A Poet By Any Other Name?

Some poets are named BARDS. Some are named POLAR BEAR. That’s right. There’s a British poet named Polar Bear and he’s pretty good. But what’s in a name? My poet-friend’s poet name happens to be Catherine the Great. What do you think of that? I’m a bit scared to throw on any sort of adjective after my own name, especially not one like Great. Her son’s poet name is Josh the Awesome (this kid is ten and already killin’ it. I guess I’ve got serious competition in the young poet department).

So, should I have a poet name and what should it be?

Derek the Dork?

At readings, I generally put down random names. It’s not that I don’t like my name. It’s great as an author name, but there is something cool about having a special poet name. I mean, what if people referred to you as Polar Bear? How FRICKIN’ COOL. At open mics, I would call myself the “Metaphor Magician” or “Derek Calypso Natural Lemonade Berry.” Sometimes, I’d put rude names that were a lot of fun to hear spoken aloud such as Seymour Buttes or Mike Hawksmall.

But I have gotten over these petty pranks and decided to create a real poet name. A stage handle. Why? Because it’s fun! Though, I’m sure not everyone agrees. Hear what poet and rapper George Watsky has to say about it:

So, before the weekend is out, I will announce my all new POET NAME! I’m still trying to decide. Also, I’ve been sending off my poems. Should I place my stage name or real name along with the poems? Just wondering.

If you have any suggestions for a cool name (keep in mind my work), please share!

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About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on November 19, 2011, in Britian, Poetry, publishing, writer, Writing, writing advice, Young Poets for Change and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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