This girl wrote a cool AF poetry book for people who hate love
Dating is like, super hard now, so it’s a wonder how the human race will continue to procreate with the ratio of bad dates to couple-success stories. The truth of it is, most people don’t hate love — they’re just annoyed by all its’ twists and turns, and all it’s muy complicato BS.
I mean, I like looking at too-true-to-real-life memes about my terrible love life, but then I discovered this book of poems that legit is also too-true-to-real-life, but with the perfect amount of cynicism and like, a dash of secret inner-romantic I pretend I don’t actually have in me.
Writer Franki Elliot started writing poems about her dating experiences and started posting them all over as street art for others to find — and when they would find them, they find that shit all too relatable. Franki says she’s even seen some people tear off her posters and stash them away into their purses….
More often than not, people are victims of unrequited love and this book of poems/stories is about just that — love in the worst of ways, because you’re like, in it by your damn self. And seriously, if you’ve been there before, the words in this book will strike you right down into the feels so be forewarned. Franki does not hate love though.
“The book isn’t necessarily about hating love — it’s about the crazy dance we do as humans to find it, to avoid it, to be ripped apart by it, or to be totally over it,” she says. Truly, the whole thing is actually super romantic and I cried through the entire thing (and I’m NOT a crier) starting with the dedication page: “this book is dedicated to every person who never texted me back.”
Perhaps one of these poems that hit me right where I felt like Franki might actually be inside of my mind, is on page 51, “The Inner Monologue of a One Night Stand” in which she writes, “The guy you think you are in love with, the one you think you’ve been in love with for eight years, has been on tour all summer with a massive pop star, and he’s just told you he’s fucked more women in the past few months than he can remember…” Hopefully, I’m the only one who actually identifies with that…
Check out our Q&A with Franki Elliot, Author of “Stories for People Who Hate Love”
What inspired you to start writing poems and leaving them around for people to find?
I started typewriting poems onto stickers and pasting them around the city because I like the idea of leaving it up to fate who might find my writing. I feel that the kind of person who would stop and read a poem on the street is the kind of person I’d like to attract into my life. I also truly believe that people stumble upon the exact poem/message they were meant to see, whether it’s on the street or on my Instagram. There’s something romantic about finding a message on the street that makes you stop in your tracks — if even for a moment.
Do you ever catch people reading/photographing your poems?
Living in LA, where it almost never rains, sometimes the poems last a long time wherever I paste them. I’ve seen people write on them and spray paint over them, adding their own personal touch or I’ve seen them steal them and slip them in their bag. A lot of people will take a photo and tag me on Instagram. This has happened even in London, Cartagena, Rome, etc and it makes me so happy.
What do you hope people will feel when they read your poems?
I get a lot of “That happened to me too!” from readers. I hope my work makes people feel less alone and less embarrassed or haunted by their feelings. I also hope it makes them realize the reason they haven’t found love isn’t because of THEM. Which is something the “narrator” in the book is constantly figuring out for herself. The most rewarding thing is having fans reach out and say my books helped them through a rough time when they felt suicidal or felt totally helpless. I’m so happy that art and writing still has that power.
Why did you decide to focus on unrequited love as your main subject?
I mean, I’d love to fall in love and write a bunch of happy love poems but let’s face it — first of all, I live in LA which is like no other city in the country. It’s more effective to walk into a brick wall over and over than go on dates. In the “digital age” people have become completely disposable and dating and romance has suffered greatly because of it. I’ve gone on SO many dates, many which you will read about it in the new book, and I’ve met some great people but I’ve also gone out with men who seem to have forgotten there’s a living, breathing person with feelings in front of them, or on the other side of that text message they’re going to ignore. One thing I like to do is call men out on their bad behavior… whether it’s in person or through my writing. But the “narrator” in the book isn’t innocent either, she calls herself out on her own bullshit all the time.
Why did you decide to call it “Stories for People Who hate Love”?
I was trying to explain to my friend the book I was working on and I said, “It’s basically stories for people who hate love.” And he said: “That’s your title.” It was a real a-ha moment. I think the title alone gives you an idea of what’s inside and who might pick it up or what friend you might buy it for. I always say I write poetry for people who think they hate poetry. You’ll read it and it will feel as if your best friend is telling you a story about her Tinder date over overpriced brunch.
Even though the poems seem to be for people who hate love — do you think it’s actually for people who are more romantic actually?
I think they are poems for everyone because we all have been, at some point of our lives, on a bad date or in love with the wrong person or with someone who didn’t love us back.
Do you think there is hidden romance in unrequited love?
There’s definitely is romance when it comes to star crossed love. And unrequited love is romantic too. It’s kind of beautiful to want someone so badly, to pine for them, to be tortured by them…even if the torture is just an unreturned text. It all means you’re still alive, you know?
You’ve used your writing to do other amazing things around the world, what has writing allowed you to do in terms of sharing your stories world-wide?
A 19-year-old girl [named Cami] living in Bogota reached out on Twitter and told me my book “Piano Rats” had changed her life. It made her love poetry and start exploring it. Over the past 2 years, Cami’s become part of a girl group that is gaining viral success in South America and signed a record deal with Sony. Her social media numbers have exploded and what is so special about her is, instead of just talking about clothing and makeup brands on Instagram, she shares poetry and art on her instastories. She started sharing my poems and she wrote her own poetry book and it is getting published this year. On a whim, I booked a trip to Bogota and her publisher booked some events for us to read at. I would read my poems out loud and Cami would translate into Spanish. The readings were a crazy success — I met so many aspiring writers and young fans. My Instagram was flooded with messages from them thanking me for coming to Bogota. I really think we are onto something special, exposing a new generation to poetry and literature. Her publisher and I are creating a bilingual book where Colombian women poets will translate my work. Cami has been an angel in encouraging me to continue writing and is a testament to the idea that all it takes is one fan to change your life.
What are your hopes for people who buy the book?
I hope for people to read it, be touched by it and then share it with someone else who may need it. I think it’s one of those books that will fall into your hands and you’ll say to yourself, this is exactly what I needed right now.
What’s next for you?
I’m doing a couple of book parties in LA and starting to get the book out into other cities. I hope to finish the bilingual book to be released in Colombia… and like every other person in LA, I’m trying to sell the TV show I’ve been working on for the past year…about…. a struggling writer who can’t find love.
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