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Steve Roggenbuck is a traveling poet and video blogger known for using various forms of social media to distribute work and interact with his fan base. He is often associated with the “alt lit” literary movement, composed of writers heavily influenced by Internet culture.
Roggenbuck first began publishing his poetry online in the Blogspot blog SteveRoggenbuck.com. On June 10th, 2010, the Tumblr blog Live My Lief was launched, but was updated infrequently. On October 19th, Roggenbuck released his first click-through poetry ebook titled “i am like october when i am dead.” In March of 2011, he released a second poetry ebook titled “DOWNLOAD HELVETICA FOR FREE.COM”, which included text taken from instant message conversations (shown below).
On April 1st, a video titled “Breaking free from the shackles of word documents with other formats of poetry” was uploaded to YouTube, in which Roggenbuck lauded the use of various forms of Internet media to disseminate poetry (shown below, left). The same month, the Tumblr Live My Lief began being frequently updated. On May 17th, Roggenbuck uploaded a video titled “Am I even a poet anymore?”, inspired by the Lil B video “Am I even a rapper anymore?”, in which he described literature as a “memeplex” that should be distributed in forms other than word documents and printed books.
On May 20th, an essay titled “Toward a more flowing culture: lit 2.0 + the online ‘total work’” was published on SteveRoggenbuck.com, which served as a complement to the “Am I even a poet anymore?” video describing the importance of embracing Internet culture as a writer. In September, Roggenbuck began uploading monologue videos to YouTube every weekday, in which he performed improvised monologues with loose associations and quick cuts (shown below, left). On November 13th, Roggenbuck uploaded a video of his talk at Duke University to YouTube , which outlined why he published his poetry online in the form of image macros (shown below, right).
According to Wikipedia, Flarf poetry is an avant-garde style of writing that began on the Internet in the early 2000s. The poet Gary Sullivan is often credited with coining the term and writing the earliest flarf poems. On October 2nd, 2011, Roggenbuck uploaded a video titled “Introduction to flarf poetry by Steve Roggenbuck”, which briefly explained the history of flarf poetry and provided examples of his own work.
On February 29th, 2012, the full-length poetry book CRUNK JUICE was released for $15 on the Live My Lief store. The 116 page compilation contained work from Roggenbuck’s Tumblr blog, YouTube videos, Twitter feeds and previously unpublished work. All of Roggenbuck’s work is released with a free downloadable PDF.
Many of Roggenbuck’s videos begin with absurd humorous monologues followed by more serious and inspiring poetry. He often references the acronym YOLO (You only live once) when discussing the impermanence of life.
Notable Image Macros
Roggenbuck’s flarf poetry image macros can be found on his Tumblr blog LiveMyLief.
On November 22nd, 2011, Roggenbuck announced that he was dropping out of school, selling the majority of his possessions and would begin traveling around the country to blog and write poetry full time. On January 9th, 2012, he began traveling around the country meeting people, reading poetry and blogging.
Roggenbuck often uses the word “boost” to describe the feeling of being inspired. On September 7th, 2011, he uploaded a video titled “Going Viral Spirtually: The Mechanics of the Upward Spiral”, in which he explained how altruism can become a contagious phenomenon.
iamlikeoctoberwheniamdead – i am like october when I am dead / steve roggenbuck