This week’s Monday Night Football contest on ESPN was an exciting one for everyone. The game itself was a thriller — a 27-24 Seahawks overtime win over the previously undefeated 49ers — but it was what happened before the first snap that drew cheers from AMU. A highly produced 4-minute segment that aired on the pre-game broadcast featured Seahawks wide receiver (and AMP author) Tyler Lockett performing and discussing poetry from his recent book, Reflection.
Within a few hours of the segment, Amazon alone had sold more than 1,000 copies, vaulting Reflection into the top 50 of Amazon’s overall bestsellers. The book has held steady on Amazon before and since: a #1 bestseller in African-American Poetry, a #1 best seller in football and the #2 seller in inspirational and religious poetry (ranked between milk and honey, another AMP title, and the classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas).
The book’s release date, Oct. 15, started with a Fishbowl event at Amazon in which Lockett answered questions and performed his riveting poem “Like Father, Like Son” (at about the 36-minute mark). Then on to a similar event at Microsoft Corporate HQ, where hundreds of fans wearing Lockett’s jersey clutched copies of his book and sat on the edge of their seats during his performance, lining up for photos afterwards.
Lockett was featured in a Pizza Hut-sponsored takeover of the @NFL Instagram account on Nov. 3. Usually an NFL player documents himself and friends eating pizza and analyzing the Monday Night Football game, but in Lockett’s case this quickly turned into dozens of Instagram stories of him and his teammates reading out loud from his book. He also appeared on Russell Wilson’s podcast, where the two had a deep conversation about life, faith, work ethic, poetry and football. Lockett continues to promote the book on social media, sharing poems himself or re-posting images from people who have shared their favorite passages online.
“It’s amazing how much passion and heart Lockett has put into Reflection, from the poems themselves to his enthusiasm for sharing them with readers and fans of all ages,” said Lucas Wetzel, Lockett’s book editor. “The book challenges readers to work hard and live a purposeful life, and the workshops included after each poem help give people the tools to start actually pursuing their dreams rather than just talking about them. He’s a true inspiration to others.”