind that operation work pretty feverishly to make stuff happen. Quite the happy hive. Thanks so much again, hopefully I'll run into you sometime.
I'm a huge fan of both your work and to write love on her arms. you inspire me to be a better writer. twloha has been a big part of my personal story and I've been wondering what brought you to twloha? why twloha?
I spoke of this above, but I've lost people to suicide, and I don't want anyone to go through that, so I was immediately drawn to them. I still am. I'm always willing to help.
I run a club at my University called Poetics. We, along with our sister creative writing club, publish an anthology every year. Written, edited, copy edited, and designed all by students! over 200 pages of thick bound, ISBN numbered pride. Haha! We’re about to start work on Volume three.
I was wondering a couple of things:
We’re (coincidentally) reading your book this month for our “book of the month in Poetics”! Any particular gems, or talking points you think could really add to the conversation?
Do you ever/would you ever consider attending University conferences as an invited speaker? Just asking for a friend… Haha!
Thanks so much <3 <3 Love from Alberta, Canada
Wow, how flattering is this?! I just imagined you all like Dead Poet's Society and standing on tables and it made me unnaturally happy. As for talking points, maybe discuss the difference in feel, tone, and energy of poems written for the Audience, vs. poems written as a cathartic tool for the Writer...can you feel it? Can you tell the difference?
And to answer your other question, Yes, I'd love that! Alberta isn't too far from where I live, I was there twice.
I absolutely love your tattoos! Specifically, your Chasers of Light tattoo. Would you mind if I got it on myself?
Hey futurebear, absolutely I wouldn't mind. IF I get to see a photo of it all done afterwards? That'd be rad.
Hi TKG! Been following your work since 2011 and find it so inspiring - do you ever go through your super old posts on your blog?
(I think there are some gems you should include in your new books)
I don't really read much of anything I write once it's written, but this is a rad idea. Which would you want included?!
I follow you on IG and I gotta say, not many things invoke an emotional response from me when I read them, but your work definitely does. Your words and outlook oftentimes express what I am feeling or thinking and I connect strongly to them, so thank you for your daily posts. That being said, I'm curious to know: what kinds of things have led your or inspired you to write and continue writing? Do you have any tips for someone that is undergoing creative blocks or just wants to get started in writing in general?
Thank you for supporting me all this time, means a lot to me, and it means a lot that things I say resonate in a way that make anyone feel understood. Thank you. I think the life I lead, and more than that, the way I LOOK at the life I lead kind of dictate the things I create. I look at all things like they are a strange miracle and because of that, it makes me not ever Have creative blocks. I would say find the miracles, and the words will come. It sounds cheesy, probably is, but it's all I know to do.
First, your work is brilliant. Second, what did you do before you did the poetry thing and what do you do in any free time you have now?
First, thank you so much. Second, I've always written poetry, but as jobs I have done lots of random things: I baked dog biscuits at a bakery, I worked at a golf store even though I was terrible at golf, I was the fastest new shoe lacer at a shoe store selling shoes once, I was a freelance writer about everything from medical imaging equipment to fitness to mixed martial arts fighting, and I was a ranch hand. In my time now I love to travel, take photographs, and talk to people.
Hi Tyler! I am a huge fan!!! You've been blessed with an amazing talent. Thank you so much for nurturing it and sharing it with us. Two part question:
1. Any plans to make a stop in Philly? :)
2. I really enjoy when you share "oldies but goodies," so wondering what makes you go back to certain poems over others?
Much love and keep doing what your doing! Can't wait to get your new book in the mail! :)
Hi, thank you! 1) I'll be in Philly this coming Saturday! 2) I've just been going back in order posting the really old ones so people who may be recent follows can see them. Thank you so much, love you back.
Which of your tattoos is your favorite? Why?
I have a teeny tiny one above my heart that says SLY. That one.
Just wanted to share that I love your work and wanted to let you know you truly inspire me. I bought your calendar with a love poem for each month as a gift for someone.
Here's my question for you, are you happy with where you're at?
Edited out 2nd question***
Hello and thank you! I am happy with where I'm at. Happy knowing I'm not where I'll end up, not what I'll end up being. I'll get there, but for now I'm just enjoying the ride. As for the second one, I think the best relationships are best friendships. I think life is short and it's worth the risk. If you feel it, you know.
Hello Tyler! I have been following for a while now, I found you through TWLOA, and I have two of your poetry books. I am a Creative Writing major in college and I was just wondering how you began your social media? I have only posted about 3 poems, but I want to know how to really get my career started. Can you tell me what you did when you were starting out? Thank you!
I did just what you did, I posted some poetry, it started slow, then more people, then more, and it just kind of snowballed from there. Start small, do what you can, and love what you do. That is all I know.
