We have set up a Facebook page to support the gathering of poetry for an up and coming book.
(Or if the link does not work (FB is always a difficult thing to link to) then just search for ‘Proost Poetry Collection’ on FB.)
Hopefully this can become a portal for questions, encouragement and support around this project. Please go and ‘like’ it/share it with friends.
Here is the first post- which hopefully gives a bit more flavour of what the project is all about;
This is the first post on our new page. We invite you to use this as a means of sharing ideas, discussion and to encourage one another as we seek to compile a collection of poetry.
Why are we bothering to do this? Well, I suppose firstly because some of us think that poetry is important. We need our poets now more than ever- we need to be challenged, to be stirred, to see through the surface of things into new and deeper meanings. In this way, poetry is closely related to prophecy – of the Old Testament kind – less about the prediction of shadowy future events, more about shining truth (a fickle beast admittedly) into our current situation.
Some would tell us that our culture has lost its soul and become merely what we consume. We have become a nation of short lived consumer events, connected by constant streams of media content. Poetry is the opposite of this. It has little or no monetary value, it can not be quickly consumed, and it has this way of asking questions more than providing easy answers.
There are lots of collections of poems out there of course- why another one? Well this one will be different for the following reasons;
1. It is a collection that is written by people on deliberate spiritual journeys. You could say this about most poetry of course, but we are particularly interested in what being a follower of Jesus might mean in our culture.
2. Having said that- we are not really looking for ‘Christian’ poems. By this I mean poems written from a narrow religious perspective, using the language and theology of Church (with a big C.) Poems like this tend towards propaganda- they close down the questions.
3. It is a deliberately open, non-elitist collection. We are happy to include works from published poets, but Proost exists to encourage, agitate and to give voices to those who would not normally be heard- the awkward squad, those who have the gift of not fitting in.
4. That is not to say that quality is not important too- but the way we understand quality is more to do with how well the poems become vehicles for other people to travel. Pure technical genius is not enough (but would be great!) Clever tricks with technique are not enough (Although they are fun if you are of a certain mind set!) However, words that move us, that catch the wind of the Spirit, that challenge, that question, that move us emotionally, spiritually- these are words we want to hear.
5. The collection is intended to be used for personal reflection. We think that arranging different poetic voices into broad themes allows access for people who do not usually read poetry. The success of the Bloodaxe books (Being Alive, Staying Alive etc) tells us that this format has value.
6. The collection is also intended to be a source of material for group use- to be read where groups of people gather, be that in churches or any other gathering. Some poems become new liturgy- ways that people can speak words together.
Finally, this is not a project driven by a desire for commercial success. Any profits made will be used by Proost in work to support other emerging artistic talents. In the words of the song ‘There ain’t no money in poetry, that what sets the poet free’. We are able to reward contributors by offering a free download from the Proost site- a collection of all sorts of wonderful books, music, films. This will be one per contributor, irrespective of how many poems are included. We know that this is a meagre reward for your talents- but hope that you will nevertheless feel the satisfaction of being included in this book.
Let the poetry begin!