Monthly Archives: June 2015

Guest Post: What is a “Proper Poet”?

Ed note: This week we’re featuring a guest post from writer Derek White. Derek’s post considers something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: how do we determine whether a poet is a “proper poet” or “professional poet”? What differentiates those “formal” poets from the “amateurs”: money, talent, publications, experience, how they market themselves? Derek’s post explores these questions through personal experience and reference to American literature. Enjoy! Continue reading


Launching my Kickstarter!

A different kind of post on the website this week . . . I have a major announcement about my own creative work.

As I wrote last week, performance poetry allows fantastic engagement with a live audience, but few tangible products for the audience to purchase after the show. The poet might perform a brilliant set, but afterwards there’s no book for the audience to take home. Publishing pamphlets is one of the best ways for performance poets to earn income on their work, which in turn enables them to continue making that work. Continue reading

To Publish or Not to Publish Performance Poetry

Being a performance poet means fantastic live exposure: one can interact with the audience, contextualise poems through between-poem chat, adapt the set for the setting, etc. However, as great as this physical exposure and audience engagement is, performance poetry as a genre also carries with it the drawback that it is ultimately ephemeral. The audience may love your work, but at the end of the night, they have nothing to take home with them: no book, no tangible product to which they can refer later if they want to revisit the poetry. This is a drawback for the poet as well, since by not producing their work through print media they lose out on an important way of making money and marketing themselves. Continue reading

Halah Mohammed has posted the second part of our interview on her blog: read here!

Un-blocking Freedom Of Expression

Part 2

“How has your journey been with the Fulbright?”

“There is something really interesting about being an outsider and deeply studying an art form of another culture. I’m not looking at really established artists. I’m looking at people who have different day jobs and are doing poetry on the side because they love doing it. Also, performance poetry hasn’t gotten a lot of traction in academia yet. Partially because it’s new and because it’s perceived as low-brow art. I understand where that perception comes from but I still think performance poetry deserves more critical attention.

I’ve been welcomed (into Scotland) completely. I’ve never felt the sense of ‘what are you doing here?’ or ‘You’re from the States so you can’t perform at our Open-Mics!”. It’s never been that way at all. For me as an academic and an artist it’s been really good to have a dual identity because…

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Touring with Loud Poets: Reflections

This site has been rather quiet for the past couple weeks, but for a good reason: I’ve been touring with the Loud Poets in London and at the Brighton Fringe Festival! They had me along as a guest poet on their show, a techie, flyerer, and social media manager, among other roles everyone played as part of a small touring artistic collective. I couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated, talented, and fun group of folks to tour with: the Loud Poets are wonderful people as well as brilliant artists. The tour was thrilling and highly successful, with crowds highly engaged and audiences swelling as buzz spread about Loud Poets throughout the tour. Continue reading