I notice you had an event at the Poetry Cafe very recently (which is how I saw Telltale had been launched). Do you plan to run regular events as part of your collective activity? Is it possible for a collective to get together on the wider activity of creating a poetry buzz?

Absolutely. There are more ‘Telltale Poets and Friends’ being planned for this year and launches when new members join us from other locations. Every member of the collective brings with them a network of poet friends, potential audience members and fans. Being part of a bigger entity gives a lone poet confidence and, being a part owner of the enterprise, they have a vested interest in its success. The collective grows not only in numbers but in creative ideas and energy. Everyone benefits. It works well in other industries/art forms. I used to be involved in an artists and makers group where the marketing costs were shared and skills were traded, and we had a much more impactful public-facing and industry-facing presence than any one individual could have achieved alone.

Dare I ask about funding? It sounds as though everyone in the collective is chipping into both costs and profits. Could you explain the financial side of things, especially since this is of particular interest to others who might be interested in setting up similar enterprises.

We are an ‘unincorporated association’ which means we are not aiming to make a profit, but to cover costs. If one of our members strikes it rich, good luck to them! But given that this is the poetry world, well. . . . Members contribute towards the fixed costs (for example printing or venue hire) but other roles and tasks are done between us. We believe in bartering.