Spencer Butt

Spencer Butt's picture
Biography: 

Spencer Butt is a writer and performer based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He grew up in the small farm town of Uxbridge, Ontario and discovered his love of writing and performing while in high school. He has won numerous Toronto Poetry Slams and has read his poems at events such as The Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, The Vancouver Poetry Slam, Laigh Sabbath, Friday Night Live at the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Art Gallery of Ontario's First Thursday. He has self-published a number of chapbooks and a colouring book, been featured in various anthologies and literary magazines, and has a book called "Slouching the Dream" that was published by Now or Never Publishing. He writes mainly about the everyday, nostalgia, pop culture, and mental health, all with a splash of humour. 

Micro-interview: 
Did you read poetry when you were in high school? Is there a particular poem that you loved when you were a teenager?: 

I discovered poetry in highschool by way of music! I sang in bands and wrote a lot and then started to realize that the lyrics worked without the band too. The first poet that I ever made a strong connection to was John Giorno. A bandmates dad said that I reminded him of Giorno so I watched Ron Mann's "Poetry In Motion" documentary to see what he was like and I fell in love with the idea of poetry that was meant to be seen and heard, not just read.

When did you first start writing poetry? And then when did you start thinking of yourself as a poet?: 

I started writing in highschool, but didn't think of it as anything other than a fun hobby until I got into University. I got to meet so many other cool, interesting, neat, smart, creative, weirdos while attending York University and it really helped me come out of my shell and realize that maybe I was on to something. When I started to get asked to read at events and get paid for it I felt I had arrived.

What do you think a poet’s “job” is?: 

That's a tough one! For me, it's just to write. Writing is very therapeutic for me. But once I'm ready to present a peom to the world I think my main goal is to make a connection. Prefferably with a complete stranger. I already know that I have things in common with friends and family, but if a random person in the audience comes up to me after I'm done reading to say something hit home, or even just hearing the crowd audibly react as I'm reading, then I feel like I accomplished something great.

 

If you have a poem in our anthology what inspired you to write it?: 

I was feeling very frustrated with the creative world when I wrote WRK. I was working a job that I didn't love, I was feeling guilty for not being more greatful that I even had a decent job, and I was starting to question if I should even keep writing. Mix all of that brutal honesty with a bit of humour and I started to perform it for audiences to basically just say, "You're not alone! I can relate!".

If you had to choose one poem to memorize from our anthology, which one would it be?: 

Lillian Allen's "I saw a perfect tree today"! I've always been a huge fan of Lillian Allen and I love this poem. 

Publications: 
Title: 
Slouching the Dream
Publisher: 
Now or Never Publishing
Date: 
2016
Publication type: 
Book