North St. Paul poet brings the raw

Poet Michael Sean Prenosil

As a young guy growing up in Shoreview, Michael Sean Prenosil, 33, felt he couldn’t shake the pressures of old-world, stereotypical masculinity. 

“Poetry, especially for a male, is a pretty hard thing to get out there and say stuff without people knocking you down,” says Prenosil, bearded and wearing a backwards hat. “Being a poet is a target.” 

He always wrote in secret. 

Prenosil never considered himself the literary type. “I’ve probably read three books in my life,” he says.

He came across writing in therapy. Prenosil, who is adopted, had a falling out with his parents, leading to him seeking emancipation and moving out at 16. Now, everything is patched up. 

“It’s a weird thing to say about your father, that we’re friends,” says Prenosil. “It’s been really cool.”

Throughout the bad and good times, Prenosil was in therapy. 

“I don’t take to counselling very well,” he says. His way in was through journaling. Soon, the journaling became more emotional and evocative until he was writing poetry. 

“Poetry is like philosophy, you lay out your world view. That’s me, bleeding on paper,” Prenisol says of his work. “It’s just raw, 100% raw.” 

Prenisol says he uses his work to confront depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, mortality, substance issues and any intense emotion or thought. His writing is straightforward, finding rhythm in radical honesty. 

Prenosil started working in construction at 15, another world, he says, like the schoolyard, in which he felt he couldn’t talk about poetry. 

One day,he did show a friend, who tricked him into performing at an open mic. Prenosil thought he was just going to see a show with friends. They sat down in the club, and suddenly, the announcer called Prenosil to the stage. 

The stunned response from the crowd and his friends at his dark, searingly forthright work gave way to raucous, supportive applause. He knew he was a poet. 

Prenosil took his works and published them himself though a tiny Colorado printer. 

“Wrought Iron” is the construction-working poet’s first collection of poetry. He is currently working on a second collection. 

Prenosil says he plans on writing a five-set series, each titled “Wrought Iron.”

“The series opens the door to anxiety, depression, judging, labels, all those sorts of issues,” says Prenosil. 

He also started a nonprofit called Urban Journal, a community for local creatives that is part of the Tapping All Possibilities social club, which operates in the east metro. 


—Solomon Gustavo

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