Friday, April 30, 2010


I have a friend who, in lieu of sending Christmas cards, burns mix CDs of new music that he’s discovered throughout the year, and mails them to all of his friends.

Although not particularly adept at the art of the mix CD myself, I’m a strong believer in the mix CD. I think it’s a great way to cheer up a friend, celebrate occasions large or small, or convey a sense of your personality to a potential romantic interest. (I even have a friend who teaches high school and told one of her students that he could earn extra credit by making her a really good mix CD.) But even more importantly, the mix CD gives you the chance to share new music with someone who would otherwise not have been aware of that artist. I’ve discovered many a “favorite” singer or band through friends who have passed along mix CDs.

I mention all this because a few days ago, I found myself wishing for a poetry-equivalent of the mix CD. I often find poems that I want to share with friends, and I usually just end up typing out the poem in an email or sending a text message with a few lines. (For “Poem in Your Pocket Day,” I texted a haiku to about two dozen friends, mostly non-poets.) But I’m wondering if anyone has a better suggestion for sharing new poetry discoveries. Short of buying a book to give to someone, how do you share a new poet or a specific poem or two with friends? In the spirit of National Poetry Month and turning more people on to the poetic craft, how do you spread the appreciation of poetry? Do we have a poetry equivalent of the mix CD?


Jesus Crisis said...

Though it's necessarily limited to works that are in the public domain or that I have permission to use, I consider the Crisis Chronicles Online Library a sort of poetic mix CD I distribute daily (passing whatever poetry I'm into at the moment) to anyone who's in the mood. People can subscribe for free (using a box in the left sidebar of the site) to have the latest entries (often three or more a day) sent to their e-mail - or just follow me on Twitter to see what's new.

Jesus Crisis said...

Since my link above to the Online Library doesn't seem to work, here is the URL: http://library.crisischronicles.com

Shelley Chernin said...

It would be great to find a way to quickly create a little poetry anthology for a specific person or situation. I'll also sometimes type out a poem and email it to a friend or, if it's online, email a link, but wouldn't it be cool to be able to easily create a personalized chapbook for a friend?

Mary Turzillo said...

It is possible to build a story anthology from this site:


Wouldn't it be great if such a site existed for poets? Stuff wouldn't have to be public domain -- poets could put their stuff up for sale!

Entrepreneurs, are you listening?

T.M. Göttl said...

Sort of iTunes for poets :) (iPoems?)

I like the concept!

Jesus Crisis said...

Reminds me of this: http://www.ipoetry.nl/


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau