Kelowna busker lives off poems he writes on-demand

Give him a word and some coin, and he’ll write you a poem on-the-spot

A young man has made his living on Kelowna’s waterfront this summer, writing on-the-spot poetry for people willing to part with a small donation for a splash of culture.

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Give him a theme — a word, even — and Travis House will pound out a short poem at his typewriter stand near the Sails.

It’s a unique twist on a local busker scene teeming with live musicians, but the bohemian Travis, whose pen name is Travis Houseless, is making a go of it.

Asked why he chose to set up shop in Kelowna, House said, “It’s a really beautiful busker’s place with a lot of curiosity for the arts.”

His patrons toss a few coins into his open typewriter case and leave, minutes later, holding a poem stuck onto a small rectangle of artisanal white paper.

House wears the rimmed glasses and heavy beard of a campus beatnik, but his Newfoundland accent carries a certain softness perhaps not commonly found in Kelowna’s hipster cafés. He’s been coming to the city on and off for a decade, leaning on his passion for poetry because it affords him the luxury of travelling Canada with his dog.

The two companions live in Travis’s van, and they love it.

Travis plans to stay in town until October.


@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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