The Maine's Frontman John O'Callaghan Releases Exaltation, a Collection of Litho Poetry

John O' Callaghan, lead singer for Tempe pop-rock act The Maine, released a poetry collection last week.


Yeah, this is on the heels of a movie made by the band. And of course they do a little music, too. It's enough to make anyone feel like a slug by comparison.

The project is called Exaltation and has 15 poems written by O' Callaghan along with 15 accompanying photographs by Dirk Mai. It's designed to be customizable for singer's young and mostly female fans: "You can rearrange the pages or even take them out and put them in a frame." 

Oh, and there's some music involved, too, as a bonus track entitled "All in (or not in

at all)" comes with each order.

We got in contact with both John and Dirk to get their thoughts on the project.

Up On The Sun: How did this project come about? Why is it taking the format it is?

John O' Callaghan: Initially it started out as an individual project for myself. I planned on releasing a collection of poems bound in a unique way. When it began coming together I felt like there was something missing from what I felt needed to be the final product. In short, I asked Dirk if he'd be into the idea and sure enough he was.

UOTS: What's the title "Exaltation" about?

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JO: There are a few different meanings for the word "exaltation," one of them being: "A state or feeling of intense, often excessive exhilaration or well-being." Life is highs and lows, and I just so happened to be on a high while writing these pieces.

UOTS: What's the relationship between your lyrics and your poetry? Are they different and seperate things or are they similar in themes and style?

JO: This avenue of expression let me take thoughts to a whole new level for me emotionally. A wall can sometimes be built while writing lyrics for my music, and I felt like there was virtually no filter for this project. That is what makes me most proud about "Exaltation."

UOTS: You seem to have so many different projects going on -- a movie a few months ago, now this? What else do you have coming up?

JO: I really have no idea what the future holds for me as an artist. I'd love to do more collaborations with others that I respect as much as Dirk, but for now I'm going to focus on my music and attempt to grow in every aspect of the areas I lack in as a human.

And from Dirk Mai...

Up On The Sun: How did this project come about? Why is it taking the format it is?

Dirk Mai: John came to me several months ago with the idea. He wanted to release some of his poems and liked the idea of incorporating photos into the
project and asked me if I'd like to get involved as a collaboration. We decided on a print box as the format because aesthetically we liked the look and with the amount of poems and photos it just made sense opposed to a book.


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