So You Want to be a Poet

Good news: You already are! Here at Power Poetry we believe that  everyone has the ability to write and have their voices be heard — you just gotta find out how to start unlocking your true potential. We might be a bit biased, but we think the world would be a better place if everyone gave poetry a try. Each person in the world, regardless of race, religion, economic background, etc., has a unique voice and personal story to share (yup, that includes you!). Writing offers  a chance to sit down, reflect, and take a look at what's going on. It allows tremendous insight into your own thoughts and feelings. So if you want to be a poet, the first step is understanding that you already ARE one. Anyone can write poetry and everyone has something to say that's worth hearing. We're going to give you some tips for how to get your foot through the poetic door.

  1. Write what you like. In the words of South African activist and author Steven Biko: Write what you like! We want to remind you that the easiest source of inspiration can come from within. If you're having a hard time trying to figure out what to write, think about the things that you like to read. Think about what is interesting to you and write from there. Perhaps you love breakfast food, wonder what your dog is really thinking, or maybe you forgot to call your grandmother on her birthday and are feeling awful about it. Whatever's floating around in your brain, write about it! Allow your experiences to enrich your poetry and then, expand past that.
  2. Look at the world around you. If glancing inward doesn't inspire you, that's  fine! Start observing the outer world instead. There are tons of poets who focus mainly on what they see, and the world around them. Think about writing landscape poetry about your environment like Native American poet Joy Harjo. Try writing about your commute from school or work. What do you see? What's going on around you? By using these techniques your writing can be enriched by your own perspective of the world.
  3. Find your niche. One of the cool things about poetry as a literary genre is that it's so diverse when it comes to presentation and approach! Perhaps you're more of a visual thinker and want to use your words to convey an image. Well then you're in luck, because there are tons of different ways to do, from concrete poetry to graphic design. If you're more interested in performance and public spaces, consider attending open mics and slam poetry events! Or, maybe you like to write songs and raps. There's an angle for everyone. Have fun finding your niche, and then do some exploring outside of it.
  4. Join the community. Attending workshops and poetry events, online or in-person, can really help boost confidence in your work while expanding your creative horizons. We already know you're great — now let the rest of the world convince you too. Interacting with your local poetry community can strengthen and inspire your writing. Attending workshops is a good way to break the ice and get used to the idea of sharing your work with others. And the Power Poetry community is always here to welcome you, of course.

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