Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Donor Perk: What Patronage Can Do

This is a perk post for donors.

You've been patronizing the arts by sponsoring my poetry. But have you thought about what that really lets you do?

At least twice now, browngirl has given me prompts relating to ancient Minoan culture. Fortuitously, I happen to like Minoa, so it's easy for me to write about. (Other times people give me prompts about things I'd never encountered before, as when dulcinbradbury mentioned "duende," and then I venture into whole new areas. That's cool in a different way.) So now there are two more poems about Minoa in the world:
"Bull-Dancers"
"The Goddess and the Bull"
browngirl's prompts inspired the poems. Her patronage made it possible for everyone else to enjoy them. Between the two of us, we took a rather obscure topic and gave it more public exposure.

In the old days, when rich patrons kept artists and musicians, the patrons' taste had a sizable impact on what got produced. Today it's down to fashion and marketeering, mostly. But cyberfunded creativity gives donors an opportunity to promote your favorite topics, the things you think the world should know more about, as well as supporting creative efforts you already enjoy. Your taste makes a difference in what manifests.

From a poet's perspective, inspiration helps to shape what we become "known for" doing. Sometimes it's a form or style of writing, like e.e. cummings and his gift for bending English into whimsical shapes in defiance of standard rules. Other times it's a topic, like Thoreau and the timbre of American wilderness. For me, I'm a form junkie. You folks have turned me on to several new forms. But you also turn me on to new topics. So far I've got two poems about Minoa, which is a good start. Suppose we keep doing this for a while, and I write more. The more obscure a topic, the less mass required to make a notable splash in its pool of literature. Who knows what else I'll become known for?

So think about your passions, your worthy causes, your hobby horses ... and watch for them to intersect the fishbowl themes, or propose them as themes when I call for thematic suggestions. Your interests make a difference.
Tags: donors, fishbowl, poetry, writing
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