Are poets the new creative entrepreneurs?

In March 2018, poets Inua Ellams, Debris Stevenson, Anthony Anaxagorou and Kate Fox took part in a Q&A discussion on the role of creative entrepreneurship in reshaping the poetry landscape. It was hosted by Jerwood Arts as part of the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships’ public programme, and took place at the Free Word Centre.

Pursuing a career as a poet is challenging, particularly where funding and access to venues, producers and publishers is concerned. As a result, many poets are becoming entrepreneurial - often without seeing themselves as such - to reach audiences, attract readers, develop their craft and earn a living.

This entrepreneurship appears to be playing a role in reshaping the poetry landscape. Poetry is growing in popularity. Increasing numbers of young people are expressing a keen interest in the art form. Poetry showcases are hosted in more diverse and visible venues while corporations are commissioning poets to appear in adverts, and major art venues are inviting poets to curate interactive exhibitions.

The event was chaired by Joy Francis, Project Manager for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships.

Filmed by Adrianne McKenzie.

The Jerwood Compton Fellowships are designed and managed by Jerwood Arts, with support from Arts Council England including funds from the Joseph Compton bequest.