We caught up with pro-poet and top Boss Model Max Wallis about his super successful work as a wordsmith. Max has written fabulous poems for Burberry, Topman and House of Holland and has modelled for brands like Jack Wills and Mr Porter.
What do you love about working as a poet?
The freedom. The nonsense. Poetry should make things happen and can change the world and our view of it. It’s about life, about finding some sense of order in the noise and explaining it. It’s about love, about sex, about beauty, and about truth.
When/why did you start writing poetry?
When I was a lad, I was looking for meaning in a world that made little sense to me. My first poem was about eating mange tout – that squeaky, flinching noise on the teeth – because my mum made me eat it. Obviously my poetry has come on since then, (!) but I still write a lot about intimacy: the good and the bad.
What advice would you have for someone who wanted to get into writing poetry?
It’s all around you and there’s nothing stopping you. Start anywhere you like! No matter if that’s Carol Ann Duffy or Pam Ayres, Warsan Shire or Rupi Kaur – poetry doesn’t have to be labelled. You’re a poet even if you’re not published.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
I wrote poetry twice for Topman, which was great, and I love the poem that Paper Magazine commissioned in partnership with Burberry all about the frenzy of the night in London. Iris Law and Lennon Gallagher starred in the video and it had over 110,000 views. I also designed t-shirts and a hoody for Henry Holland and created the poem ‘Grow Up’ for his fashion show this winter, which went viral.
‘You told me to see more of the world so I did.
Got so lost in the night that all my wishes turned neon dancing a glitter bomb of nothingness. Y’know I’ve seen streets paved by ashen boys fumbling with their keys. When you say I don’t understand I wanna ask you to stare in the mirror and say that back. All I am is someone looking for a way home across parallels. Trying to shift myself through time zones so that I can sit next to you like nothing’s happened. These octopus black nights spread out like galaxies above us unite us. Look up walk with me get lost in a city that’s not your home while I try to trace these endless evenings back to you.’
What is inspiring you at the moment?
The hours between 4am and dawn.