if you're interested in hiring me (do it! it's awesome!)
how the poetry store works:
you want a poem.
you select a beautiful piece of paper on which your poem will be written.
you tell silvi what you want your poem to be about & who you want it to be for.
in three minutes or less, you will have your poem—as spontaneous as combustion and as original as bergamot and balsamic on your ice cream.
where are you based out of?
do you travel?
yes, anywhere! travel within 2 hours of bay area is always included in my rate. more than 2 hours, i ask for accommodation and additional travel fees (airfare depending on location).
do you know someone who does what you do? can you recommend other poets?
would you ask a solo guitarist to bring another guitarist? if the answer is yes, we're prob not a great match. if the answer is no, thank you for understanding i'm in the business of being an artist, not meeting numbers or whatever other expectation comes with asking this question.
how many poems can you write?
on average i write 15–20 poems an hour, which serves 15–30 people considering many people get poems as couples, families, and groups. if you think this is a low number, please remember i am a person and not a machine. also keep in mind what i offer is experiential and dependent on how chatty people are or not. some people are great at providing detailed answers to questions. others need to be guided along. this all factors in to how many poems get written.
also keep in mind that when someone gets a poem they share it with their friends and partners and family and even strangers. so, though not everyone always gets to take a poem home, many people experience what i do by sharing, often enthusiastically, i might add, with wonder and delight and surprise and gratitude that you offered such a unique thing at your event.
what kind of typewriter do you use?
red royal custom II. made around the late 50's early 60's.
if you've hired me (thanks!)
what do you need for set up?
i bring everything i need except for enough light to see by. yep, vintage desk, chair, bamboo mat, side table, paper to match your event theme, hand stamped envelopes, etc.
how long is your set up?
10–15 minutes tops! but i do my best to arrive 30 minutes to an hour prior to start time. makes things more easeful for everyone. and gives a chance to evaluate the best place to set me up and move if need be.
note: my set up is super portable. if i end up being in a not so high traffic area, i can and will move. or if your cocktail reception is in a different place than your dinner, etc.
if it's a nighttime event, i prob need lighting. thank you!
would you like to/be willing to sponsor our event? trade your service for marketing and exposure?
NO. i wholeheartedly and deeply believe artists deserve to be paid money for what they do. money is, after all, the currency that pays the rent and bills and every once in a while affords a tropical vacation. i've been making a living as a poet for nearly a decade in the most expensive city in the country. please honor my work by paying me.
a decade of experience has taught me that if you work for free people just keep asking you to work for free. and that does not sustain a life let alone an art making life.
and remember, exposure is for cameras or people flashing their nudie bits. it's not a currency to ask me (or any artist) to trade.
who do you read?
dean young, mary rueffle, hafiz, marie howe, mary oliver, charles simic, gary soto, robert hass, david whyte, the sun magazine.
if you've ordered a poem online
what about copies? can i see the poem before my friend does? can you email me the poem bc it isn't getting mailed to me?
while i always make carbon or scanned copies of poems, i do not email copies or drafts. my work is an exercise in trust. i never know what i'm gonna write until i write it.
what's your process when writing poems online?
same as when i'm with someone face to face except i read the info you give and in the moment type up the poem. no editing. no revision. it's an exercise in trust. for you and for me! to date, i've written something like 100,000 poems this way. if the process freaks you out or you want to see work in process/drafts, we're probably not a good match.
where can i buy your work?
see this section of my website.
where are you in school?
i'm not! though i look much younger than my age, i graduated my MFA program ten years ago and have been working as a professional poet ever since.
are you a poet?
<smacks head. can't believe i actually get asked this question.>
what's your real job?
this is my REAL job! it's not a side gig or a passion project or a thing i do because i'm a trust fund baby and i think it's fun (i have actually been financially independent since i was 11 years old). this is the work of my life. i'm honored to do it. and so grateful i can do it full time. even more grateful for everyone who has ever supported me. and i have to say, being your own boss really does have its perks!
what kind of poems do you write? can you write only limericks or haikus?
my work is free verse. no form requests, please and thank you. i do tend toward rhyme when i'm tired but it's never really intentional.
can you set up for the cocktail hour only?
weddings are booked my package only. experience has shown that providing my service for the entirety of your wedding is the best way. see wedding packages here.