52 – the books!

If you’ve not participated in Jo Bell’s amazing ’52’ poetry initiative and the community that grew up around it (nay,thrives) as a result, then click on the video link to hear what you’ve been missing out on and, more importantly, its legacy.

How to Build a Poetry Community

Lots of sound ideas and building blocks, from Angela Topping. And reminders of why having a poetry social life is so important to me:

Angela Topping

Poets love to gather together and talk poetics. It is something we need; it’s like oxygen to us, to find others who care about the same things and are happy to share ideas for magazines to submit to, places to read, courses, who’s up for prizes, which new collections have blown them away etc. We hunger for it. Social media has played a massive role in facilitating this kind of talk, but it can be ultimately dissastisfying to be typing on threads and encountering offensive and irritating people who love to stir things up negatively. I have made many poetry friends through social media, but nothing beats meeting them face to face and having conversations with them.

Here are some ideas for building your own network of poetry friends.

1) Go to poetry festivals. Many have a central space where poets can meet and mingle. StAnza at St Andrews every…

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