How an Instagram poet blurs the lines between art and entrepreneurship

How an Instagram poet blurs the lines between art and entrepreneurship

Once thought to be a dying art form, the written verse has been revived on social media. Martin Friel talks to Tene Edwards, one of the many bards of the modern era turning the art form into an industry

Many bemoan the negative impact social media has had on reading and on the simple act of contemplation. But despite the predictions of entire generations becoming attention-deficient and culture-blind, sales of poetry books are surging.

According to book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan, well over one million volumes of poetry were sold in 2018 to the value of £12.3m, a £1.3m increase on the previous year. Interestingly, just over 40 per cent of those sales were from people aged 13 to 22.

Poetry hasn’t been this popular since a bunch of school kids stood on their desks intoning “O Captain, my Captain!” at a watery-eyed Robin Williams back in 1989. So what the hell is going on?

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