Friday, 26 June 2009

Poetry sales boost

Just came across this piece while web browsing. I had my misgivings about various parts of the BBC Poetry Season, but it's good to see that it's had some effect.

Interesting, though, that the big sales boosts mentioned there all refer to dead poets - one of my slight gripes about the season might have been that there was relatively little on living, active poets. Still, if it means more people are reading George Mackay Brown, I'm all for it.


Andrew Philip said...

Very interesting, Matt. Thanks for this. A similar series on living poets might have similar effect, but I wonder how easy the Beeb would find it to get hold of knowledgable, articulate, well-known enthusiasts to present flagship programmes on contemporary poets.

It doesn't surprise me, in a way. The owner of my local bookshop told me recently that their sales of poetry had increased significantly. I blogged about it here. The notion that nobody wants to buy poetry is plainly nonsense. We living poets just have to tap into the right markets. How do we do that?

Matt Merritt said...

Yes, you're right of course. It would be hard to find the presenters, as you suggest, and I'd guess most poets would think twice about their work being featured, because however tempting a sales boost might look, most of us aren't keen on pulling our work apart in public.

I think, more and more, that readings are the way. The couple of times I've done readings to a 'non-poetry' audience, I think I've had a better response (in term of selling books), than anywhere else.