Why Mitchell is Wrong

Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people.
– Adrian Mitchell

He may have believed this to be true but I do believe that there is at least one piece of poetry out there for everyone. I suppose if there isn’t then we need to get more people writing.

Poetry shouldn’t ignore anyone. Poetry, to me, is the most important and personal, the most universal and unknown things condensed down into the purest form of words possible. A little bit of everyone and everything has leaked into poetry when poetry speaks of the world today.

This is one reason why I dislike the idea of “black writers” or “female writers” or “gay writers” or “British writers”. It undermines the fact that we are all individual writers. As soon as I am labelled as different from an American writer it negates the things that we may share and focuses on the obvious differences in our lives when I could easily have more in common with a male American writer than a female British one.

Difference is very important but individualism is much more interesting when we create than trying to lump people into a racial, regional or religious group.

I’m not a young, white, female, British poet. I’m Vick and I am the sum of my life experiences. No more and no less.

I hope that we keep finding new ways of allowing people to find and experience poetry. This involves getting more people reading poetry and more poets experimenting with sharing their work.

I don’t want to ignore anyone. I spend a great deal of time asking questions and every person is a new set of questions. Poetry and (even more so) poets should never ignore any question or any person.

If anyone does think that there isn’t a poem out there for them, do give me a shout, perhaps I can recommend a poet you might like!


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