- Egoless maxim.
A buddy--the word "mentor" would be equally apt--of mine told me about his plan to promote a poetry anthology through "tourney marketing". Modest to a fault, he claims that he stole the idea from the admirable "Poetry Out Loud" project created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and applied it to a 21st Century collection. Whatever.
Start by publishing a collection of poems that have "significant performance and youth appeal", to quote my friend. The example he gave was, of course, Margaret A. Griffiths' Grasshopper: The Poetry of M A Griffiths. I agree that Maz's masterpiece has many appropriate examples, starting with "Studying Savonarola", but I'd be thinking in terms of a more selective, eclectic anthology. No matter. Your definition of "significant performance and youth appeal" will undoubtedly do as well as mine. Just remember to get your authors' approval of your plans before including their work.
Hold a contest with a sizeable prize, challenging people to create videos based on the poems in your book and post them to YouTube, using the title of your book followed by that of the poem (e.g. "Grasshopper: The Poetry of M A Griffiths - "Studying Savonarola""). This will allow your judges to find the entries easily while promoting your book with thousands of YouTube posts bearing its name.
That's the whole idea. The rest is fine print:
- other than the poem itself, only original material (e.g. pictures, film, music, et cetera) is permitted;
- contestants are free to use the text only for the purposes of this event, with all other rights retained by the copyright holders;
- winning contestants agree to allow the sponsor to use the videos for promotional purposes;
- offer void where prohibited by law, et cetera.
Your prize fund could be awarded any way you choose, from winner-take-all to dividing it by status (e.g. students versus non-students) and/or format (e.g. separate categories for performance versus montages and slide shows). The contest can be promoted without cost through national poetry organizations, web sites and university publications.