Amongst the celebrities, brands, bands, news feeds and hormonal teenagers driven temporarily insane on Twitter there is a lesser known, but growing, group of tweeters giving me massive amusement and helping make the Twittersphere (I've made that up) a better place. And the success of #NationalPoetryDayUK in early October showed how much better Twitter is with poetry and poets.
In just one day the National Poetry Day Twitter feed gained about 12,000 followers and countless numbers of tweets with the trending hash tag #NationalPoetryDayUK were sprayed over feeds across Britain.
Lots of tweeters got involved regardless of whether they were poetry fans or not. Some of the best tweets were even featured on HuffPostUK. The crazy amount of activity on the day gave a number of poets the chance to show their ability to turn a clever phrase in just 140 characters in full public glare.
The day after National Poetry Day - 4 October - @PoetryDayUK tweeted: "We're missing #poetrydayuk too. Yesterday was a blast. Thank you to all of you - we've just reached 12,000 followers which is insane!!"
12,000 followers in one day is impressive, even if you're a rising popstar with babyfaced charm, so for something as supposedly niche as poetry it's notable at the very least and may even signal a growing popularity in poetry.
Spoken Word poetry performance has been experiencing a bit of a surge at the moment. The performance poetry company Apples and Snakes (@applesandsnakes) has been organising regular and very well attended nights across the UK. They even pull in poets from across the UK and the globe to perform. And many of these performers can be found on Twitter such as @missjonespoet and @HannahSilvaUK.
There are numerous excellent poets on the micro-blogging site giving their opinions and making funny quips. Michael Rosen (@MichaelRosenYes), Scroobius Pip (@ScroobiusPipYo), Steve Roggenbuck (@SteveRoggenbuck), Derrick C Brown (@DerrickBrown) in America and the wonderful Buddy Wakefield (@BuddyWakefield)
Scroobius Pip is an especially frequent user of Twitter branching out to people who may have never considered following a spoken word poet so closely before - it also helps that he has released albums as a musician and is fairly outspoken. The man has over 90,000 followers and as well as giving his opinions on current events and football he sometimes treats us to 'Twitter poetry.' In fact, when in the poetry tent at Latitude he read out his own 'Twitter poetry' which went something like: 'the cat and the fiddle went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat. I say pea green boat, I mean hessian sack filled with bricks.' This was to a poetry tent that was so rammed everyone was standing to squash in.
It is this humour which makes those who may not have been fans previously as well as poetry lovers gravitate towards poets on Twitter. And it is the kind of excellent humour that makes Twitter a better place and dealing with a daily Justin Bieber or One Direction trend bearable.
From the other side of the pond, Steve Roggenbuck has gathered a massive following for his internet poetry even to the point that people will bid for a hoody that he has worn on his YouTube channel videos. The man is on a quest to help people 'boost' their lives in his campaign 'Live my Lief' (No that's not a typo, he spells things like that in his 'internet speak' way.) He is appealing to a new generation of poetry fans who tag on to his desire to be positive all the time. By following him it blasts out all negativity from your feed.
Then there is Michael Rosen; a fantastic poet and novelist who is a former Children's laureate and has been consistently good for years. His most recent 'Letter from a Curious Parent' in response to a Michael Gove article in Standpoint Magazine blew my mind. Due to his visits to schools and work as Children's Laureate he has experiences that allow him to write in an informed way about education, rather than just being someone who pokes their nose in. The 'letter' is considered, calm, avoids descending into a rant and delivers a common sense argument to address what he believes to be the problems with Gove's article. His Twitter feed is just as intelligent and he manages to convey these thoughts despite condensing them down into 140 characters. He never seems to descend into banal pap.
The success of #NationalPoetryDayUK and the increasing number of followers for poets on Twitter shows that users of the social network are recognising how much better a feed is for them. Poets are adding life, positivity, humour, well-constructed political opinions and much more to Twitter. Twitter needs poets and poetry and if it wasn't for them I think the constantly trending popstar overdose would finally be too much for me to take.