E-poets and they know it
RILEY CHERVINSKI, ARTS COLUMNIST
If E. E. Cummings was around today, chances are he’d have an Instagram account with 50,000 followers and a Tumblr page with most of his poems on it.
Modern day poets are moving online, and it’s a platform that works. Instead of churning out wordy anthologies, they’re posting poems to social media sites— making their work both affordable and accessible.
It’s a new era of art, and it’s sparking an interest in poetry for young people. An example of this is Where Are You
Press. The small Oregon publisher only has a handful of writers, all with a huge online presence. Meggie Royer, Clem- entine von Radics and Kristina Haynes have hundreds of thousands of Tumblr followers between them. The three girls are all under thirty and speak to a young audience. Their poems are about heartbreak, sexual assault and first love.
Most of the works published by Where You Are Press are only available online. Ebooks are their cheapest and most popular option, while all other orders are processed through sites like Amazon. Gone are the days of hunting for dusty books in crowded shelves at your local bookstore.
These young poets are using social media to showcase snippets of their work. Rather than giving away this work for free, as some would argue, they’re growing a fan base so when it’s time to release a book, they already have an existing audience to sell it to. Bits and pieces of work are easy to share online, and single sentences from von Radics’s latest book have drummed up thou- sands of shares on Tumblr.
With so many platforms for artists to share their work, it seems silly nowa- days not to utilize the web. A Feb. 18 Tech Times article highlighted the work of R.M. Drake. The self-published writer is a best-selling author on Amazon, and his success is due in large part to his 1 million followers on Instagram.
According to the article, celebrities like Ludacris and the Kardashians have reposted Drake’s work. Drake released his latest book of poetry called “A Bril- liant Madness” at the end of November.
The convenience of social media platforms for artists wanting to share their work is inarguably great. As a writer, I use multiple sites to try and get eyes around the world to see my work. But even in a society as advanced as ours, nothing truly beats scouring the shelves of a used bookstore to find the perfect, musty-smelling paperback.
Riley Chervinski is a journalism student, soccer player and reader of cringe-worthy chick-lit.
You can usually find her scrolling through Tumblr, scoping out recipe blogs or laughing at her own jokes @rileychervinski.