~ Grindr ~

Max Wallis to make videopoems as poet in residence at Grindr

Grindr has just hired its first poet in residence: British model and writer Max Wallis. Wallis broke the news himself via an article in The Guardian.

Poetry and sex have a long and venerable history, one often being used in the service of setting up the other. Catullus kicked things off, and Lord Byron, Sharon Olds and Carol Ann Duffy, among others, have run with the ball since. The work of those poets is perhaps best thought of as the context for what I am doing now. Starting next week, I will be the gay social networking app Grindr’s first poet in residence, making a video poem each month to be flashed in the app and also on its new platform, Into. They will be directed by Ashley Joiner, whose documentary Pride? premieres at the BFI’s LGBT film festival in March.

The poems play on the essential themes of the app – relationships, our increasingly unsympathetic world and quite a lot of sex (topics that have been the subject of my last two books – Modern Love and Everything Everything). Each video threads into the next, telling a larger story about what is to be gay now (although I thought it best not to limit myself to what it means to be gay and on Grindr now – as that would mean a lot of requests to “send more pics” and any number of unsolicited anatomical images).

He goes on to describe the first poem in the series, which I hope to be able to blog here when it comes out, presuming it’s sharable on the open web. According to Mashable,

Grindr has yet to confirm a release date, stating “a few things are still in the works for the new platform.” Wallis plans to shoot the second and third films this Sunday.

This isn’t Wallis’ first poet-in-residence gig to involve videopoetry. In 2103 he made at least three videos as part of a residency with Harper’s Bazaar. Here’s one of them: