Sunday, August 19, 2012

Grant Writer or Rock Star?

I'm sure there are an infinite amount of camps that you could put poets in.

But from my limited observations....I've only found two.

The first would be the academic poet.

These people write grants, receive funding, and then go into the world and preach whatever gospel it is that they want to preach.

However....the one thing I've found interesting about grant writing poets is that many of them recycle their same set...over-and over.

Last February I saw a woman who fit into this camp.

She is a brilliant mind,she works at a University, but over the course of 5 or 6 weeks, I saw her read at 3 different venues, and at each one of these events.....she read the same material.

OK, I know many of you will say it is important for a poet tour their new work, but c'mon......

Poet's are still poets, and even when U2 tours a new album, they comprise a new set list most nights.

Finley on the other hand would be a good example of a rock star poet.

By Klecko definition, a "R.S.P." is a poet that doesn't write grants, their work isn't beholding to somebodies money. They just enter into the most interesting hallways life has to offer.

I mean lets face it, as a poet.....where will you find more inspiration, where will you witness the things worthy of your attention... at school, in an office......or in the ditch? LOL

Typically the R.S.P. is flawed, rough around the edges, but when they hit the stage and step up to the podium, you just don't know what you are going to get.

In all the years I've watched Finley read, I don't know if I've ever heard him read the same poem twice.

How confident is that?

How liberating and cool is that?

Academic poets are OK.....and I not trying to convince anyone to hate on them, truth be told....if somebody dangled a pay check in front of Finley or myself, we'd quit are jobs tomorrow.

But the message I am trying to share today is, there is a difference in writing poems and being a poet.

A rock star poet would simply dread having to reread the same topics.



  1. Anybody dangle a check yet? Keep me posted.

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    Once I taught you geography. Now
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    If you are coming again this side by chance,
    Visit please my humble residence also.
    I am living just on opposite house's backside.

    --Nissim Ezekiel
    "The Professor" from