The Hocking Hills Festival of Poetry


Greg “The Bad Poet” Kimura returns to us for his third appearance at the Hocking Hills Poetry festival. He is thought of as one of the festival's favorite performers. Greg discovered poetry after his second screenplay about a roller blading septuagenarian was pilloried and banished from Hollywood. “I took two years to write and about two weeks to find out how bad it was.”

In poetry he found a creative home: ” You can write something in ten minutes,” he says, “and whether it’s good or bad– it doesn’t matter. The point is to engage the creative process. Trying to write ‘something good’ just gets in the way. In fact, I encourage people to write bad poetry. I myself became quite skilled at it and am still known by many as, “The Bad Poet.”

“Art is simply spirit expressed in an image, a song, a dance, a piece of wood, a slab of clay, a garden, or a handful of words. From the modern viewpoint, nothing is more impractical and unprofitable. But, if you want to know beauty, if you want to seek truth, if you want to open your heart to life, you will engage in an artistic process. To me the choice is very clear: if you don’t choose to create, then you destroy; if you don’t choose beauty, you’re going to be lost to something else. Write bad poetry!”

For the past few years Greg has been volunteering with high schoolers, helping them polish their writing skills.

Greg Kimura received a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada College.



     (For Malidoma Some', Loon Lake 2000)

You enter life a ship laden with meaning, purpose and gifts

sent to be delivered to a hungry world.

And as much as the world needs your cargo,

you need to give it away.

Everything depends on this.

But world forgets its needs,

and you forget your mission,

and the ancestral maps used to guide you

have become faded scrawls on the parchment of dead Pharaohs.

The cargo weighs you heavy the longer it is held

and spoilage becomes a risk.

The ship sputters from port to port and at each you ask:

"Is this the way?"

But the way cannot be found without knowing the cargo,

and the cargo cannot be known without recognizing there is a way,

and it is simply this:

You have gifts.

The world needs your gifts.

You must deliver them.

The world may not know it is starving,

but the hungry know,

and they will find you

when you discover your cargo

and start to give it away.

                                      Greg Kimura

"Poetry doesn't belong to those who write it, but to those who need it."
- Mario Ruoppola (Il Postino)