Workshop: Poetry As Work

There is an exploitation that has long plagued the performance poetry scene. Each time poets are booked or cordially invited to perform at corporate, organization or general events they are not monetary compensated in the name of being given “exposure”. Those that dare put their feet down and demand remuneration are either thought to be “too difficult or too demanding”. This talk about “exposure” that such events offer poets is in actuality a sly attempt by event organizers and formal institutions to use poets for free. An alarming reality, prominent in this charade, is that a majority of poets either too “passionate” or just “not knowing better” are condoning this behavior and even reinforce it in the name of “I love poetry, and I would just like to perform”, making it an impossibility for hardworking poets to be paid rightly for their appearances and performances. This workshop will address the reality that ‘Poetry is Work’ by centering on 3 aspects of professional performance poetry: bookings, contracts, and its quality.


  • Exposure as a currency and when it is not
  • Pricing your value and valuing your price
  • If there is no contract, why should there be a deal
  • Legalities surrounding Contracts: legal advice
  • Email vs. Text bookings? Why are you being booked?
  • Quality is pricy don’t sell yours shot: law of supply and demand
  • You are because I am: If you sell out, you sell others too.

Vanessa Chisakula, a multiple award-winning performance poet.
Kondwani Simwaba, a lawyer, performance poet, and author.
Bhekumusa Moyo, the founder of Word Smash Poetry Movement.

Venue: Global Platform Zambia
Date: 7th May, 2022
Time: 09:00 – 12:30
Charges: K100.00

The Workshop is open to all performance poets, event organizers, and those curious about the subject matters under deliberations.

Note: Register by filling up this Registration Form here and proceeding to paying K100 on +260973286012 -Gerald Sikazwe-Airtel Money Account, payments include a seat and refreshments.

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