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  • Why are Memberships needed?
    One of the main goals for PoetSpeak is to share with the public simple poems by everyday people. Poems that are Useful, Accessible, and Enjoyable. In order to spread the joy, we want to publish an annual Anthology. The funds received for Memberships are used almost exclusively for that purpose. More Memberships, more Useful, Accessible, and Enjoyable Anthologies.
  • Who can submit to PoetSpeak™ Forum?
    ​​​​​​​Poems may be submitted by writers and poets from anywhere on Planet Earth to develop a global community of compassion, empathy and thoughtfulness. Poets and writers of any age, vocation or education. It is encouraged that submissions by minor (18 years or younger) is submitted by adult family member or teacher. All submissions should include name, email address, mailing address. Please submit poems in English. Preferred formats for poetry submissions are Word, Google Docs or PDF.
  • What types of poems can I submit?
    Poems should encourage wholesome, family friendly, age neutral subjects and vocabulary. Most of all, should be Accessible, Useful and Enjoyable. Please submit all poems in English.
  • How do I submit poems to the Poetry Forum?
    Poets will submit and post all poems via the PoetSpeak™ Forum; all posts will be subject to spam control and editor overrides. Editors will, time permitting, contact some poets with suggestions for making a poem look attractive and communicate optimally. Final versions of such collaborations will be moved to the searchable PoetSpeak™ Blog once writer has established an annual membership.
  • What are the benefits of membership?
    The PoetSpeak™ editors are volunteers who are responding to a Dream they have found too evocative to ignore. They, along with future volunteers and Board members, will strive to provide meaningful, do-able and affordable levels of service and support.
  • Am I giving up rights to my poetry?
    PoetSpeak™ reserves the right to use the poems or songs you submit provided usage reflects your name and the unlimited copyright permission you have given PoetSpeak™. However, you, as the author and originator of a poem or song, have complete and unrestricted copyright usage as long as usage shows that it was first published at www.poetspeak.com, a non-profit organization.
  • What is a "Useful" poem?
    Each poem will touch, move, influence and stay with a reader for very personal and unique reasons, in ways that will influence how s/he lives, works and cares for other people. ​ Readers are encouraged to rate a poem as "Useful" with 1-5 stars. If you read and re-read a poem, smile and think of ways the poem fits into your life, experience and emotional register, a poem with a 4-5 stars Useful rating will be shared, re-read and quoted; it will help you make sense out of emotions and experiences without judging. It might be a candidate for you to request as a birthday card for someone.
  • What is an "Accessible" Poem?
    Many poems are, and have been, written by highly educated people using unnecessarily 'big' words and not commonly understood psychological theories - and thus, the majority of poems and poetry have become of “little interest” to 90% of all humanity. ​ Readers are encouraged to rate a poem as "Accessible" with 1-5 stars. If you read and re-read a poem, smile and realize that you did not need a higher education background, or an impressive vocabulary, to enjoy a poem, a poem with a 4-5 stars Accessible rating will be shared, re-read and quoted; it will help you make sense out of emotions and experiences without judging. It might be a candidate for you to request as a birthday card for someone. You can feel comfortable reading it aloud to a child, or a person of any age and background, knowing there is a very high likelihood everyone will come away with some useful insight and enjoyment from hearing, reading or listening to the poem.
  • What is an "Enjoyable" Poem?
    The primary reason a poet or song writer has written a poem, or lyrics to a song, is a passionate hope that other people will smile, laugh, cry or be passionately moved every time they read, hear or listen to the lyrics of a song that began as a poem. Such a poem may be memorized, printed for the refrigerator or considered for a "Hallmark" card to include in a special "I thought of you" sent to a loved one. ​ Readers are encouraged to rate a poem as "Enjoyable" with 1-5 stars. If you read and re-read a poem, smile and think of ways the poem fits into your life, experience and emotional register, a poem with a 4-5 stars Enjoyable rating will be one that you wish a song-writer would turn into a song, or a poem you want to memorize or hang on the refrigerator for others to "bump into," again and again.
