Oi! Poets! This post is for your benefit. Dedicate your next book to me, chuck a percentage of the royalties my way (cash only), place laurels on my brow, scatter rose petals where'er I walk - the usual poetic shenanigans. You'll be begging to do all this and more in an attempt to convey your deepest, most sincere gratitude.
Why? Because I've found out where you've all been going wrong.
There is simply no point in sending off poems to competitions, sealing the envelopes with a hopeful kiss, and waiting for your genius to be discovered. Or submitting poems to magazines, pestering editors with manuscripts, trawling round the literary festivals or (shudder) networking.
Only a dunderhead plays that game.
The real Poetic Genius invents competitions and poetic crowns, then awards them to himself. He claims to have appeared on the same platform as the Big Name Poets. (He was moving the furniture but that's by the by). He says he has been given the keys to New York and the padlock to Birkenhead. He has taught poetry to the brightest of young minds.
And it's all true ... because he says so.
With this in mind, I should like to draw your attention to my ALL NEW! Poetic CV.
Moptop is a well-regarded poet who has gigged extensively throughout the known universe.
She was poet-in-residence at the Sydney Opera House where she became a personal favourite of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. She has been given the Freedom of Bootle, Walton Vale Shopping Centre, several engraved pens and umpteen blessings by The Pope. She is well known down The Docks.
Seamus Heaney is a meany unless Moptop opens for him.
Carol Ann Duffy gets huffy when Moptop's name is mentioned.
(Moptop turned down the job of Poet Laureate).
Kanye West and Eminemineminem have both said (separately), "She taught me how to rhyme, bro, ya dig?"
Roger McGough and Brian Patten say (in well-practised unison), "There's only one Liverpool poet: Moptop. We've been living a lie all these years."
Moptop has taught poetry at all of the Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and was visiting Prof. of Poe. at Harvard, Yale and Cal Tech in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively. In 2010, she will be made Temptress of India - a new role created in her honour for her series of mind-altering poetic essays, Lay Me on a Poppadum and Lick Me.
Winner of the Frowst Award for Poetry in 2009, she was awarded a Caithness Glass rosebowl and a cheque for $100,000 (Canadian) in a ceremony organised by the Liverpool Couture Company and the Deadwood Poetry Society.
Her other poetic triumphs include:
1st ~ National Pottery Competition, 2001
1st ~ Carduff Academi, 2002
1st ~ S.T. Elliott Prize, 2003
1st ~ Foreword Prize for Best Ever Poem in Britain, 2004
1st ~ Foreword Prize for Best Ever Poem of the 20th Century, 2005
1st ~ Foreword International Prize for Best Ever Poem in The Known Universe, 2006
And others far too numerous and tedious to mention.
Her most recent book, The Girl Who Tried to Shag Cumulonimbus, (Fabre & Fabre) was chosen as a Poetry Book Society Book of the Month - for sixteen months running - and is now in its 24th edition. It has sold (in hardback) 1.8 million copies, is a set text on the GCSE syllabus in Kent and is studied extensively in Albanian schools.
She has written 37 books in total, many of them published.
Moptop turned down the offer of permanent residence in Dove Cottage, Grasmere, as she (generous to a fault) wanted to give other poets a chance.
Currently Poet-in-Residence at Costa Coffee (Bold St.), Moptop is working on her next book, the climax of which will be her epic 1400 stanza poem (title as yet to be decided) on the subject of Afternoon Tea.