How to Read at Couplets

Anchor Poets

Couplets considers as a potential anchor any poet with the credentials (and disposition) to collaborate with and mentor a younger poet. This usually means a significant publication record (one or more full collections, two or more chapbooks, or two or more significant award wins), but performance, teaching, and poetry community service experiences are considered equally important. If you’re interested in participating in Couplets as an anchor poet, please send a quick note to coupletsreadingseries @ gmail.com.

Wildcard Poets

Couplets considers as a potential wildcard any poet who considers her-, him-, or themself ’emerging,’ though priority is given to younger poets residing or studying in London and surrounding areas. For some wildcard poets, Couplets provides a first reading or performance opportunity outside of open mics. For some, it provides a first opportunity to collaborate with a more established poet. If you’re interested in participating in Couplets as a wildcard poet, please send the following bio-poetic matchmaking profile, which will be used to pair you with the best anchor, to coupletsreadingseries @ gmail.com in a single .doc, .docx, or .pdf attachment:

  • 1 paragraph of biographical information and publication history (if applicable),
  • 1 paragraph of informal reflection on your interests and investments as a poet;
  • 4 – 5 pages of your poetry, particularly of the type you’d like to read at Couplets;
  • 4 – 5 brief examples of how you would like to engage with your anchor poet at the Couplets event. Think interview questions, rapid-fire quizzes (e.g., “Plath or Hughes? Brodsky or Walcott? Apples or oranges?”), preplanned writing exercises (e.g., “I asked you to write a couplet about Walcott eating an orange. Can you share that now?”), on-the-spot writing exercises (e.g., “In the next two minutes, write a couplet about an orange eating Walcott. Can you describe your process out loud as you write it?”), or—really—any other prompts for intriguing, insightful, or surprising dialogue. Be very creative.