Guest Funny Poets

In April 2006, Paul Curtis joined Peculiar Poetry as its first guest poet. Paul is a well respected and widely published poet who writes humorous, romantic and serious poems. Paul is now so much a part and parcel of the site that he is no longer considered a guest poet, but has been accorded the rather dubious honour of becoming its first poet in residence. There are opportunities for other to follow in his footsteps, provided that they can satisfy the strange criteria set by the site's owner - the requirement to be funny in a very particular, but completely unspecified, way.

Uninvited Guest Poets

I must confess that I always imagined that that Peculiar Poetry would remain something of a poetic backwater - a site on which I could publish my own slightly eccentric poems, as and when I wrote them, and which would attract little public interest. I certainly didn't solicit poetry submissions, yet the odd person - some were distinctly more odd than others - sent me poems seeking an opinion on their work. I became well practiced at the encouraging brush off - 'Your humour is certainly individual', 'I feel that your poetry clearly have hidden depths', 'Stopping writing poetry may help bring forward your release date' - and successfully preserved my little fiefdom as my own.

Invited Guest Poets

Everything changed when Paul Curtis sent me a selection of his funny poems. I thought the poems were inspired - some were bitter and twisted, others laugh-out-loud funny, but all exhibited the wry humour and dry wit of a 'peculiar poet'. The problem was that Paul hadn't asked either for a critical opinion or for the poems to be included in the site; he'd simply sent the poems and some information about the august poetry publications in which his poems had appeared. With some feelings of trepidation, I invited Paul to become the first Peculiar Poetry's first guest poet and was both flattered and delighted that he accepted.

Mostly Funny Poetry

Peculiar Poetry remains first and foremost a funny poetry site. Whilst guest poets are selected for inclusion solely on the basis of the funny poems they have written, they are given the opportunity to publish a selection of serious poetry alongside their funny poetry. Thus Paul Curtis's section of the site includes a collection of romantic poetry - erotic poetry, love poetry and poems about lost love - which provide an delicious counterpoint to his other, humorous work.

Becoming A Guest Poet

The selection of guest poets to appear on the Peculiar Poetry site is an entirely arbitrary process, yet at the same time incredibly simple. I read any poems which are submitted and, if I both enjoy them and find them funny, invite the author to become a contributor to the site. I went as far as writing a set of poetry submission guidelines. However, I tore them up immediately, since I know only too well that the sort of people who write genuinely funny poems are unlikely to pay much heed to 'guidance'. If your work has the appearance of being poetry, you think it is funny and you'd like it to appear on Peculiar Poetry, submit it and see.