How You Can Become a Famous Poet

| 3/11/2010 1:23:24 PM

Poet ReadingIf you want to be the most important poet in America, don’t bother writing great poetry. It’s too time consuming. And even if you manage to write a great poem, all your other poetry will look worse in comparison. Instead, Jim Behrle told a crowd at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, poets should devote themselves to relentless, 24/7 careerism. In remarks reprinted on the Poetry Foundation website, Behrle advises: “Your friends are really just contacts, and you have to think of them that way. If dropping their name isn’t worth anything, you may have to ditch them.” Poets should Tweet, Facebook, and ask for fame from friends and anyone who listens. According to Behrle:

How can you become the most important poet in America by tomorrow? It’s not as hard as you think. Poets used to have to pass out poetry-reading flyers by hand, one at a time, or publish poems one at a time in magazines, slowly building a career. But technology has changed all that. Now you can spam every poet in America with every new poem. Start a fan page for yourself and your books on Facebook. Blog about your every thought—they don’t even have to be astute thoughts. Most poets in America have boring office jobs in which they are screwing around on the Internet most of the time. Just mention the names of as many contemporary poets as you can in all your blog posts. You will catch all the self-googlers self-googling. Self-promotion is the only kind of promotion left. Without poetry reviewers to rely on, only you can spread the word about your product. And if you spread it suddenly, relentlessly, brutally, then you’ll have name recognition from here to Hawaii . . . and that’s all you need, because there are two kinds of poets: those you’ve heard of and those you haven’t. Almost all of us fall into the latter category, but not you! If only you take my advice.

(Thanks, The Awl.)

Source: Poetry Foundation 

Image by Nic's events, licensed under Creative Commons.

11/30/2014 8:40:25 PM

okay well im a poet and get told my poetry should go out there, It could be worth something maybe even be a fomous poet someday but I have no clue on what site to go on or anything so im just trying new things tell I get there...

Darren Rutherford
6/2/2013 11:57:38 PM

Find my Poem on Poet freak and tell me what you think, im 17 Years old, and i just like to motivate and inspire and relate to others in meaningful words. Thanks

3/15/2013 3:54:56 PM

I agree with a majority of everyone's comments. Poetry is what you make it, it defines you. Your originality, perceptions, and personal life lessons. However, money may be nice; but I do it so others may be inspired/think alternatively. With that being said, recognition is always reassuring. Being a poet, often times, gets pretty frustrating when others tend to follow popularity. That is why people yern to be famous, not just the money... -Henringtonj

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