Steve Roggenbuck is something of a figurehead among a certain group of young-20s art-inspired off the beaten path millennials, a group of people who seem to thirst for a leader of eccentric expression, a leader who promotes the wisdom of pure positivity, a leader who displays a seriously charming combination of a hilarity, mania, and inspiration. In his ongoing series of YouTube videos, Steve combines innovative antics while interspersing lines of his poetry, always using offbeat humor that you either fall in love with or simply don’t get.
As a poet, Steve Roggenbuck primarily uses social media to produce and distribute his art. Through a series of 150+ YouTube videos, several books of his poetry, hilarious memes he produces on his website, constant interaction with friends and fans on Twitter, and in-person appearances, he has fully utilized social media to pursue his mission of being the ultimate influence in positive, ridiculous, compelling, and for all of you Roggenbuck lovers, BOOSTING internet poetry.
So what do you need to know about him? Here are the top ten facts that you should probably get to know about the world’s most famous “Internet Poet.”
10. His Art Is An Extension of a Poetry Movement Known As “Flarf”
So for those of you new to Steve Roggenbuck, you should understand his poetry is both completely accessible yet “difficult to get” at first. Steve’s poetry uses exceptionally simple, everyday language that looks like it could appear in a text to your friends, an instant message conversation, a tweet, a Facebook post, or in just regular conversation between two ultra uber-enthused millennials. The reason it is difficult to get as poetry, at first, is because we are used to seeing poetry as an art form with conventional stanzas, cadences, rhymes, etc. Steve Roggenbuck’s poetry definitely has a unique rhythm, but is not your typical Shel Silverstein, or even your typical slam poetry. It’s much more derived from a movement called “flarf,” an avant-garde art form of the 21st century that utilizes quick moments, Internet terminology, antagonistic textures, and essentially, creating a poetry out of the hundreds of millions of sounds we hear throughout the vast expanses of 21st century social media.
9. He Misspells Words and Calls It Poetry
Whether it be for the purpose of branding, creating a unique voice, or revolutionizing the world of poetry, Steve Roggenbuck misspells words and makes poetry out of them. But don’t think he just misspells words for the sake of being comical: his misspellings are, quite often, intentional keyboard typos. He often switches the places of one letter of a word with where it would be in another area of the word. For example, his website is called “Livemylief.com,” an obvious play on the phrase “live my life.”
8. He Uses Social Media As a Legitimate Medium to Tell Poetry
i woke up in a used bugatti
— steve roggenbuck (@steveroggenbuck) June 23, 2014
Poetry to Steve Roggenbuck means much more than just writing words on a piece of paper and publishing it into a physical book, journal, or magazine; he believes that social media is a very valid, viable form of communicating poetry. In his tell-all video about his creative process, An Internet Bard At Last, Steve reveals to us his belief that the world’s favorite poets of the past, like Walt Whitman, would likely have used social media platforms like Twitter to convey their poetry to their audience. Also, he often compiles his poems into artistic, compelling, and confusingly hilarious videos, which leads to our next point…
7. His Videos Frequently Consist of Him Yelling At His CorgI
In Steve’s poetry, there are a number of recurring themes that are seemingly omnipresent throughout his work, including his dad, satan, Justin Bieber, reverence for his poetic heroes, veganism, living positively, and best of all, his corgi. Throughout nearly all of his videos, no matter which theme Steve Roggenbuck is making references to, he almost always interjects with spells of yelling at or about his adorable little corgi. Just look at him; he’s so cute!
6. He Is the Figurehead of An Internet Movement Called “Alt Lit”
If you type “alt lit” into Google, you will find so many tumblrs, tweets, poems, “internet poetry” memes, and a variety of other digital spaces that are completely dedicated to a new movement of literature called “alt lit.” Much like many of their artistic predecessors before them, these “Alt Lit” guys are classically anti-academic, favoring a style that resonates and builds trust with their audience of lost & found millennials. This is in stark contrast to the type of work you could find in poetry workshops around revered college programs such as NYU, where the poets are usually into more academic, conventional poetic styles.