Friday, 18 October 2013

Cornering a poetry market

There are advantages in becoming nationally (or regionally) known for writing poetry about a particular topics -

  • the media will know who to contact
  • commissions might come your way
  • you may be asked to edit an anthology or a magazine special issue
  • you might run a poetry festival session or a poetry school course
  • a non-poetry conference on the topic might ask you to run a session/workshop to provide "something different"

The topic shouldn't be too general ("bereavement", for example) or too esoteric. Some topics (medicine, therapy) have enough tie-ins with poetry to keep several poets busy. Here are some examples -

  • Ian McMillan has Football.
  • David Morley has Romani.
  • Maybe Lavinia Greenlaw and Mario Petrucci first come to mind when people want a quote about Science and Poetry.
  • Simon Armitage and pop music?
  • Michael Bartholomew-Biggs and Maths
  • Matthew Stewart and wine?
  • Jon Stone and Manga?

I work in a science setting, but Science and Poetry don't work well together for me, so when a few years ago I was asked about helping with a radio show on the topic, I suggested that they get in touch with Greenlaw. I've assembled a pamphlet on word-play (anagrams, acrostics) and poetry, though I read in the latest Rialto that Abigail Parry's finishing a Ph.D on word-play and poetry, out-trumping me.

So I'll plod as I am, comforted by the thought that there's less risk of being typecast.

No comments:

Post a Comment