  • Background of poetry:
    In general, within most of our global Western cultures and countries, poetry is read and enjoyed by a remarkably small percentage of populations, historically speaking. However, an extraordinary percentage of people in all cultures enjoy reading, listening to and memorizing the lyrics of popular songs-without realizing that the lyrics for a song is an enhanced version of a poem. ​ " In April 2015, The Washington Post published an article that has been vilified by poetry lovers for years now. Asserting that government data showed poetry was going extinct, the story explains how poetry is just about as popular as knitting.": ​ https://medium.com/writers-guild/how-many-people-still-read-poetry-cb4e23114c94 Not surprisingly, women are more likely to be reading poetry, thinking in poetic terms and wondering why the males in their lives "don't get" the emotions, concepts or thoughts most often expressed by poets: ​ https://www.bustle.com/p/poetry-is-more-popular-than-ever-according-to-a-new-report-from-the-national-arts-endowment-9332825 There's often a sense that people seek out poets, poetry, lyrics and art when times are experienced as troublesome: ​ "As poet Jane Hirschfield told the New York Times last year: "When poetry is a backwater, it means times are OK. When times are dire, that's exactly when poetry is needed.": ​ https://psmag.com/education/why-are-more-americans-reading-poetry-right-now ​ Interestingly, it appears that from 2002-2012 poetry was even less appealing than Jazz and dancing: ​ "According to the latest numbers, poetry is less popular than jazz. It's less popular than dance, and only about half as popular as knitting. The only major arts category with a narrower audience than poetry is opera -- not exactly surprising, given the contemporary state of that art.": ​ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/04/24/poetry-is-going-extinct-government-data-show/ PoetSpeak™ research indicates, however, that a surprising number of people of all backgrounds, culture and education are profoundly moved by listening to simple poems, often written by very ordinary people, or sometimes by aspiring song-writers, on subjects, emotions and experiences that catches all our ears, in deeply moving ways – and stays with us just as the lyrics of a well-loved song will pop up in our hearts again and again for years. PoetSpeak™ research suggests that our collective and individual ability to grasp very complex issues is often enhanced by listening to a poem or lyrics to a song, or reading and re-reading a poem much as a prayer.
  • Definitions of Poetry:
    "Poetry is probably the oldest form of literature, and probably predates the origin of writing itself. The oldest written manuscripts we have are poems, mostly epic poems telling the stories of ancient mythology. Examples include the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Vedas (sacred texts of Hinduism). This style of writing may have developed to help people memorize long chains of information in the days before writing. Rhythm and rhyme can make the text more memorable, and thus easier to preserve for cultures that do not have a written language. ​ Poetry can be written with all the same purposes as any other kind of literature – beauty, humor, storytelling, political messages, etc.": https://literaryterms.net/poetry/ "After reading a good poem or listening to a good song, it will have an impression that lingers in your ear. It can be beautiful and pleasing, it can be disturbing or upsetting. One can play with words in poetry. But I hold that you need to accept three truths first. We talk of three aspects of text: image, story and musicality. Every poem requires all of these three truths, no matter whether it is a small poem like a haiku or a long poem like an epic story." ​ https://www.thedailystar.net/literature/news/poetry-international-language-1767214
  • Who are the PoetSpeak™ poets?
