I am proud to have met Neal Zetter, a real life living poet with a good reputation and following. I have seen him in action before in Hackney, not to be confused with Michael Rosen who lives in Hackney and who is often out and about performing there. I can’t wait to share the fact that I talked to Neal when I go along to poetry workshops next week in the cool of the evenings.
Neal outlined the glaring fact that reading and appreciating a poet’s work from a Kindle, in the drawing room, on the beach, in the loo, from a tablet is not the way of many folk. Poets more often than not get published after they’re dead. To reach any audience now means a creative person has to be a business one too because it’s all about self-promotion, online social networking, pestering public concerns such as libraries and networking galore.
It helps to have had a background in corporate marketing. Vistaprint will help you with your flyers and mugs and tee-shirts. And there is the Vanity Press where you’ll submit a poem, be accepted, correct the editors’ assistant’s typos to make yourself important and then buy a whole load of unwanted poems in one anthology just to see your own poem published and book-bound.
It is nigh on impossible for one poet to connect with another because both will be wanting a foot in the same door of fame, payment and recognition.
I asked Neal if he mentors other poets. He mentors creative types.
I’ve heard wonderful poems being read aloud from nobodies and those poems are going nowhere.
I’ve seen the many offered poetry slams inviting obviously youngsters to be “performance poets”. That takes guts and a family and fans’ following just to hold the mic. I was amused to see a workshop offered to poetry readers “who can read properly”.
Anyway, so today I went to Iceland and bought the biggest cauliflower on the rack.
It’s cut-throat out there.