Tuesday, 17 November 2020

A career (in poetry)...

This term always makes me wince when I see editors or poets invoking it. For me, it’s a misnomer and a contradiction in terms, even if placed in inverted commas. It hints at a structure, a ladder and an inner sanctum for poets to aim at, none of which actually exist, while also implicitly belittling anyone who doesn’t make their living from the genre, casting doubt on their commitment. However, more than anything, it seems to forget why we started writing poetry in the first place: vocation.


  1. when I first went to take the MA, I was at a workshop with a well known poet - I was very unsure about whether it was the right thing to do (it was, I loved it). This poet said to me 'you have to think about whether you want a career in poetry or a life in poetry, beware of those who want the former'

  2. Thanks for commenting, Angela. That's a very acute remark!