G.P.A. (Greatest Poet Alive) hails from Chicago's South Side. He has published four books of Poetry and is currently working on his first novel, "The Middle School Adventures of Bobo". G.P.A. has won the Black Essence Award for Poetry and Charity, the Poetry Pentathlon, and Moth Storytelling Championship. He has been nominated for Poet of the Year three times. And both The Book of 24 orgasms and The Mind of a Poetic Unsub have both been nominated Book of the Year as well.
After being present to hear him perform a poem from his book Revenge of the Orgasm, I was eager to be able to sit down and speak with him. G.P.A. is a powerful poetic presence here in Chicago and graciously agreed to an interview.
Where do you pull inspiration for your poetry? What is that driving force behind your words?
The inspiration from for my Poetry comes from life experiences and my interaction with beautiful women. God gives me to the gift to write, and it is my quest to be the best ever is what pushes me to rhyme, improve, and be innovative.
Would you say growing up on the south side of Chicago had an effect on your work? How so?
Growing up on the south side of Chicago gave me plenty of experiences to write about. Some of these were for Poetry, while some will manifest into a novel I'm working on. One poem, Bully (My Chocolate Milk), is a direct result of my being bullied in the sixth grade. Chicago, when I was growing up, was a tad bit safer now but not without any potholes (no pun intended). During this time, reading and creating adventures in my head were a viable escape.
How are you finding the transition from penning a compilation of poetic works to writing a full length novel?
I am natural storyteller. This has been shown in my poems, my performances, and by winning the Moth Storytelling Slam and placing 2nd in the Grand Slam Championships. I believe that the only aspects missing are the further development of plot, characters, and scenery, and I shall exhibit the same prowess as I have with my Poetry.
Can you tell us more about The Middle School Adventures of Bobo? What inspired you to write this story?
All I can say about The Middle School Adventures of Bobo is that it is a travel back in time to when it was simple to be a young man in Chicago. This is to be my transitioning but not leaving writing books of Poetry to a full length novel. Furthermore, in a time where guns, drugs, and graphic sex are the dominant genre, The Middle School Adventures of Bobo will be a breath of fresh air.
What steps do you take to ensure that you continue to improve in your artistic form?
I am constantly reading different subjects, indulging new experiences, and practicing many forms of Poetry. Most of all, my goal is to separate myself from the pack in both my writing and performances. I believe whatever parameters exist, I need to stretch them as far as I can.
What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
Very soon if not already, the name G.P.A. will be mentioned in the conversation as one of the greats of all time. I can write about anything in any form, perform in front of any audience, regardless of age, gender, race, etc., so it stands to reason that Poetry rests on my shoulders. You will see more authors of Poetry and otherwise published by GPA Media INC, and more championships won by myself. The name alone (Greatest Poet Alive) guarantees my immortality, and the work I have done will solidify my legend.