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I Wrote This For You

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I Wrote This For You
IllustratorJon Ellis (photographer)
PublisherCentral Avenue Publishing
Publication date
December 20, 2011
Pages202 pp
ISBN9781926760681 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.

I Wrote This For You is a collection of poetry published in 2011 by Iain S. Thomas, with photography by Jon Ellis.[1]

The collection started in 2007 as an online poetry/photography project under the pseudonym "pleasefindthis."[2] In the following years, Thomas's blog became widely popular on the internet, and the collection of poetry and photographs was published as a book in 2011. The book itself has sold over 100,000 copies and has topped poetry bestseller lists around the world.[3]

Thomas has also published two follow-ups to the original book, entitled I Wrote This For You: Just The Words and I Wrote This For You And Only You.[3]


Iain S. Thomas was born in Cape Town, South Africa in the 1980s.[3] He began writing prose at the age of 15, and he began writing professionally, mostly for the design industry, at the age of 19.[4]

In 2007, Thomas started the I Wrote This For You project as a short story writing blog, where he posted entries that contained a short piece of writing and a photograph. Soon after, Thomas began collaborating with photographer Jon Ellis, who lived in Tokyo, Japan, at the time. Ellis sent photographs to Thomas, who wrote prose based on the pictures. Thomas then uploaded that prose to his online blog, under the pen name "pleasefindthis."[3][5] By 2011, when Thomas began choosing poems to include in the book, there were over one thousand posts on his blog.[6]

After his blog became widely popular, Thomas compiled the most well-received poems, as well as his personal favorites, into the I Wrote This For You book.[6] He looked for a publisher in South Africa but was unable to find a company willing to publish his work. Eventually, he found a small publishing company in Canada, Central Avenue Publishing, that was willing to take on the project.[3] The book was published on December 20, 2011.[1]



The book is divided into four chapters: "Sun," (24 poems), "Moon," (45 poems), "Stars," (58 poems), and "Rain," (61 poems).[1] According to Thomas, the chapter titles are a tribute to the poem "Anyone Lived In A Pretty How Town" by E.E. Cummings, which repeats the phrase "sun moon stars rain."[7]

The four chapters are meant to represent the four phases of the human condition:[7]

  • Sun represents the potential for love.
  • Moon represents the act of being in love.
  • Stars represents the loss of love.
  • Rain represents rediscovering hope in life, after the entire cycle.


Every poem follows two guidelines that Thomas made at the outset of the project:[4]

  • Every poem title must start with the word "the."
  • Every poem must include the word "you."

In an interview, Thomas stated that he used the word "you" in order "to write to the human," so that his poems may be "true for anyone, no matter who they might be."[8] Additionally, the poems are often written in a short, fragmented style.[9] This is in order to allow the audience to "read more into the pieces than is necessarily said."[6]


In 2009, Iain S. Thomas was voted one of the top five finalists in the world for "Best Blogger to Follow" on mashable.com, for his original I Wrote This For You blog.[2]

Since the book's publication in 2011, it has topped multiple bestseller lists, including the iTunes Poetry Bestseller List, the Amazon Poetry Bestseller List, and the Barnes & Noble Bestseller List.[10] It has sold over 100,000 copies, with the most widespread support in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, and Europe.[3]

Despite the book's widespread success in North America, Europe, and Asia, I Wrote This For You has not been very successful in Thomas's home country of South Africa. Currently, there is only one bookstore in Cape Town that even sells his book. In an interview, Thomas discussed that this may be a result of his lack of networking, or due to his prose not fitting neatly into one genre. However, he also brought up that "there are other stories coming out of South Africa and Africa that haven't been told and that need to be told." He stated that, as a white male, his book may not be the type of literature that should be popular in South Africa in the present day.[3]

The book has been translated into Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish.[3][11]


Due to Thomas's use of a pseudonym, many of his poems have been plagiarized or misattributed over the years. In particular, his poem "The Fur" is often incorrectly attributed to other authors, such as Kurt Vonnegut.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "I Wrote This For You". Amazon. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Iain S. Thomas". Goodreads. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 "An Interview With Best-Selling Author Iain S. Thomas". Short Story Day Africa. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Iain S. Thomas". Long and Short Reviews. Retrieved 23 May 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. Papadatos, Markos (March 22, 2019). "Iain S. Thomas discusses new book, technology, advice for authors". Digital Journal. Retrieved May 24, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Santiago, Manny (2011). "I Wrote This For You Interview". HESO Magazine. Retrieved May 24, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Thomas, Iain (December 20, 2011). "The Official Launch of I Wrote This For You". I Wrote This For You. Retrieved May 24, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. "KTLA Interview with Iain S. Thomas" (Interview). KTLA. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  9. Gorin, David (November 21, 2019). "New wave of poetry explodes around the globe". Financial Mail. Retrieved May 24, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. Thomas, Iain (December 30, 2011). "A New Year's Thank You". I Wrote This For You. Retrieved May 24, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  11. Ellis, Jon. "Vietnamese Translation". Jon Ellis Photography. Retrieved May 24, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  12. Thomas, Iain (April 19, 2016). "It's National Poetry Month. Please Give Me Back My Poem". HuffPost. Retrieved May 24, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

External links[edit]

Others articles of the Topic Poetry : Serafim Kalliadasis, Aruni Kashyap, Majid Naficy, Tomás Cohen, Chitralian Zubair, Jasimuddin, Turki Abdulaziz Al Sudairy

Others articles of the Topic South Africa : Kiki X Chucky, Golden Valley Wind Energy Facility, South Africa at major beauty pageants, Union for The Local Employees in Missions Accredited to South Africa (ULEMASA), Regiment University of the Free State, Jesuit Institute South Africa, Jeugland Hoërskool
Category:Poetry anthologies Category:2011 poetry books Category:Poetry

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