Attention Poets!

I’m going to list some things, which, might be obvious but I’m going to list them anyway.

Here goes:

Buy the books of other poets, not just the really famous ones or the ones who you think can do something for you – get your wallet/purse out and support the ‘industry’ you claim to be part of.

Go to at least one spoken word/poetry event a month if you can. Why should someone come to your gig, if you never go to see other people?

If you’re taking part in an open-mic event, be polite, don’t outstay your welcome on stage – if the host says it’s three minutes, it’s three minutes, not fifteen. Do however, stay till the end of the night, not thirty seconds after your bit.

Old school traditional ‘page’ poets, stop being so sniffy about slam events/spoken word/performance poetry/rhyming poetry/funny poetry. It’s supposed to be about communication/entertainment/art – this can come in a variety of forms, they aren’t all going to suit you, but squabbling/bitching amongst yourselves doesn’t look good to a potential new audience, who will probably go and watch/read something else instead.

Thank and be grateful to the people who have helped you – they didn’t have to.

(Some) publishers, stop creating ludicrously impossible entrance criteria for submissions, as in – “no rhymes, no form, no animal poems, no words or pieces that remind me of the colour orange…” Can’t you just read it in the hope that you may discover something really fantastic, even if it doesn’t quite fit with your fairly narrow dogmatic opinion of what poetry is supposed to be?


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