I'm celebrating a year of freeing my poems by making them copyright-free for other poets to play with, and I'd love to get lots more poets joining in, so we can all play with each other's.
Lots of wonderful poetry forms involve riffing off another poet's work – but copyright law means it's hard to play with anything contemporary. So...
That's it: fill yer boots! I'd love to know what you write, so do drop me a line on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram if you can. Also, if there's another hybrid form I haven't thought of, email me or tweet me.
I'd love to get more poets joining in, so we can all play with each other's words. If you'd also like to make your poems available for hybrid forms, here's how.
How to join in:
Optional, to help people find you:
You can browse my collections of poems below. As other people join in, I'll add their links here too.
People are often confused about copyright, so here's the wee primer I give my students – because there's nothing worse than writing a massive glosa then discovering it can't leave your drawer for years.
In the UK, copyright is automatic; you don't have to register or publish your work to copyright it. Copyright expires 70 years after the author's death (or after its first publication, if that's later). Some common misconceptions about copyright are...
"It's okay if I use less than 5%." This comes from the rules given to schools, universities, etc, about how much they're allowed to copy for their students, once they've already paid their fee to the Copyright Licensing Agency. (These are Good People. They're on our side and if you've had anything published, you can claim some of that copyright-fee money via ALCS. Sign up!) It only applies for educational institutions who've paid their fee.
"It's okay if it's a very short quote." Copyright isn't based on length, but how unique something is. So "Would you like a cup of tea?" can't be copyright; that's not very unique. "A thing with feathers" is shorter but instantly recognisable, so that would be copyright (except that Emily Dickinson's been dead long enough). Most lines of poetry are going to be unique. Anything worth quoting is, really.
"It's already in the public domain." "In the public domain" means "It's already out of copyright" (ie the author's been dead more than 70 years). It doesn't mean "It's freely available on the internet". Another site might have permission to use it, but that doesn't mean you do. Or another site might be breaking copyright law.
All my poems on this site are now #FreeForPoets to play with, to write hybrid forms such as glosas, coupling poems, golden shovels, acrostics, centos, and erasures. Full permissions here: #FreeForPoets.