Literature

Poet Devan Kingsford on Fashion, Writing and Being Cool

Photo by Mauricio Rocha
Poet Devan Michael Kingsford spotted outside of the downtown Tattered Cover.
Poet Devan Michael Kingsford creates poems on the fly. Give him a theme and a donation, and he'll type up a piece relating to the topic. I've seen Kingsford peddling poetry on South Broadway, outside of the Meadowlark in RiNo and, most recently, by the downtown Tattered Cover. A 2014 graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver, Kingsford is based in Colorado but has traveled the United States writing poetry for people. While his look is bohemian-chic with a vintage flair, Kingsford's best accessory may be his typewriter. After years of sightings, when I encountered him on the 16th Street Mall, I finally stopped to chat with Kingsford about what inspires his fashion and his poetry, and about the artistic life in general.

click to enlarge Devan Kingsford's accessories include a bandanna, blue-tinted sunglasses, fingerless gloves, a brown leather bag and a camel fedora. - PHOTO BY MAURICIO ROCHA
Devan Kingsford's accessories include a bandanna, blue-tinted sunglasses, fingerless gloves, a brown leather bag and a camel fedora.
Photo by Mauricio Rocha
Westword: Who or what inspires your fashion sense?

Devan Michael Kingsford: Prohibition booze-runners mixed with Beat-era road-runners.

Who or what inspires your writing and poetry?


People. People are inspiration, even when they're terrible.

What is your favorite form of writing?


I'm a poet, but short stories and shit stories are my favorite to write.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MAURICIO ROCHA
Photo by Mauricio Rocha
What is your jam of the moment?

Slum Pickins' "Bad Lover," for reasons which will be obvious to all my exes.

What is your favorite color?


Red, ever since I made friends with Mark Redd in kindergarten.

What is your favorite accessory?

Cigarettes, until the day they kill me.

What is your style mantra, or something to tell yourself while getting dressed?

Be cool be cool be cool be cool be cool.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MAURICIO ROCHA
Photo by Mauricio Rocha
What is your favorite film?

Lars Von Trier's Antichrist.

How would you describe your style in three words?

Is this good?

Where do you shop?


I don't shop. I wait for friends to take pity on me and give me clothes.

How many typewriters do you own?

Four working typewriters: two Smith Coronas, a Remington and a Royal.

click to enlarge One of Kingsford's four typewriters, along with his favorite accessory: cigarettes. - PHOTO BY MAURICIO ROCHA
One of Kingsford's four typewriters, along with his favorite accessory: cigarettes.
Photo by Mauricio Rocha
Where have you traveled with your writing?

San Diego, San Francisco, Austin, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and Okeechobee, Florida, among others.

Who are your favorite writers?


I'll never be done with Adrienne Rich or Math Z Danielewski.

Where do you set up usually in Denver, so that readers can find you for a poem?


Most days you can find me in front of the Tattered Cover on 16th, on South Broadway or on Larimer Street.