Known as the Byron for the Instagram generation, Atticus concretely depicted in his poems how it felt to be in a relationship — the harsh realities of commitment, loneliness and the extensive journey of finding one’s source of happiness.
Being anonymous can sometimes help individuals share their raw emotions and sincere thoughts with confidence. Wearing a mask in public, Atticus is a Canadian poet who prefers to keep his identity hidden — explaining that the mask constantly reminds him to always write what he feels.
He gained popularity when he started to write short and aphoristic poems on Instagram — making him a New York Times bestseller after he published “The Dark Between Stars” in 2018. As he continued to post more of his works, older teens and adults followed him as well as notable celebrities such as actress Emma Roberts and supermodel Karlie Kloss.
When Atticus was a child, his mom had a poster on the wall of prominent Irish playwrights as well as poets and below them were quotes — his very first exposure to literature.
Meeting Michael Madsen in France, Atticus listened to the American actor’s history and struggles with depression and family. To cope with the pain, Madsen wrote a book of poems, which sparked an idea for Atticus. In 2014, he started drafting his poems on his phone — thinking that a motorcyclist and a whiskey lover can write poems too.
Growing up, “The Truth About Magic: Poems” writer faced the pressures of being a “real” man while falling in love with writing, according to his interview with The Globe and Mail. As a Canadian, he was expected to chop firewood, ride motorcycles, and participate in boxing — causing an internal conflict on whether he was able to show his vulnerability in his writing. According to Atticus, he thought that he had to separate writing and “manly” activities. As he matured, however, he dismissed fear as he proudly showcased his motley of diverse passions.
Being a beacon to others, Atticus receives a massive amount of thank-you messages from people who face the problems of anxiety, suicidal thoughts and depression. In fact, many fans have tattooed their favorite poems of Atticus on their bodies as a reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
One time, the prominent poet once read a letter from a girl who was sexually abused at a young age. After seven years, she got a tattoo of one of Atticus’ poems because it was a symbol of a saying that after seven years, humans’ body cells are regenerated. The rape victim felt like a new person, claiming that reading Atticus’ poems 1,000 times had helped her feel clean and hopeful.
Atticus is determined to share his poetry to inspire others and to help them feel at ease. Last year, he visited Alina, a fan, at a hospital because she was about to die due to cancer. Initially, a friend of Alina called Atticus if she was able to grab an advance audio copy of his book because she was too weak to read. Without notice, Atticus immediately went to the hospital and read his book to Alina as she passed away. Under the mask is a pure heart that is filled with the massive amount of tenderness Atticus has for his fans.
The aphoristic-styled poet had kept his life so private that one of his sisters didn’t even know that he writes poems. Atticus’ sister was away at university when she started to follow him on Instagram. She found out that it was her brother after two years.
With his growing popularity, Atticus received many deals and sponsorships from a motley of brands — a bright future ahead of him. But for now, he is trying to get better at writing poetry and recently attended some classes at Wadham College in Oxford, England. He was amazed at how little he knew about creative writing, despite the fact that he already has a huge fan base. According to Atticus, he is trying to get better and learn the standard rules of poems so that he can efficiently break them.
Poetry is an outlet that enables people to communicate in a profound level — a deviation from the norm. Some people find it eccentric while a few see it as a representation of their daily undertakings. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that Atticus’ poems served as an inspiration to individuals who are lost in their lives, including members of Generation Z who need guidance and comfort from past experiences.
The poet made them believe that their problems are common and that they are not alone. In his 2018 interview with American Magazine, Atticus said he hopes his work and social media presence will be “a gateway drug to classical literature.”