California-based Canadian poet and surfer Janne Robinson creates stirring and inspiring poetry that has captured the attention and minds of women and girls worldwide, allowing her to find viral success with a number of her poems and art-pieces.
Her recently published book, the namesake of her arguably most famous poem, This Is For The Women Who Don’t Give A F*ck, has created shockwaves online, placing Janne amongst a number of avant-garde female poets reimagining poetry for the modern day reader.
We chatted about travel, love, self belief and more to the surf obsessed, modern day beatnik….
Interview: Sophie Everard Photos: Ali Kaukus/ Janne Robinson
Hi Janne, tell us a bit about where you are from…
I was born In Whitehorse, in the Yukon near Alaska. At age eighteen I left to travel all over the world, then at nineteen I lived for a year in Australia. After that I lived for a time in a cabin on the Sunshine Coast in Canada, then rented a place on Vancouver Island and started to surf. For the last seven years, I’ve also spent half the year in Costa Rica.
What inspired you to start writing your own poetry?
My grandma tells a story about how I discovered poetry while visiting her in Vancouver, when I was seven or eight. I spent the whole afternoon writing ‘roses are red, violets are blue’, la la la poems. I sat there and wrote fat, cat, sat, rat, bat, just trying to rhyme the words.
I started to write the poetry style that’s in my book about three years ago. I was writing journalistic, blog style pieces at the time and then discovered the writers Charles Bukowski, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, and started to read a lot of their poetry. I really loved the authenticity and simplicity of beat poetry, as well as how crude Bukowski was. That’s kind of the style that I’ve embodied in the year since, more beat, simple, short structures, with some prose essays as well.