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 me, 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 bring like 2-5 poets with you?
if i had a clone i would definitely tell you! but i’d prob be famous for being the only human with a clone on earth so you wouldn’t have to ask. let me ask you: if you were hiring a solo guitarist, would you ask them 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. and understand i don’t mean to be rude or curt, just clear that what i do is not a gimmick, a party favor, or just entertainment. i’m an artist making art and it all comes from my soul and my often tender and open heart.
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 and that writing 15-20 poems in an hour is more than most people can write in a day or a lifetime. 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.
also: when someone gets a poem they share it with their friends, partners, family, and even strangers. so, though not everyone takes a poem home, many people experience what i do by sharing, often enthusiastically, with wonder, delight, surprise, and gratitude that you offered such a unique experience at your event.
also: while i do write poetry like a machine, i am just a human being doing a pretty remarkable thing--writing poems on demand off the top of my head an the bottom of my heart--on a typewriter for complete strangers. in all my 10+ years, working events as small as 10 and as large as 2500, my clients have been quite happy with how it goes.
plus: if you really wanna make sure every single guest gets a poem (how kind of you!), you’re in luck! i can create copies of a custom poem written specifically for the event. rates depend in how many copies you want.
what kind of typewriter do you use?
red royal custom II. made around the late 50's early 60's. most life altering thing i’ve ever owned (except my bunnies!).
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. 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 world. 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, brain pickings.
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. and my work is meant to be held in hand, read in its original hand typed form! if you wanna see a poem you ordered for someone and worry they won’t show you, just send it to yourself and then send it off to them after you’ve laid your eyes on 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! 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 by package only. experience has shown that providing my service for the entirety of your wedding is the best way. see wedding packages here.