Shameless self-promo warning: Sam Smith’s bitchin’ new Facebook poetry page

In addition to being a blogger and a marketing whore, I’m a poet. Actually, that’s what I enjoy the most and what I’m best at. Sadly, poetry doesn’t pay the way I’d like. Still, I do it because it matters a great deal to me. Lately I’ve been writing more and thinking more about how I can better promote my work and be more effective at publishing.

To this end, I’ve launched a new Facebook page: Samuel Smith Poetry, and if you appreciate the magnificent ways in which words can be twisted to do our bidding, you’re invited to stop by. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • Actual poetry! I’ve just uploaded The Miles Between Here and Hone, a chapbook collection that was featured in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature back in April of 2003. The chapper contains poems from my first two books, The Rainwater Chronicles and The Love Song of Ethan Brand (both of which, by the way, are looking for a publisher).
  • Audio: I expect to be doing some more readings in the future, and if I can capture audio from these events I’ll post them. In addition, I’ll be doing some recordings especially for the FB community and those who follow me at my personal site, Lullaby Pit.
  • Poem of the Day: I’m sure I won’t get a new recommendation up every day, but as often as possible I’ll be posting a Poem o’ Day for you to consider. Today’s rec is “Song,” by Brigit Pegeen Kelly. It’s one of the most remarkable poems I have ever read by any poet, dead or alive.
  • Work in progress, maybe? It takes a while to get a poem from inspiration to completion, and sometimes I’ll post things I’m working on to see what people think.
  • An idea that one of the page’s early fans (hi, Melissa) suggested: influences. Why not post the artists and poetry that shapes my work from time to time. Great idea – maybe I’ll do some of this in conjunction with Poem o’ Days, or maybe I’ll call them out on their own. It’s worth noting that yesterday’s featured poem was “The White Birds,” by my hero, WB Yeats. I selected it because I’m currently working on one called “William and Maud” that draws from it.

In addition, I’d like it if the page was about a lot more than my poetry. I didn’t invent poetry, I don’t own it, and some of my greatest discoveries have come when others told me about things they liked (that’s how I discovered Kelly, in fact). So if you’ll hit the page and click the “LIKE” button, you’ll be able to post your own thoughts, recommendations, and if you write, you can share your own words (and video and audio and whatever).

If you think this might be fun, stop by, and also please pass the word along to your friends and colleagues, assuming they’re fans of words.

Happy Tuesday.


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  • It’s looking good! I think you should have a regular feature called “Bad Poetry.” Or, at least, “Unreadable Poems.” Robert L. Service, Vachel Lindsay, Rod McKuen, that sort of thing.

  • Congratulations. You’ve just been named Bad Poetry Editor.

  • Is it true poetry doesn’t pay? Rap is pretty much poetry set to music, which is in fact the way poetry was originally consumed by the Greeks. When the Chicago woman left millions to Poetry magazine a few years ago, she did it to keep “poetry alive,” and I remember thinking at the time that poetry is alive and well, the only issue is whether or not good poetry is alive and well and whether or not good poetry pays. (By the way, as I remember, her definition of good poetry was Robert Service and Vachel Lindsay.)

    At any rate, my fiction editors have accused me of being a secret poet. It was not intended as a compliment. I will read with interest.

    • Sam: the poets who make a living at it are university creative writing professors, by and large. That funds the habit. Some pubs do a pay a little, although it’s nothing compared to what fiction writers can earn. And I might go so far as to argue that at this moment in history, POETRY mag is as much the problem with poetry in the US as anything.

      Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to be published by them. But given their editorial preferences, I’m just not conventional or homogenous enough.

  • Love the page, but is that photograph supposed to suggest melancholy constipation?

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