Poet Spotlight: Neil Hilborn

And we’re back for another poet spotlight, and this time we’re appreciating some contemporary poets.

This week’s spotlight: Neil Hilborn 

Photo Courtesy of Button Poetry

Neil Hilborn is an American poet known for his accomplishments in slam poetry.  While attending Macalester College, he was a member of the 2011 Macalester Poetry Slam team, which ranked first at the 2011 College National Poetry Slam event. He later joined the Minneapolis adult National Poetry Slam team, which placed 5th out of 80 teams from across the country. In August of 2013, Hilborn’s poem “OCD” went viral, receiving nearly 13 million views (and counting). Since then, Hilborn has performed at a number of colleges, including the University of North Georgia, and participated in workshops to teach a new generation of poets.

His collection of poems, Our Numbered Days, launched in 2015 and sold over 250,000 copies, making it an Amazon bestseller. The official description reads, “Utilmately, Hilborn is a poet of the people: his work is accessible, honest, and entertaining – a revitalizing entry in contemporary poetry.” His subject matter is real and relevant, and his self-

Photo Courtesy of Button Poetry

deprecating humor creates a powerful sense of vulnerability and understanding. If you’re looking for a contemporary change of pace, be sure to read Hilborn’s work.

Never read any of pieces by this contemporary poet? Here are some excerpts from his collection, Our Numbered Days, to peak your interest:

“I’m so lucky that right now, I’m not describing Joey’s funeral. I’m so lucky we all lived through who we were to become who we are.” 

“When you’re dumb enough for long enough, you’re gonna meet someone too smart to love you, and they’re gonna love you anyway, and it’s gonna go so poorly.” 

“I think that the genes for being an artist and mentally ill aren’t just related, they’re the same gene, but try telling that to a bill collector.” 

“It’s unfortunate that your offspring make people wish for a dystopian future in which euthanasia is a universally beloved form of birth control, but when elderly women literally everywhere are better parents than you, perhaps it’s time to hand up the baby-making spurs.” 

Who are some your favorite contemporary poets? Be sure to check back in next week for our next poet spotlight!