by Sherry Blue Sky
When I began my poetry blog, in June 2010, I hoped to find a few other poets online to share my work with. I placed a query on the Blogger forum, and Robb Lloyd responded: “Why don’t you try Poets United?” The rest is history – and her-story!!
Poets United was in its first months then, with a small, close-knit membership. It had a wonderfully relaxed, family feel to it, not at all intimidating – perfect for a humble poet like me. We thought we were getting big when we reached eighty.Since then, it has rapidly grown much bigger. We’re at 343 active members now, and Robert Lloyd, the site creator and moderator, soon needed staff!
With the site too big for one person to handle alone, in early spring Robb brought in a dedicated team, who work diligently in the background to keep everything happening on schedule. I am happy to report that the relaxed family feel that means so much to its members still remains. Many of the early members are still actively involved. Some of them are now staffers.
Each of us quietly plugs away at our chosen contribution, and they pop up on site right on time. The site apparently started out as a blogroll. When I first arrived it was wonderful seeing the long list of poets’ sites all the way down the sidebar – a veritable feast of poetry!The blogroll remains, and now the main part of the site is the feature of the day. The various features are listed along the left-hand side of the site, and one can access articles, interviews and poetry offerings from the archive by clicking on the category.
Last winter, Robb, with a huge commitment of time and labor, spear-headed Poets United’s first anthology, Thoughts That Breathe. Plans for a second anthology are in the works for this coming winter. Robb has sent out a request for submissions from active members, and he and some of the staff members will come to consensus on the ones to be approved for publication.
Robb’s early vision has resulted in a community of fantastically talented and wonderful poets from around the world. Poets United is all about community, supporting and encouraging creativity. Robb continues to find new ways to energize and motivate us all, and I have to say my fellow staffers are a lovely, dedicated group of people who give of their time and themselves to help keep this wonderful site going.
Joining Poets United changed my life in ways unimagined when I first clicked on that link. I will be forever grateful for all this wonderful network of poets has brought to my life. I love being part of this team, this community, this blogging life!!! It rocks!
Here’s our schedule:
Monday – (Poetry Blog of the Week) – Mary Kling selects one of our member’s blogs to highlight and share with our community. It’s a way to shine a little light on the amazingly talented folk who make up Poets United.
Wednesday – (The Life of a Poet) – Every other Wednesday Sherry Blue Sky posts an in-depth interview with one of our active members. This allows us to get to know “the person behind the pen” – always an interesting story.
Thursday – (The Thursday Think Tank) – Ella Wilson, Robert Lloyd and signed…bkm take turns offering inspiring prompts designed to inspire creativity and encourage everyone to write. Some of these prompts are also submitted by our members.
Friday – (I Wish I’d Written This) – Dan Simmons is responsible for this, our latest addition to Poets United. Each week a modern or contemporary poem is selected by Dan for our community’s reading pleasure.
Saturday – (Classic Poetry) – A.M. Trumble and Kim Nelson alternate each Saturday with a visit to the world of classic poetry, by posting a famous or popular poem of old. This is a wonderful way to pay tribute to those who have come before, and inspired our craft.
Sunday – (The Poetry Pantry) – The pantry is our most popular offering. It has even inspired an anthology. It’s a day for our members and those just passing through to share their poetry with this community. Anything and everything goes here, and the reading on Sunday is always first rate.
Members who also dedicate their time and talent behind the scenes are A.M. Trumble, our Social Media Specialist on facebook; our new member and blogroll coordinator, Marian/Runaway Sentence; and our wonderful hospitality specialist, Chris Olson, our beloved Old Ollie of Tired Monk fame.
Poets United is a place to explore, appreciate and share the art of poetry. The expectations are few: have fun, be respectful and supportive in offering feedback, and reciprocate by visiting as well as being visited. Our members are active on-site, and our stats show we have a lot of visitors passing through for a look-see as well. Robb told us just last week that the site’s stats of all-time pageviews is at 133,437. That is just crazy, but in such a good way! 🙂
Robb says that never in his wildest dreams, when he began the site as a simple blogroll, did he foresee it growing this big. For me, whatever size it is, Poets United will always be home.