I left the store to run some errands yesterday, and when I got back I saw a great promo idea on the front counter created by our staffer Laura. We are having a stellar poetry event in April with four poets, including Vermont’s Poet Laureate, Sydney Lea. Laura, a poet herself, knows that most adults don’t generally read poetry, so she got really smart.
She’s created a simple bookmark that announces the event on one side and offers a poem on the other. Every week, she’ll feature another a different poet and one of their poems. She began this process by emailing each poet and asking for two poems that could be used for promotional purposes. All the poets have emailed back their selections and Laura is poised to change the bookmark every Monday until the event. Each poet will have their bookmark tucked in books and shopping bags until the event a month from now.
I must say, I’m not a poetry reader and I’m riveted by the first bookmark’s selection from Elegy for Beach Houses by Kerrin McCadden. Rich imagery coupled with a violent sea on the Cape make for a satisfying and compelling read. And that is precisely how these simple bookmarks are going to promote the event: they’re letting the poetry do the work by making the reader want to read more and meet the person who wrote it.