“Name Brand | Off Brand” (Neil Hilborn)
01.04.2018 - By Drawl | Southern Spoken Word Poetry
Neil Hilborn, a slam poet from Houston, TX, is the most-viewed slam poet on YouTube and his poem, "OCD" is Button Poetry's top viewed video. His poems often detail personal experiences and battles with mental illness or other disorders. He is best known for his poem "OCD", which has garnered critical acclaim online with 75 million views. Hilborn regularly tours to perform his poetry at colleges and other venues. He became interested in creative writing at an early age, writing his first poem when he was eight years old. As a child, he was diagnosed with obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), and was additionally diagnosed with bipolar disorder while in college. Though he did not originally use poetry as a coping mechanism, when he was a teenager his work shifted toward helping him deal with his disorders. Hilborn continues to perform with Button Poetry, as well as in competition, including the National Poetry Slam (NPS). Hilborn's first chapbook, Clatter, was self-published in 2012 before being picked up by Button Poetry and re-published in 2013. The book is best known for the poem also entitled "Clatter" These poems have all been performed in previous slam poetry events. Hilborn's second book, Our Numbered Days, was released on May 14, 2015. The book is a collection of 45 poems. "Our Numbered Days", specifically, is divided into six different sections spanning the entire collection. Our Numbered Days features some of Hilborn's most well-known poetry, including "Joey" and "OCD". Arianna Miller is cited in her critical review as stating, "Hilborn wants readers to question his work, to use his pieces as a means of learning not only about oneself, but also about the world around him/her/them". Additionally, she states that the book raises more questions rather than answers, asking readers to look at themselves and force themselves to read heavy topics previously avoided. All of this has earned the book the title of Amazon bestseller with more than 50,000 copies in print. The Future, Hilborn's third book is due for release on April 17, 2018 and is the result of two years of writing while touring.