Hi Tyler. I got a reddit just for this. :) You write so often about love, so I was wondering two things. When you think of love, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it a different thing every time? Is it a feeling and not an image? And secondly, what is love to you?
Hello! I do write about Love a lot. When I think of it, I think it just comes with a feeling. It feels like home, and it feels that feeling when you lay your head on the pillow after being absolutely exhausted by a day. That's what it is to me. It's home, and it's the ability to be nothing but yourself and be adored for that.
Blackfoot or Lewis & Clark?
Blackfoot. Although I've never drank alcohol in my entire life, not a drop, I just dig the popcorn.
Over the years you've introduced me to some incredible music - I learned about Kesha's cover of Don't Think Twice, It's All Right thanks to your Tumblr, as well as James Vincent McMorrow, among others. Where can we follow your musical whims?
I used to post music on my tumblr all the time but then they got all funny about it and warned me and said they would delete me :( I'll talk more of music from now on, on my other things. I'm so glad you dig what I listen to!
Hey Tyler! I've been following you on social media for years and have always loved your poetry. A friend gifted me a print of Typewriter Series #1 and it's one of my very favorite things. As someone who is somewhat of a self-proclaimed cynic, your words move me and make me believe in and wish for things I might not have otherwise. I was wondering who and where you draw inspiration from? Is your poetry always written from your perspective, or do you write it from the perspective of others as well? Thanks so much! I hope you'll be able to make the Baltimore/DC area sometime in the future!
Thank you for this, I think the best compliments are those that DO come from self-proclaimed cynics, because it's so much more challenging to admit it. Thank you, a lot. As I said up above, I am Always inspired, and I don't know how else to do this life thing. I just think things are miracles, and I kind of see things as a child probably does. And my poetry is written from dozens of perspectives. We'll be in D.C. the 13th of April!
You have been an inspiration for so many. Present company included. You have helped me find light and hope in the darkest of moments, many times.
I am wondering- who or what do you turn to when you need help to see the sun? Any particular writers or music?
Thank you. I am sorry for the dark times, I know them well. When I'm sad, I turn to music a lot. My buddy Gregory Alan Isakov, Sigur Ros, Jeffrey Martin, Bob Dylan, so much. Music speaks in ways your brain needs sometimes.
A few weeks ago I saw an Instagram post of yours about Gregory Alan Isakov and his european tour, I didn't know him or any of his songs, but I deeply believe in coincidences: one of my favourite writers talking about a singer who's helding a concert in Milan? there was a good cosmic chance i would have liked it. Universe got it just right: it was outstanding, i wish i had new, special, better words to describe how breathtaking it was, some really insanely beautiful music. -By the way, thank you for that, but it just begs The question: have you ever thought about working together? Your words. His voice. Goosebumps.
Hi! YES! I'm so glad you went! And yes, we've already worked together...some of the songs he sang to you at that concert, he and I wrote together. I think three of them. So glad you went!
Hey Tyler! Massive fan! For the longest time I was of the opinion that poetry was old, stuffy, archaic, and just not worth reading. But man, was I wrong. You showed me how beautiful words could be and how expressive language inherently is. And I am beyond grateful for that, so thank you.
But, please, help me expand my horizon a bit further. Any poets/poems you would suggest I look into? :)
Of course and thank you so much for giving me a chance! I Would say Walt Whitman, e.e cummings, Neruda, Jeffrey McDaniel, and a lot of the people who are posting on Instagram are fantastic.
Thanks so much. I wish you nothing but success and happiness brother. I'm hoping to buy a typewriter soon, any suggestions?
I love the font face on all Remington's :)
Hi Tyler - my partner and I love your poems, I send them to him each day... they seem written just for us! I've been toying with the idea of having you photograph us (I also think that your photography is amazing), but I've been too shy to email.
Who (or what) inspires you and your beautiful words? Any plans to come to Canada?
Hello! I'd Love to photograph the pair of you. Don't ever be shy please. Where in Canada are you?
Hi! Want to say I love your work. Not too long ago my girlfriend and I came to your book signing in Cambridge. You were so nice and welcoming, I just wanted to thank you for your generosity of spirit.
Now that that is out of the way: my girlfriend is a writer and wants to self-publish her first poetry book. Are there any tips or advice you could give?
Hi! You're so welcome, I am one of those people that only has one way of being, so I just go with that every time and hope it works. I hope to see you guys again. I think she should absolutely do this! I was told by publishers, that building up an online support system and following is so important, so I would say start sharing socially, building up that following, so when it comes time to sell the book, there are people ready and excited to buy!
