POETRY STYLE: New Poet's Society; Bad Boy Rappers Are the Poets of the 21st Century Says Daisy Goodwin, and She's on a Mission to Make Sure We Don't Forget the Rest. Wil Marlow Discovers How She Is Setting Poetry Appreciation in Motion

The Birmingham Post (England), February 12, 2003 | Go to article overview

POETRY STYLE: New Poet's Society; Bad Boy Rappers Are the Poets of the 21st Century Says Daisy Goodwin, and She's on a Mission to Make Sure We Don't Forget the Rest. Wil Marlow Discovers How She Is Setting Poetry Appreciation in Motion


Byline: Daisy Goodwin

Eminem may not realise it but he has a lot in common with TV producer turned presenter and flag-bearer for poetry Daisy Goodwin.

The American rapper has done more to promote playing around with words and the enjoyment of rhythmic text than any poet or writer of recent times, while Goodwin has been opening up the world of poetry to people with her successful anthologies. 'Eminem and rap have a huge influence on how we use language,' says Goodwin. 'Verbal dexterity is always important and rap is clearly poetry in another guise. Eminem isn't for everybody and neither is poetry, but between them there's something for everyone.' Goodwin's anthologies might not sell as well as Eminem's albums but they are hugely popular. Her trick is to help the readers make a personal connection to the poems. The five collections, which have titles like 101 Poems To Save Your Life, have been dubbed 'self-help' poetry and are designed to give readers a different perspective on events in their lives.

'I arrange my books by emotional needs so there's poems there for when your lover has gone, when your pet's died or when you have a baby,' explains Goodwin.

'I try to find poems that, when you're in a particular situation, will speak to you. I hope they are a valid alternative to all those big self-help books. They're more rewarding than them. A poem can say the same thing in four lines that those books do in 400 pages.'

There are still plenty of people who associate poetry with boring English lessons and stuffy teachers, however. But Goodwin insists that poetry is more relevant today than it's ever been.

'I think people neglect poetry just because they don't come across it,' she says. 'The great thing about poetry is that by and large it's really short so you get a hint of meaning. 'You can read a poem in a minute and it will linger round in your head and the experience is very intense. It's like eating a really delicious bar of chocolate as opposed to eating a pound of mediocre sweets.'

Goodwin is continuing to make poetry a more inviting prospect for the masses with her latest project Essential Poems (To Fall In Love With). As well as a book it's an innovative new TV show that sees some of the country's leading actors, including Damian Lewis, Amanda Holden and Christopher Lee, reading the poems.

Goodwin's role is as presenter, giving background information on the poets and 'showing what various poems have done for me and how they work for other people'.

It's her first time in front of the camera, having previously only worked behind it. Her day job is with production company Talkback, with which she's produced hit shows like The Life Laundry and Jamie's Kitchen. …

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POETRY STYLE: New Poet's Society; Bad Boy Rappers Are the Poets of the 21st Century Says Daisy Goodwin, and She's on a Mission to Make Sure We Don't Forget the Rest. Wil Marlow Discovers How She Is Setting Poetry Appreciation in Motion
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