    Most poets who have been a part of a PoetSpeak™ performance, a PoetSpeak™ column or a PoetSpeak™ small group experience have been ordinary people, men, women and children of all backgrounds, ages, education, culture and ethnic origin. ​ ​In the PoetSpeak™ context a poem written by a child, a young person, or a wise older person stands proudly with its own beauty and insight; we never disclose the age of a poet. ​​ Often a PoetSpeak™ poem has been written by a very private person who wishes to share a single poem that may be one of a few poems s/he will ever write; s/he may want to have "-anonymous" penned below a submitted poem. ​​ PoetSpeak™ poets are often regular people, with a varied education and background, who does not visualize themselves as "a-soon-to-be-famous" poet, but they have a sense that they have creatively stumbled on a way to express something immensely beautiful, painful or wise, that they would like to share with others.​ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- William Stafford of Oregon, USA is a male poet that we feel meets the PoetSpeak™ criteria for writing poems that are 'Useful, Accessible & Enjoyable.' ​​ https://allpoetry.com/William-Stafford ​ Mary Oliver and Maya Angelou are widely published and quoted female poets whose poems often meet the PoetSpeak™ criteria for writing poems that are 'Useful, Accessible & Enjoyable.' ​​ https://pennbookcenter.com/mary-oliver-poems/ ​ https://www.poemhunter.com/maya-angelou/poems/
  • Published Poets that fit the PoetSpeak™ vision:
    William Stafford of Oregon, USA is a male poets that we feel meet the PoetSpeak™ criteria for writing poems that are 'Useful, Accessible & Enjoyable.' ​​ https://allpoetry.com/William-Stafford ​ Mary Oliver and Maya Angelou are widely published and quoted female poets whose poems often meet the PoetSpeak™ criteria for writing poems that are 'Useful, Accessible & Enjoyable.' ​​ https://pennbookcenter.com/mary-oliver-poems/ ​ https://www.poemhunter.com/maya-angelou/poems/ ​ ​
  • The PoetSpeak™ Experience:
    As PoetSpeak™ editors and teachers we have seen and experienced remarkable results sharing poems that we find to be 'Useful, Enjoyable and Accessible.': ​​ -We have witnessed a 12-year old young lady move an entire audience of +100 people to a state of speechless awe as a featured performer. ​​ -We have witnessed taciturn males finally get the courage to share a poem, and grin like a teenager when others finally 'get' them. ​​ -We have witnessed small groups of ordinary people come together and share-out poems they have written, or found, while also talking about what these poems 'did' for them in their daily lives. All while sharing potluck food, a beer, or a glass of wine. ​​ The PoetSpeak™ experience and adventure is envisioned as a Gift that many of us can contribute to and know its accumulated wisdom will be there for readers to listen to, print out poems for the 'refrigerator', and for song writers to 'mine' for lyrics to beautiful music in years to come.​
  • Donations
    PoetSpeak™ is a 501(c) (3) under the IRS tax code. It is, therefore, a tax deductible organization that you may contribute to on a tax free basis. Simply indicate the amount you wish to donate to further PoetSpeak™ endeavors, such as printed anthologies, retreats, and reaching out to educators.
  • Board members:
    If you 'find' www.poetspeak.com and wish to help, you can volunteer to serve as Board Members. People who want to collaborate with editors to grow the presence of www.poetspeak.com are very practical people; they have a sense that their time and experience can have a positive long-term impact on how people "access, use and enjoy" poetry and lyrics. They will collaborate via phone and Zoom meetings from all corners of the world.​ Editors and board members will: -Collaborate to publish an annual PoetSpeak™ anthology with 50-100 poems at the end of each year that readers have rated with 4-5 stars as being "Useful, Accessible and Enjoyable." - Work with a PoetSpeak™ web consultant to develop, and pay for, an effective web presence that will reach readers of all backgrounds across Planet Earth, and encourage readers to read, sing and quote a poem from www.poetspeak.com. And, to encourage each of us to express ourselves AND WRITE A POEM WHEN WE HAVE SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL AND SPECIAL TO SHARE.​ Current Board Members: Kurt Kristensen (TN), Evy Kristensen (TN), Ron Crete (OR), Laurie Wagner (TN)
  • PoetSpeak Small Group Leaders:
    You can consider asking for training to set up a PoetSpeak™ group in your own area, if you have a passion for nurturing and facilitating song writing and poetry reading and writing by very ordinary people of any age. In our experience, it often calls on 'hosts' to have a comfortable home where they can meet in small groups of 6-20 people in a "potluck" format. Hosts will provide a main food item and each visitor will bring a complimentary food item. Leaders will guide group in a safe, nurturing and enjoyable manner, with people sitting in a comfortable circle sharing their poems. Sometimes a musician will be present to play a song, or put chords to a poem they discover.
  • Poetry Retreat
    When possible with adequate donations, a significant subscriber basis and following a writer survey, PoetSpeak™ will consider sponsoring a retreat to share and encourage creative expressions with songs, music and poetry.
  • Poetry Alive
    PoetSpeak™ has a history of sponsoring local public events where a group of poets read their poems in a choreographed performance where poets follow a theme, read one poem at a time, and audience have a printed anthology as part of the admission. The Performance is always accompanied by a song-writer or musician playing. Typically PoetSpeak™ performances are held in event locations that have great acoustics and no surrounding noise factors to allow members of the audience to really listen to the voices of the poets. Performances always offer access to a mingled break atmosphere with refreshments and an opportunity to mingle with poets and song writers.
