Sunday, July 01, 2007

"Poems to Go"

Amy Gumley, a Boston-based writer, contacted me recently. She has an interesting enterprise, "Poems-To-Go." Here is an article in the Boston Globe's Sidekick section:

More than words
By Bobby Hankinson

There are certain moments in life that require us to create a memory with words. But since most of us don’t normally consider ourselves the next Shakespeare, putting feelings down on paper is enough to induce cold sweats. One could turn to mass-produced greeting cards, but those don’t always do the trick.

Boston-based writer Amy Gumley is here to help. And this time, it’s personal.

Her site,, provides personalized poetry and speeches for every occasion — weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, even memorials. Poems and speeches are e-mailed or mailed on stationery within four business days, though customers can have their materials rushed to them in 24 hours for a little extra.

Users specify if they want a customized poem, toast, or speech (from three to five minutes). Then they are e-mailed a list of questions to give the writer a better idea of the personal details to include. The bridal-shower poem questionnaire we looked over was like a game of 20 questions, inquiring about the bride’s characteristics, occupation, favorite foods, and relationship with her fiance.

Gumley used to write greeting cards for an online company. Inspired by her father’s entrepreneurship, she started the business in 2001 with help from her husband, a computer consultant. She now employs seven freelancers from all over the world.

Poems cost $64.95 and candle-lighting poems (for up to 15 candles) are $199.95. A one-minute toast is $99.95; three-to-five-minute speeches run from $149.95 to $249.95.

We think the prices are well worth it to avoid crafting a speech that’s remembered for all the wrong reasons.

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