[Dis]Connected

Humanity exists in a hyper connected world, where our closest friends, loves and enemies lie but a keyboard stroke away. Few know this better than the poets who have risen to the top of their trade by sharing their emotion, opinion and art with millions of fans.

Combining the poetic forces of some of today’s most popular and confessional poets, this book presents poems and short stories about connection wrapped up in a most unique exercise in creative writing. Follow along as your favorite poets connect with each other; offering their poetry to the next poet who tells a story based on the concept presented to them. With poetry, stories and art, [Dis]Connected is a mixed media presentation of connection and collaboration.

Excerpt

The idea for this book came to me when someone said they heard poetry was the next adult colouring book, referring to the craze of the early/mid 2010s. Like other fads, the market for these books exploded, and then promptly tanked.

Is poetry the next fad? For anyone in the know, it isn’t. While poetry has seen a surge in sales in recent years, its popularity has been building slowly and sustainably over several years. After all, I successfully published I Wrote This For You by Iain S. Thomas in 2011 and there were several poets who achieved more widespread popularity around that time. Many young contemporary poets are gaining voices via social media and while increases may not continue at the same rate, there is enough organic momentum to sustain a new normal of higher sales in this bigger category.

Social-media poetry is simply an evolution of the art form. The sharing and acceptance of online poetry is not much different than what happened with the Impressionists and the Beat Generation, who were initially eschewed by their critics. Poetry is bringing together people from all over the world, of different races, religions, identities. Well-known and new poets are having their voices heard via social media and indie- and self-publishing. These people are changing the status quo and creating a form of art that is accessible, loud, beautiful, and soft—all at the same time.

This book brings together some of the most popular talents in many forms of poetry and uses their voices to raise those of not-yet-known poets. It is an exercise for all the poets to use their counterparts’ work to create fiction in the form of short stories. And it’s a chance for poetry fans to read longer work and see their favorite poets’ talents all in one book.

What you’re about to read is the product of ten diverse and interesting people coming together. The concept and theme of the book are about connection. We seem to live in a hyper-connected world, yet we increasingly hear stories of loneliness and isolation. This book is about connecting poets with each other, connecting poetry with short fiction, and publishing stories about connection and/or a lack thereof.

The premise was this: Each of the fully participating authors was to submit three poems adhering to this theme. These three poems would be assigned to a randomly chosen counterpart. That counterpart would select one of the poems and write a short story based on it.

— Michelle Halket, Editor