Hi! I started reading your work a few months ago and I frequently bookmark your haiku's and poems to reread. Thank you for your work! My boyfriend and I are excited to attend your book event in Austin, TX in a few weeks. :) I want to share more of my work on Instagram, but I'm having trouble feeling confident in my work and myself. I felt inspired by you to start sharing my haiku's on Instagram a few weeks ago. I'm slowly starting to build my own confidence, but sharing my work feels exhilarating to me for 5 minutes before I start to worry about what others think or I realize I lack a community of other writers like me.
– Do you have any advice for sharing your poetry on Instagram? Hashtags? Good accounts to follow? Any advice on building an engaged community?
Hi and cannot wait to meet you! For me, I don't worry about what anyone thinks of what I write. I write because I have to, I NEED it, and if people enjoy, great, if not, that's ok too. I just post my words, honest words, and people will come if they like them. Simple as that. I don't think much about anything beyond the words.
Just a random question here 😁... What is the most random thing you’ve ever watched all the way through on Netflix?
I tend to fall into a lot of weird documentary type shows about science, time travel, physics, and all that. I just cannot escape them.
Hey Tyler. Light Chaser here. :)
You may be one of the only people who could get the reference in my username upon first pass. Along with that, when will we get to hear more details on a collab with Gregory Alan Isakov? Can you spill?
Just trying to number the days until my heart inevitably explodes.
I love your username! He and I are kicking around a lot of ideas, maybe doing a little tour together where he plays music in the evenings and I do signings and readings during the day, or before, or something. We've written some songs together and I think plan on doing that more too.
When is a door not a door?
Catapult or Trebuchet?
What tasty food would be disgusting if eaten over rice?
1) When it's ajar. 2) Depends on where the land-based assault is taking place and how far the chosen destructive element must be hurled and how high the wall it must clear. 3) Red licorice.
I just wanted to say I love you all and am so thankful for all your questions and support. Thank You.
Hi Tyler, I should be working right now haha Has anyone ever told you that you look like Ryan Gosling?? Only cuter. :)
Hello! Haha, this is so rad. Randomly people say I look like him, but he's a movie star and he's downright dreamy, so I always think people need to adjust their prescriptions. Thank you though, compliment to me, slight insult to the Gosling.
It's not quite Dead Poet's but we try haha! I'll absolutely bring those points up they'll totally help with engaging discussion.
What then, is the best way to contact you in the future for opportunities like coming to speak? Just to make it all easier <3
Shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tyler, you are my favorite! I wanna ask you what does SLY mean. I've been wondering for years. Also, how did you first get in touch with buddhism and how did it work out for you?
Thank you so much for being such a beautiful soul. Your words and your light make life better. <3
Ahhh, no one knows what SLY means :) Lifelong secret :) Buddhism and I found each other when I was about 12, my Dad brought home a book from his travels called The Teachings Of Buddha, and I was hooked, immediately. Thank you so much.
Oh yay!!! I checked the dates on your site and it's not up there yet, but thanks for letting me know! And thank you for your response <3
We'll mostly just be wandering around :)
ah I didn't see it so i went back and read the thread. thank you.
My pleasure :)
Thank you for all the words. <3
I may be in the midst of a poetry publishing deal myself. Maybe not.
Either way, do you have any advice about the process?
Well if you are, congrats, and if you're maybe not, maybe you will be one day? Haha. I would say just stick to what you believe, and be willing to fight for the things that matter, and be willing to compromise on things that might not.
I just wanted to say that I was in an abusive relationship for 10 years, and about a year after I divorced him (around 2013), I discovered your writing, and I cannot begin to say how much influence you had when I was learning that love doesn't have to hurt.
I am married to a man who also has Aspergers, and your writing is one of the few emotional things he (and I) can relate to. I guess you just speak our language. I just bought both your Typewriter series and pre-ordered Wildly Into The Dark... the first actual not-digital books I've bought in years, because I want to feel the pages and not see your words on a screen.
Do you have any plans to come to Seattle or Portland in the near (or far) future? We could use some light being chased up here ;)
What a wonderful thing to read. Hearing that your husband relates means so much to me. I was actually just in Seattle for a signing this Winter, but I'm sure we'll be back soon. Thank you for supporting me, it means the world.
Thank you so much for existing and showing us all how to appreciate all of the awesome things we are surrounded with every single day. I know very little about poetry, but something about what you write and how you say it, makes me feel so vividly. I've considered the day that I might meet you and get to hug you just to express how grateful I am that you share with the rest of us.
When will you be in South Carolina?
Thank you so much for this. I'll be in NC soon, and was in SC this past summer, but hopefully soon!
What is the lightest manual typewriter you've heard of?
Maybe the Lettera series by Olivetti, or some of the old Smith Corona machines...once they branched into Electric, they got heavy heavy.
Howdy. I don't usually say Howdy, but there it is.
