Today on My Poetic Side, we take a look at the highest-paid poet of all time and the Bronte Writers Festival.
The $525,000 Poem
In November 2021, a poem was presented for sale at the Christie’s Auction House in New York. This was not a manuscript or a printed bound book – this was something a little different. The poem which was titled “Arcadia” was in fact a nine and 48-second long animation with an electronic music soundtrack and it was by the musician RAC. This poem was the very first collaborative NFT in the form of interdisciplinary art that had ever been put forward for auction.
The price it fetched when the hammer fell was $525,000, and the sale earned Arch Hades, the 30-year-old British poet who was born in Russia, the title of the “highest paid poet of all time”. Since its purchase, the poem has been displayed in Florence at the Palazzo Strozzi, and now it is due to be released as a published book as well.
The poem is made up of five rhyming cantos, and the work is a representation of a completely new medium and offers a new tone for a poet who already has over one million followers on Instagram and a three-agreed book deal with poems that look at the topic of lovers who are emotionally unavailable, summer evenings and the questions that might be asked about privilege. Hades (not her real name) went straight from university to work as a researcher in parliament, something that she does not like to talk about. She left to follow her dreams of becoming a writer, something she had actually always wanted to do.
She was just eight years old when her father was murdered in St Petersburg in an alleyway. Her family moved, changed their name and sent her to boarding school. She was lonely, had lots of free time and read a lot of books by dead philosophers during this time.
Arcadia took her just a month to write, and she completed it during lockdown before deciding to collaborate with RAC, who was a friend, in order to create an NFT – a project that was born from a simple lack of funds as a result of a cancelled poetry tour.
With the successful sale of the NFA, Hades has joined the growing population of Instapoets who have become famous in recent years, including Rupi Kaur, Greta Ballamacina and Brian Bilston, the self-proclaimed “Poet laureate of Twitter.” Each of them has taken their social media feeds and turned them into book deals, very successful ones that have made a significant contribution to the boost in poetry book sales of recent years.
Festival Celebrates Bronte Legacy
The Bronte Festival of Women’s Writing is giving a voice to the influential writers and artists of today. The festival, which includes yoga, music, poetry, baking and performance, was launched this week at the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
During their life, the Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Anne and Emily, pushed boundaries and challenged what were the more traditional narratives of the time. The festival has been specifically put together as a showcase for the talents of female artists who also display this “Bronte spirit.”
The festival is celebrating its 11th year this year and will be linked to the “Defying Expectations” exhibition at the Museum.