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James Gordon ~ Greatest Poet Alive

James Gordon - Greatest Poet Alive

James Gordon – Greatest Poet Alive

Like I have with so many Amused Now Featured Artists, I met James Gordon aka The Greatest Poet Alive aka G.P.A. on Twitter. He has a fascinating outlook about his pursuit of poetry.

When I asked James what inspired him to write his first book of poetry The Confessional Hear of a Man, I was surprised to learn that he wrote the book in prison. While he was locked up, he tried to come up with a viable plan for after his release.

James wrote poems for fellow inmates and one of them suggested he write a book. On August 27, 2007, James started The Confessional Heart of a Man, which he completed in 29 days on a prison typewriter. “It was just raw. It wasn’t scripted out. All the baggage I carried, I just put it down. The rest is history.”

His poetic influences are Langston Hughes, 50 Cent, Kobe Bryant, Ric Flair, The Rock, and John Cena, as well as James Livingston. Not all are poets, but all excel in their chosen fields.

How did James Gordon become the Greatest Poet Alive (G.P.A.)? “In a conversation with God, he didn’t want me just to do poetry, he wanted me to be the best ever. Being the best ever means you’re the greatest. Each day when I wake up, during my day and when I go to sleep, I’m thinking that I’m the best ever.”

James trademarked the name, because “it assures immortality. As long as there are search engines, someone is going to ask, who’s the greatest poet alive? I’m going to pop up. Now, I’m basically giving substance to the sandwich.”

His poetry collection The Book of 24 Orgasms has been nominated for Book of Year. James was in a celibate marriage and the book was his escape. His poetic wording paint fantasies for himself and others.

“The thing about my poetry is that it isn’t vulgar, it isn’t offensive. I don’t use expletives. I paint pictures with my words.” He writes for women who are tired of crass references to themselves. His goal is to give women something superior than what they are accustomed to seeing and hearing in today’s media. James describes himself as a throwback to the romantic era, when women were courted with poetry.

James GordonJames decided to self-publish all his books. James thought he was self-publishing when he agreed to subsidy publish his first book of poetry. He cautions that with subsidy publishing, most of the rights go to the publisher and you really don’t have control. The publisher sold his book on their site, so James had to wait to receive his profits from sales.

The Book of 24 Orgasms was only 24 poems, a total of 28 pages, so no publisher wanted to touch it. James found a local exact change press to publish the book. “Minimal cost, maximum output. It was brilliant! They didn’t do any marketing, but I owned everything. It honestly made more sense to do it that way.” He now controls all aspects of the process.

Right now, all James’ books are hardcopy. He’s old school. “I like to feel a book in my hand. I like flipping the pages.”

Kottyn Campbell designs all of his book covers. She is also the executive producer for his upcoming CD, GPApocalypse Forever, a collection of music “unlike anyone has ever heard. We’re going to blow people away!” Many of the tracks have been previously released as videos on YouTube. “We’ve taken these poems and put music to them and everything is linked together.” Expect to find GPApocalypse Forever on sale starting December 1.

James recognizes that social media is very prevalent in society. “It would be almost idiotic to go against the grain and not use something that everyone else is using. You can always reach somebody. It starts with Facebook. Connect with Twitter. We use ReverbNation. Since 2009, I’ve always liked YouTube. I put a video of mine out there and let someone else see it.”

James advises others who are thinking about publishing their own poetry to “do your research. Figure out what works and suits you.” Some people may want subsidy publishing and not want all the extra responsibility. He warns that poets come in at a slight disadvantage. For James’ ethnic group, urban fiction is the dominant genre. Poetry as written word can be seen as archaic, so you have to do something extra, like come up with a catchy title or flashy cover. James treats his books like albums, he promotes them before and after they’re released.

“Be yourself. Write your own style.” Hey, there’s only one Greatest Poet Alive, right?

To watch the complete video interview on YouTube: http://youtu.be/jvWY0DDheqY

Amused Now Featured Artist Series

James Gordon, Greatest Poet Alive (G.P.A.)

Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now


Greatest Poet Alive James Gordon and book covers