Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Writer's Life: In Community with Other Writers

Poets for Penguins has a nice ring to it, I think. Tonight, I'm thinking about what it means to be a poet in community. This question has me thinking about the different ways that poets can support each other. What does it mean to be a contributing citizen to the country of poetry? How do we pay our literary dues?

I spent today with my friend Kelli Agodon, author of the forthcoming Letters from the Emily Dickinson Room and a poet who has done much for the cause of poetry. Right now she is spearheading the Great Poetry Giveaway to encourage bloggers to give two books of poetry away during National Poetry Month. More information appears here on this post.

Elizabeth Bradfield, who co-edits Broadsided Press, is another poet who brings writers and artists together. She is another poet who I believe does much to further a community that cares about engaging artists and poets around the world. Then there's Poets for Peace, the organization begun by poet Ilya Kaminsky and lawyer Paloma Cappana in the 1990's during the Balkan Wars.

I could go on naming other wonderful poets who have taken it upon themselves to further the cause of poetry, peace, and community because there are many other wonderful poets and projects. I am especially interested in this subject as I will be writing a keynote speech this week on the topic. If you have other projects I should look at, please leave me a message or send an email. Too often poets (and other writers) are seen as anti-social attic dwellers. My goal is to show creative examples of the poet in the world, one who is very much alive and active.


  1. Poets are underdogs in a culture that undervalues the work we do. So it seems to me we must support one another and the cause of poetry as much as we can. Thanks to you for all you do with your own poetry, your teaching, and your wonderful generous being

  2. Thank you, Lana! And all of these well-said words right back at you!