In the last update I said that 50 poems a month would be unsustainable and here we are approaching October with 60 poems being uploaded from 32 poets in the next ‘flight’. All in all, since August 1st 2021 we will have published 155 poems from 57 poets. The submission figures have doubled over the three months since we launched and with the exception of e-mails where the correspondent was taking the piss, the DB has maintained its mission to respond to poets promptly, acknowledging receipt within a couple of days of receiving the submission and then up to three weeks for a firm acceptance or otherwise. The quality of published poems has also been maintained, the range of experience of the poets is as wide as ever and we have some highly respected seasoned stars appearing alongside keen novices.
On a personal note, I have enjoyed the contact with all the submitting poets immensely; they have been unfailingly polite, talented and lovely people. The site has been supported in all sorts of quarters with retweets, articles on blogs and in a couple of instances, interviews in the media. After an initial worry about school servers blocking the site, I understand that schools have been accessing the free-to-view poems (although hard and fast figures have not been sought) and I would say it has been a very successful few weeks in the early existence of the Dirigible Balloon.
On October 7th we have National Poetry Day. This is a time when I’d hope to raise the profile of the DB a little higher perhaps with some ‘official’ recognition that we exist from some of the organisers, movers and shakers involved in promoting poetry. The National Poetry Day is coordinated by the Forward Arts Foundation, which wants to celebrate excellence in poetry, help increase public knowledge, understanding and enjoyment, create more resources for young people and support new and young poets. Just recently, they retweeted info. about the number and range of poems and poets showcased at the DB. This gives further incentive for the DB to continue to promote good quality poems for children and champion the cause of new poets with opportunities to share their brilliant work.
Thank you to all those who have contributed and supported us in our endeavours … believe me, your faith in what we are trying to do is very much appreciated.