Are you and Sarah L. married? I see that you two are always doing work together. Anyways, have you considered stopping in San Diego or Waco for your tour? That would be amazing since it'll be closer for me.
We're not married, but she is basically the boss of me and I don't know what I'd do if that wasn't the case. She's the best, and those who have met her know that's true. I'll talk to the head honchoes of the tour about getting some San Diego dates!
Hi Tyler, I love your poems and it has given me so much hope in life. I have been able to strongly connect with your words. Also your wedding photography is beautiful.
Would you be willing to travel to India to cover the wedding of my friend in a few years ?
Of COURSE we'll come to India. When/where? Sign me up. Thank you so much for your kind words. Means a lot.
That's awesome. I only saw your post through Raleigh! Would love to meet up. Where will you be? Probably very cliche, but definitely treading water.
I will probably be perusing museums :) I'll do a post that morning!
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?
Star Wars is all I know :) I would love to hear more.
Watching you spin through life, often times gracefully, over the last 11+ years has been pretty darn awesome. Thank you for you. Thank you for your words.
PS. Keep an eye out for new mail, will ya? :)
Wow, thank You. What a beautiful thing to say. I will watch out!
Hi Tyler ! Big fan of your work! Which of your poems is YOUR favorite and why?
I don't think I've written it yet. I just wrote one that will be posted sometime in the near future that moved me writing it, which doesn't happen often. I love the one I wrote about my dog's passing.
Another random one 😉... what is your most bizarre talent?
I would say either my ability to have dozens of personalities and then record them via SnapChat haha, or, the fact that my feet can do the ballerina turn-out thing but way further than sideways, almost backwards like an owl's head :)
I'm a published poet (At Sixes and Sevens) with pen name Mallory Van Arthur (I'm a guy) who is twenty years old. I practically left out all my darkest poems because I feared criticism. I suffer from anxiety, and for me to write anything on paper saves my life. Do you believe I should republish my poetry book? Also, are you coming to San Jose, CA in your book tour? I know you're a buddhist, so how has that changed your life in all? One more thing, your typewriter series 1137 is my favorite of all time!! What exactly is it about?
Hello! I would say trust yourself. If you don't want feedback on the dark stuff, don't put yourself through anything unnecessary. If you want it, and want growth from it, take the risk. I'll be in San Francisco tomorrow and Wednesday, pretty close to San Jose. I would say Buddhism totally rewired my brain, and my life, and I don't know where I'd be without it. And if you're struggling, I would say step back and find what interested you in the first place. Start at the start.
Are you and Sarah romantically involved?
I hope so, or else I am seriously confused what she's doing in the house all the time.
hi tyler! first of all, i just want to say a big thank you because you and your work inspire me every single day and thanks to you i learned again to enjoy my life and all the incredible little things around me. second of all, i am from romania and i hope one day you will come here to promote your work and to enjoy this amazing country (if there is any way i can help to get you here to promote your books i am all ears!)i have a feeling you would like it here! and last, what is a recent act of kindness that you witnessed or made? thank you <3 love xo
Anything you ever did to promote my work in Romania would be amazing! I'd love to come visit. I think the best acts of kindness are the ones that don't have any spotlight shined upon them.
any chance for any Ohio tour dates? :)
I'd love that. First half is already chosen but we'll see what happens on the second go-round.
Hey! Are you still planning to photograph weddings for awhile? I'm not engaged yet but my boyfriend and hope to be married some day and ever since I first saw your photography I knew I wanted you to do my wedding (whenever that eventually came). Plus not only would I get amazing pictures but a chance to meet my favorite poet! You are truly an amazing and unique person and I hope you keep up with your passions. Your poems are little things my boyfriend and I share through our long distance relationship and they help us feel connected. Thank you for all you do.
I think so, it's a fun way for us to travel around, so we're up for it! We care more about the people and the feel than anything else, so if it feels good we're in! We would love to meet you!
I have been following you for about 3 or 4 years now
and I've been completely inspired by your work, your words, your pictures, your beliefs... You have overall been a real inspiration to me ever since I stumbled upon you on Instagram !
My question is, what is the furthest you have ever traveled in order to shoot wedding photos ? And how far are you willing to go ?
EDIT : Just thought of another question. Are you planning on staying in the photographing and writing business forever ?
Thank you for your kindness. We have shot weddings in Jamaica, we're heading to Turks & Caicos in April, up in the middle of nowhere Canada, and just about every state in the USA. We'd go anywhere, absolutely anywhere. And I just plan on writing until the words run out, and photographing everything I can ever find.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SEX POSITION?
Whatever makes the lady feel the sexiest and enjoy it the most. I'm one of those "if she's loving it, I'm loving it" type of people.