Is Poetry Dead? How to Revive Your Poetry Career—Tips By Poet Candice James

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Cj Dimensionalizing

© Candice James

Carrie De Simas

Editor in Chief @ GoneWithTheWord

What is the biggest change in the poetry world since you ‪began publishing?

CJ: The Internet, Facebook, Twitter, websites, e-zines etc. have made it easy for ‪all poets from beginners to established to have their poetry “out there” in ‪front of the global audience of people interested in poetry.  The next ‪biggest change is the myriad of venues and poetry events happening every week all over the world. Back in 1979 poetry readings were few and far between.  36 years later they are popping up all over even to the point of “pop up poets” walking around in groups on the streets ‪reading poetry.  I wouldn’t say it is a whole lot more popular, but it ‪assuredly is a whole lot more visible. 

What are some mistakes you have seen people make when new to literary ‪organizations? 

CJ: Not being organized when presenting a reading; ‪exceeding the allotted time give to you for your reading;  being too shy. When you are new to an organization or group, you also need to ask questions. If you are a good listener, you will make friends and gain ‪knowledge.  If you talk incessantly, you ‪learn nothing and alienate would-be friends, mentors and guides.

How did you manage to promote the literary organizations and groups that you founded? 

CJ: The way to have events gain traction in ‪the literary world is to have them happening on a continuous basis at a ‪consistent venue at a consistent time and then making certain that the ‪atmosphere is warm and welcoming and nurturing.  And wherever you are reading, let people know about the events you are trying to promote.

Would you say that your regular involvement in the literary world has helped your writing career? If so, could you explain how?

CJ: ‪If you’re sitting ‪at home writing you are sheltered, sequestered.  When you get out into the ‪literary world and get involved you become known to other poets and you ‪meet other poets.   There is always an exchange of ideas and information, ‪and networking creates hype and poets talk about events and other poets, ‪but if you’re sitting at home…guess what…Nobody knows your name and ‪nobody reads your poetry.   So get out there and network, schmooze, go to ‪open-mics, meet other poets, exchange ideas and your writing career will ‪move forward faster and faster and faster as you network, network, network.

Candice James is Poet Laureate of New Westminster, BC, Director Royal City Literary Arts Society, Member LCP League of Canadian Poets, Member TWUC The Writers Union of Canada, Directory International Muse (India), Honorary Professor Academy of Arts (Greece) and a Past President of the Federation of BC Writers and Royal City Literary Arts Society.

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