I have, just the once, performed poetry myself. It was a poetry slam in an upstairs bar and you got in free if you entered. My three stanzas of feminist rant, full of bad scansion, was greeted by the briefest of applause and then soul-crushing-silence. Terrifying.
So I have a lot of respect for the budding performance poet! There’s not a huge amount of information out there, so after my research instincts were prompted today I thought I’d share some useful links:
- http://www.applesandsnakes.org/is a hub just for performance poetry
- http://www.poetrysociety.org.uk/ is also fantastic – see the poetry café nights too
- Competitions like this are a good way to get noticed and build credibility
- http://www.spreadtheword.org.uk/ is a great London writers’ organisation I mentioned – they run a regular networking night
- Loads of bodies outside of London too
- Lots of slam nights exists – including some expanding into London and elsewhere
- Talk to people doing performance poetry to learn about how they support their career in this area – maybe they do other things, run events, have other jobs
- Consider what you do, and then consider what other audiences there might be – schools, youth settings, hospitals, prisons, care homes, professional development settings?
- There’s lots of ‘how to’ guides out there which might give some ideas for events you could offer, and shadowing other people who do this can be really helpful – just ask them!
- There are a few specialist commissioning bodies for live literature, and some specialist poetry publishers that might be worth investigating
More ideas? Tips from actual performance poets?! Comment below, or send me a tweet at @CareersLucy!