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Spreading the Word: Poetry in Public

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Sarah Wells

on 22 February 2013

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Transcript of Spreading the Word: Poetry in Public

Spreading the Word:
Poetry in Public “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” William Wordsworth

“Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” Gene Fowler

“Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.” Franz Kafka

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” George Orwell

“Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake.” E.L. Doctorow The Literary Journal “Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.” Barbara Kingsolver Poetry in Public Spaces Tips for Reading practice
read slowly
find a good audience member
make eye contact
articulate your words
project or use a microphone
speak with the emotion of the poem
be dramatic
be creative Know Your Audience “The plans, processes, and actions for developing and selling a product to a defined market.” Marketing PRODUCT GOALS STRATEGY TOOLS & TACTICS Introduction ("I am going to read a poem")
Back Story (“I wrote this poem while thinking about the dandelions growing in my yard and how stubborn and long-suffering they are”)
Read the Poem
Summarize
Read the Poem a Second Time (depending on audience) Product Who are you?
What kind of poet are you? Subject Matter Tone Style WRITING CLUBS, BOOK CLUBS, LOCAL OPEN-MICS, ASSOCIATIONS (DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, MATH CLUBS, TECHNOLOGY ORGANIZATIONS), PARENTING GROUPS, SUPPORT GROUPS, SCHOOLS, LIBRARIES, POETRY OPEN-MIC NIGHTS, BOOKSTORES, RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS, COMMUNITY CENTERS, SENIOR CENTERS, ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES, HOSPITALS, FRIENDS AND FAMILY (SCARY, RIGHT?), LOCAL NEWSPAPERS, ORGANIZATIONAL NEWSLETTERS, COLLEGE NEWSLETTERS OR MAGAZINES, COUNTY FAIRS, ARTS FESTIVALS, COFFEE SHOPS, ART STUDIOS, FARMER’S MARKETS Think big and specific – long-term, big picture; measurable and attainable.

Write better poems
Publish a chapbook or book
Publish poems in academic journals
Publish poems online
Get speaking or teaching gigs
Lead workshops
Gain funding for writing
Get readers for your book
Sell a self-published book Step Two: Set Goals Step Three: Strategy Using limited resources to achieve your goals. http://www.startribune.com/video/164625936.html Fragments for the 35W Bridge Todd Boss What resources do you have?

What will it take to reach your audience?

If you do nothing, will your book still sell?

Should you network and market the old-fashioned way?

Should you spend your time writing instead?

Can you hire someone to do the marketing? Step Four: Tools and Tactics Strategy Tools & Tactics Social Media Twitter If you can't tweet something nice, don't tweet anything at all.
Think before you tweet.
Tweet only when you have something to say.
If you tweet a link, include a hook, and change the bait every few hours
@#?! Page vs. Profile vs. Group
Community building, feedback oriented
Share, Like, Promote
Events
Privacy and Publicity Facebook A/V clips of you reading
Book trailers
Visualization of your work
A/V Interviews
Share, embed YouTube/Podcasts Networking +
CV/Resume +
Jobs/freelance
Groups (active on other SM)
Share, Like, Testimonials LinkedIn/Groups Blogs, Websites, Newsletters Blogs Two kinds: Yours and not yours
an estimated 60-80% of blogs are abandoned within one month
set reasonable goals
say interesting things
tell your followers
prompt feedback and conversation unique identity
more sophisticated
more flexibility re: design and layout
generally more $$ and more complex
Weebly & Wordpress for static site: cheap, easy
Going from blogspot dot com to dot com Websites Readings, signings, teaching, article pitches, PR, sponsored books, speaking, professional associations, conferences, reviews, interviews, experts, fundraising...networking! Other Tools build your list(s) (Mailchimp, ConstantContact)
Opt-out, spam protector
Quick and easy communication with your community of followers
Inbox delivery
Share a little, link to the rest
Watch frequency and variation of content to avoid becoming white noise Newsletters ePublishing Immediate access to a sample of your work
Usually free/public access, linkable, searchable
Quality of publication is always better than quantity of publications
Research journals before you submit
Track stats (Duotrope) Online Journals Fear Not: Hardcover, paperback, audio book, and now eBook
Use as promotion or delivery
Just like every other delivery method, you need to promote it in order to sell eBooks Figure out what you love and do that first
Start small and gradually build
Connect the tools
Set reasonable goals, stick to them, be prepared to revise them
Keep whatever you do up-to-date and fresh
What kind of a fish do you want to catch? Overwhelmed?? Writing time vs. Business time
Take some time to identify the P's of Marketing you have control over: Product (Who are you? Who is your audience?), Promotion (Based off of who you are and who your audience is, what are your goals? What is your strategy for reaching these people? What tools are a good fit for your audience, and do you feel comfortable using them? Where should you begin?) Step Back: Balance Spaces, Places, and Ways to Share Poetry with a Broader Audience Sarah M. Wells "It's either sadness or euphoria"
(Billy Joel)
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