Sunday, January 31, 2021

Talking About a (Typewriter) Revolution


This is the snow we had last night.  As I start to write this, it's just now starting to snow again.  According to the weather info, we are supposed to get another 2-3 inches.  Despite the weather, I might have to get out of the apartment for a little excursion.  Maybe if only to go clean off the vehicles.

Needless to say, I will welcome Spring once it finally arrives.

I didn't start this post wanting to complain about the weather...

I haven't done much in the way of art.  I guess I am taking an unintentional hiatus for the time being.  My means of expression has been different the last month or so.

I have kept myself occupied with writing.  Specifically, an interesting subgenre of writing:  typewriter poetry.  I even started a new website to showcase my work, Three Dollar Poetry. It's just my work for now but I am hoping to showcase other typewriter poets.  I hope that you take the time to check it out.

And where did this all start?

Over a year ago, I started noticing Instagram users posting their typewritten poetry.  A typewriter?  I was intrigued.  I was unaware that people still used typewriters.  I had no idea that, in fact, it was a movement until recently.

I suddenly wanted a typewriter again.  I looked on craigslist to see if anyone had a decent one for a price I could afford.  It wasn't too long before I found a Remington QuietRiter in the area.  It was beautiful.  I brought it home and immediately ordered a new ribbon.  During the few days it took for the ribbon to arrive, I went to work on cleaning it up. It wasn't very long before it was up and running.

I also started posting typewriter poetry on my Instagram feed.

A year later I discovered that it wasn't just an enclave of few people using typewriters.  It was a movement.

About a month ago I happened to watch a documentary called California Typewriter, which focuses on a small typewriter repair shop with that name in Berkeley, California.  It also features such notable typewriter users as Tom Hanks, John Meyer, and historian David McCullough, among others.  One such person was Richard Polt, author of the Typewriter Manifesto which is now included in his book Typewriter Revolution.

My mind was blown and a new facet of the world was presented to me.  It was, to say the least, an epiphany.  I was and am inspired!

And it didn't take me very long to buy a second typewriter. It's another Remington. A Model 5 portable.  It's older that the QuietRiter, both are "portables" but the Model 5 is about 5 pounds or so lighter.  It, too, is beautiful and needing a little work.

If you are interested in getting a typewriter, there are countless models online. You can find typewriters anywhere from those needing a little restoration for around $50 to beautiful fully restored models priced at $200 or more. eBay, Craigslist, Etsy, all have typewriters to offer.

You might even want to join the Typewriter Revolution!

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