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A New Local Art Collective: The People’s Poetry NH

By Lindsey DeRoche; A&E Editor
On April 15, 2018

A wonderful part of the Plymouth area, especially for artists, is how tight-knit the community is. Regardless of the medium, those who create and/or love art can easily get to know each other, share news about local or favorite artists and even be inspired by each other.

And, of course, Plymouth State is specifically rich in art via its different majors (e.g. theatre, English, graphic design and so on). However, what about a community dedicated to art outside of the bounds of Plymouth State and the downtown area surrounding campus? What if someone wants to submit a poem, a photo or a design to a community that simply aligns itself with the art and the state of New Hampshire?

This is where The People’s Poetry NH comes in. The project is an online art collective spearheaded by PSU alum Kelsie Collins, who graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in English. She first created the site, which resides at https://nhpoetry.wordpress.com/, using Wordpress back in February. “Aside from being a writer myself, I saw a need [for writing],” Collins said about what inspired her to make the site.

About the mission of the site itself, Collins said, “The People’s Poetry is meant to be a collective portfolio representing the work of New Hampshire’s artists and writers.” Regarding the name of the collective and parameters for submitting to it, Collins said, “I named The People’s Poetry such because it’s exactly what it sounds like. ‘For the people’ is what I hope comes across. TPP is not an elitist organization, and you don’t have to have a degree or be published to be a part of it.”

Collins also makes it a priority to emphasize that The People’s Poetry is open to an array of different artistic mediums during the submission process. “After having conversations with other artists in the local community, I realized that in order to make TPP a true success, I should include all forms of art. What I wanted wasn’t an exclusive group of poets to publish together. This is meant to be a real-life, living and breathing art collective for all artists, not just a few. That’s why I chose to add in all art forms, not just the one I specialize in,” Collins said.

To date, The People’s Poetry has only had one digital release. But, they are still taking submissions of all mediums. “I want any and all art to be submitted. In other words, I don’t want anyone to think their art is not ‘art enough’ for me. This isn’t just for poets and painters; this is for the carpenter, the makeup artist and the landscaper, too! I am looking for creative minds to share what they are passionate about,” Collins said.

According to Collins, submissions have been from all kinds of different New Hampshire residents, not simply one demographic. “While I don’t feel comfortable spoiling too much, I will say that the artists and writers who have submitted so far come from a wide age range, level of experience and style,” Collins said.

Despite the difference in the demographics of artists, there have been common recurring themes within the submissions that have come from the Plymouth area. “Something I have noticed is that the work I see in Plymouth is politically charged, visceral, based on real life experiences, and dedicated to our beautiful mountains. Plymouth’s art scene is powerful--truly a force to be reckoned with! I can’t wait to reveal more of it.” Collins said.

And though Collins is a writer through and through, she also mans the online presence and visual aesthetics of the site herself. “The geometric, pastel graphics that are throughout the website were created through Photoshop. I build websites as a part of my full-time job, so I had the initial experience to figure this out myself. I’ve worked in content marketing for years managing my own clients and the clients of local marketing agencies,” Collins said.

It’s a good thing that Collins is so comfortable holding multiple positions at The People’s Poetry, because she is currently wearing many different hats at the online collective. “So far, I’m the sole social media manager, web designer, content creator and printer of The People’s Poetry. I do, however, have a team of experienced editors helping with incoming submissions, and designers who are currently laying out the book we plan to publish this summer. Right now, I am handling most of the process myself but in the near future I am hoping on bring on more interested volunteers who share my passion for this art community,” Collins said.

The People’s Poetry NH is taking submissions now at thepeoplespoetrynh@gmail.com. The next deadline is May 15. Visit the collective at https://nhpoetry.wordpress.com/. In addition, keep a lookout for a physical art collective book in the near future, and the next batch of published pieces online.

 

 

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