Monday, January 13, 2014

SPIN Poetry and Poets on Fire

SPIN poetry Poets on Fire


Supportive Poets Ironing Network


I have taken over the blog of Poets on Fire, a blog dedicated to promoting live poetry throughout the UK. These updates will now take place through Twitter, so if you have a reading or event to promote, in England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales, you can continue to let POF know ( and I will put a message out on twitter. You can also connect with us on twitter at the new twitter account: @SpinPoetryPof


However, the focus of this blog will now be the SPIN project, or: Supportive Poets Ironing Network. SPIN is an experiment which will launch in February and is dedicated to British poetry. Poets on Fire focuses on poetry out loud. SPIN will focus on poetry on the page.


What is SPIN?


If you are a poet, no matter how long you have been writing, or what level you are at, you will need advice on your work, a fresh eye. There are plenty of places where you can get feedback on your work, and if you are an experienced poet you will need advice from poets who are just as experienced as you are, or more so. The question is, why should we have to pay for this advice?


What if you had a group of friends who were all on the same level as yourself, when it came to poetry? What if, as a group, you sent each other your work and received a hundred words or so of feedback? And all you had to do was return the favour, so for every poem you sent out, you would just need to give feedback to one other poem. And imagine these poems were anonymous, so no offence could be taken if you expressed an opinion the poet himself (or herself) had not anticipated?


Now imagine the group included not just your friends but all the poets from your town or city. Would it still work? Would it be better?


Now imagine the group included every willing poet in the UK? That could be 124 people from Norwich, 27 from Port Talbot, 90 from Sheffield and 42 from Dundee. Would it still work? Would it be better?


What could we achieve with just a little effort?


SPIN aims to find out.


From February, every member of SPIN poetry (membership is free, requires only an email address, and you will be accepted once you have introduced yourself via email and indicated your willingness to participate in the project and give and take in equal measures) will be able to send poetry in for critique, and respond to someone's poem in return, and get their own critique back in a matter of weeks. Members will be able to submit a maximum of three poems a week but wont be under pressure to submit at all once they have joined. Although members will never see the names of the poets whose work they are reading, you will probably find out soon enough who is involved in this project, as SPIN will promote readings and publications of our poets like proud parents, although the Poets on Fire tweets should mostly have that covered.


The better you get at poetry, the harder it is to receive worthwhile feedback, especially as a favour. The admin (me) at SPIN will ensure you receive feedback from poets of a similar level. Email to join or to find out more (or to offer to be a part of the admin).


In the meantime, please spread the word on Twitter @SpinPoetryPof and Facebook  et cetera.


SPIN on that,


Carl Griffin  


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