Poetry News

You Look Like Crap Up There Reading That Poem

By Harriet Staff


Fix it. Yes, we all know that poets have an impressive track record of looking crazy, and yes, we all know how many sleepless nights and sink-showers you took while working on that breakup-poem/childhood-pet-goldfish elegy—but you really don't have to reenact your smelly suffering up there at that podium. Luckily, the blog Dirt & Seeds has provided cosmetic resolutions just in time for your next reading.

Makeup. Newscasters and stage actors use it. Beauty queens use it. Drag queens use the hell out of it. Get some Max Factor pancake-style makeup and a big bottle of shimmer and learn how that shit works. Don’t forget the plumping lip-gloss. I don’t care what gender you are or how you feel about makeup in your everyday life. Since when is a poetry reading anything like everyday life? Look at yourself, drunk in your bathrobe, greasy-faced and two days past smelling good. You don’t have the right to get up at a podium looking like that. Get yourself together, poet. Don’t forget to curl those lashes, or better yet, apply fake ones. Easy on the glue.


Hair. Poets, this is where you can go wild. You can wear your hair in any number of ways. Throughout the ages, poets have had various hairstyles and most hairstyles are suitable to wear to poetry readings. Exception: the ombre. Enough with that already, okay? Anyway, the best poet styles are shaved heads, severe bobs, butt-length tresses for cisgender men, tight buns, or berets instead. Some clichés are good clichés. Also, make sure your hair doesn’t make you look well to do. As important as it is to look great when reading your poetry out to audiences, it’s more important not to look like you can afford good shampoo, because all the great poets were broke as hell and died alone in garrets, coughing their lungs out and wondering why they wasted their lives writing shit that rhymes.

The post goes on to share more tricks of the trade, from tried and true methods of looking cool (wearing all-black) to super hot and trendy tips from the insiders (Botox!) and—oh my goodness gracious would you just look at all those book sales!!

Read more here.

Originally Published: October 4th, 2013