  • Poetry Greeting Cards
    One of the editors has a life-long passion for creating original greeting cards that are evocative, funny and sincere; she uses a Hallmark-type lay-out program and creates individually formatted, special greeting cards for anniversaries, birthdays, romantic moments, and “I thought of you’ occasions. These cards can include a poem, or quote, from a poem selected by the PoetSpeak™ subscriber. After the Greeting card has been designed our PoetSpeak™ subscriber can select a shipping option.
  • Why do we have a “Free Poetry” section?
    Poems posted in this section are examples of poems that meets the 'Useful, Accessible & Enjoyable' goal and are included in the searchable main PoetSpeak™ site.
  • Why do we have a PoetSpeak™ Forum?
    All poets who have a membership can post a poem of their choice in the PoetSpeak™ Forum. All readers can read and leave supporting comments on each of these poems. Once a poem has met editorial review and meets the 'Useful, Accessible & Enjoyable' goal it will be included in the searchable PoetSpeak™ main section where readers can rate each poem over time.
  • Why we all need to write a Poem, now and then . . .
    Our children have nowhere to play in our big cities. . . Too many dads leave their children to fend for themselves . . . Old people are put away in "nursing homes", away from children and family . . . Too many new moms and dads can't afford to take time off from work to be with their kids . . . Noise is everywhere--I can't hear my heart . . . All the food is factory stuff, and I get sick when I eat it . . . Neighbors are often not kind to anyone . . . I have a hard time feeling "safe" anymore . . . So many people just lie and cheat . . . Our schools are so busy I don't think they can help my children . . . Too many guns and wars all the time, everywhere . . . I miss my mom, I miss my grandpa, I miss . . . I miss big dreams . . . I really want to trust someone . . . I like friendly people . . . I want a puppy to care for . . . Do we need to be mean to each other? . . . I like helping strangers, not turning them into enemies . . . Why does a flower look so pretty and why do the stars shine so brightly? . . . My folks never have time to listen to me . . . Why do I feel better at the beach? . . . Why don't we have deep friendships instead of just "social contacts"? . . . Why is the quiet of the countryside so appealing? . . . Why does it feel so good to hold a baby? . . . Why do we eat so fast that we don't have time to "share our day" anymore? . . . Why are storms so full of passion? . . . Why is it that birds know how to find their home, but we often don't? . . . Why are waterfalls so breathtaking? . . . What really happens when someone has a broken heart? . . . Why do our "riches" not make us happy? . . .
  • Why do we have a Subscription only Poetry Section?
    This is the main area of www.poetspeak.com. This is where high quality poems meeting the 'Useful, Accessible & Enjoyable' goal can be found, and here readers can rate each poem over time. Poems rated a 4-5 will be reviewed each year for inclusion in the annual PoetSpeak™ Anthology.
  • Why is an Annual membership a good idea?
    PoetSpeak™ is a non-profit organization committed to raise the art of songs and poems to a wide global readership; one that may grow a community that will recognize the voice of wisdom and passion from mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, young and old. ​ PoetSpeak™ is committed to publish an annual anthology of the 50-100 most evocative poems posted in the Forum and elevated to a Printable format in the searchable Main PoetSpeak™ section. ​ PoetSpeak™ envisions poets and song writers becoming a passionate and productive community by using the resources developed on www.poetspeak.com ​ PoetSpeak™ needs reasonable financial resources to accomplish its goals and invite readers, poets, song writers, teachers, foundations and people who enjoy reading a monthly poem to donate towards making poems and songs a vital part of our global culture.
  • Why is an Annual membership useful and necessary?
    PoetSpeak™ is a non-profit organization committed to raise the art of songs and poems to a wide global readership; one that may grow a community that will recognize the voice of wisdom and passion from mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, young and old. ​ PoetSpeak™ is committed to publish an annual anthology of the 50-100 most evocative poems posted in the Forum and elevated to a Printable format on the searchable Main PoetSpeak™ Section. ​ PoetSpeak™ envisions poets and song writers becoming a passionate and productive community by using the resources developed on www.poetspeak.com ​ PoetSpeak™ needs reasonable financial resources to accomplish its goals and invite readers, poets, song writers, teachers, foundations and people who enjoy reading a monthly poem to donate towards making poems and songs a vital part of our global culture.
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