It’s been a busy year at And Other Poems. Eighty two poets have featured and the site has received more than 26,000 visitors and been viewed over 52,000 times. Most weeks, there have been new poems to read every Tuesday and Friday although And Other Poems took a holiday for the whole of August. There were two calls for submissions in 2015, both receiving a huge response. I’m really grateful to everyone who reads the poems here, everyone who gets in touch with kind words, everyone who tells me they’ve spotted a typo, and, of course, everyone who sends poems, whether or not I’ve been able publish them.
There hasn’t been one lonely day in the last two years at And Other Poems. Readers arrive every day, from all over the world, and each day different poems are popular, I don’t always know why. Perhaps a poet has given a reading or has published a new poem in a magazine and this gives people a nudge to seek out more of the poet’s work. Undoubtedly, some poets are more enthusiastic about sharing their work at And Other Poems. They share the link on social media or email it to friends. I think this is a generous thing to do, and not at all self-promoting. In fact, it tends to bring more people to the site and to other poets so I really hope no-one holds back in this regard.
Here is a list of the six most read posts in 2015.
Three poems by Tania Hershman – these poems were shared widely on social media and caught the eye of WordPress editor Cheri Lucas Rowlands. Cheri got in touch to say that she particularly loved Tania’s poem ‘Body’ about a person witnessing their mother’s mammogram. She selected the poems for Freshly Pressed (since re-branded as Discover) and the poems have received a staggering number of likes and social media shares. Already an established and award-winning short-story writer, look out for Tania’s debut poetry chapbook, to be published in 2016 by Southword Editions.
‘How I Abandoned My Body To His Keeping’ by Kim Moore. Kim Moore very generously sent me the title poem from a sequence about an abusive relationship in her stunning debut collection The Art of Falling published by Seren.
‘Don’t Mention the Children’ by Michael Rosen. This was posted last year but has, nevertheless, been one of the most read poems on the site in 2015. It’s the title poem from Michael’s book of poetry for grown-ups – his first in eight years – published this year by Smokestack Books.
‘Good things happened on that day also’ by Elizabeth Barrett. Elizabeth submitted to And Other Poems during an open submissions window. This poem caught the eye of Jo Bell who shared it widely with the 52 writing group and there was then a BIG spike in my blog traffic – proof that the 52ers take poetry seriously!
Three poems by Victoria Kennefick. Although we’ve never met, Victoria and I chat on social media. She’s incredibly supportive of other writers, often the first to share news of their new publications, competition wins and various projects. These poems are taken from her excellent, award-winning debut chapbook White Whale. Keep an eye out for Victoria’s work in the future, I think she’s one to watch.
Three poems by Alvin Pang. These poems first featured at And Other Poems in 2013 but they are consistently popular and Alvin’s name frequently turns up as a search term here. Clearly he has a large, international following and there seems to be a big appetite for his work. I hope Alvin sends me some more poems next year!
Best wishes to you all for 2016.