There is no hiding, now: the holiday season is arrived. With it comes the obligation of gifts. We must find presents for those we love, no matter how difficult, obtuse, or needless they may be.
If you are tired of getting your poet socks and underwear, or yet another Moleskin to stack in a corner, never fear. I have stepped up to the plate this December. Out of an abundance of educational do-good-ery, I have identified a number of gifts which will suit any poet in his or her right mind. They have the added benefit of being somewhat uncommon or original, enough so that as an erstwhile gift-giver you should mostly forgo the risk of watching your poet unwrap present doppelgangers in front of your friends and family at the yearly consumer-driven exchange. (If yours is the first twin revealed, all is well – but the second? Red-facedly mortifying. Sink down in your seat and just forget all of claims to your imagination during the whole of 2014.) I assure you, I have assembled this list only out of an abundance of helpfulness, and not to my benefit at all, whatsoever. This post is absolutely not a giant hint to anyone.
If it so happens that you are a poet, and tired of the constant stream of nice-but-not-quite-right pens and lined-but-not-bound-how-you-like notebooks, I hope that here’s a list of things you’ll be excited to choose from, and pointedly tell your whole family and office about. Heck, it might even help your Secret Santa, too. Just post this on your Facebook wall for help while they stalk you.
Either way, here are some gift suggestions aimed at the poets or writers in your life.
There’s this adorable mug, for starters. I’ve had my eye on it for a while, probably spotted it on Pinterest or something else. It’s a reasonable price (less than $20) and will tickle the fancy of any writer in your life. I love its tongue-in-cheek commentary on proper English, which recalls pretty much every mother, ever, to great effect.
If you want to help your aspiring writer on his or her journey towards publication, you can always consider buying them a Duotrope subscription. Duotrope is a wonderful website/service which allows writers to track submissions. It also provides vital details about publications (lit journals, paper or electronic; presses; anthologies; etc) such as their average response time, their acceptance-to-decline ratios, what they’re looking for – often providing interviews with editors – and so on. At $5/month or $60 a year, you can choose exactly how much you’d like to spend (a 6-month subscription might be a good ballpark) to help out your favorite struggling writer.
Something that’s sure to tickle any English major in your life, particularly a poet, is Garrison Keillor and NPR’s “Professional Organization of English Majors (POEM).” This group, featured on Keillor’s weekly radio show “A Prairie Home Companion,” is, admittedly, fictitious – or at least, somewhat. I am sure a number of fans, myself included, have joined the group by way of purchasing its signature T-shirt. This shirt features POEM’s logo and another riff on correct grammar, a la the writer’s mug mentioned earlier. Here’s the T-Shirt(there’s a sweatshirt too) and here’s the double CD set of excerpts from Prairie Home focusing on that venerable group of would-be writers.
There’s more, too. A nice personal gift could involve the creation of a decorated notebook-and-pen set, where you could purchase a nice notebook and then decorate the cover or insides with little drawings, sketches, pictures, or even a collage. You could purchase particularly nice pens or decorate them in Femo to match the notebook. I think that’s a good, low-budget, but extremely thoughtful present any writer would appreciate. Plus, there’s no denying the care behind it.
But, if you’re stuck for ideas and none of these seem right, e-mail me! I have tons of ideas of appropriate poet-presents, from slim volumes to huge hunking collections of texts, as well as the accessories and writer’s tools mentioned here. I’d be happy to share.
Best of luck shopping, to you all.