How Poetry (Yes, Poetry) Became a Profitable Business

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Photo Credit: Joel Arbaje for Fast Company

Poets, like most artists, don’t go into the profession to get rich — but that doesn’t mean they can’t. Elizabeth Segran at Fast Company recently reported on a poetry-writing group, The Haiku Guys, who are earning $250 an hour writing poetry at events. As the article says:

“[Founder Lisa] Markuson believes that people are drawn to them because poetry now seems like a foreign art; the slow process of poetry-writing often feels like a stark contrast to the fast pace of modern life. ‘People react in extreme ways when we write them poems,’ she says. ‘They cry, they laugh, they tell us we can see into their souls. It’s a very vulnerable moment that people seem to get a lot of catharsis from.'”

The idea might sound crazy, but they’re providing a fun and interesting form of entertainment at parties and other events, and for that reason people are willing to pay. The idea, and the business model, is one that can work for nearly any form of live entertainment. As Jim says in his post The New Model for Live Entertainment:

“The key idea here is that good ideas, good delivery and good management win traction in the marketplace. As a rule, if something’s good and somebody’s providing good stewardship over that thing, it will make a mark and endure. Not always, of course, but it’s much closer to the truth than anything else.”

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