What Taylor Swift’s Upcoming Album, The Tortured Poets Department, Could Mean for Poets


On February 4th, Taylor Swift, the singer-songwriter extraordinaire, announced that her next album, The Tortured Poets Department, would be released on April 19, 2024. Swifties are going crazy (hey, our editor is one of them), but the name of the album means so much more.

Writing communities and poets online have responded positively to their invocation in the upcoming album’s title. In reality, what does this album, and its title specifically, mean for poets around the world? Let’s dive in.

Will Poetry Enter The Mainstream Again?

With the proliferation of social media, writers have come out of the shadows of their notebooks, making poetry more accessible. More than ever before, writers are sharing their work in real-time with audiences around the world. But does that mean people are seeking out poetry more?

According to Google Trends, the query [poetry] has seen a stark decline since 2004.

Social media suggests the the opposite, however it is also a vacuum. For example, if you are seeing poetry on Instagram, it is because their algorithm knows you actively seek it out.

Larger trends on search engines see the exact opposite, thus the steady downward trend over the last 20 years.

Now, let’s zoom in. Like WAY in.

In a 7 day time frame, you can see the query demand for [poetry} in blue, and the demand for [The Tortured Poets Department] in red.

That red spike illustrates the impact that Taylor Swift immediately has on search trends online. The day the album was announced, we see a corresponding spike.

Additionally, you can see a slight upwards trend in [poetry] queries overlapping with the announcement of the album. THIS is the piece that will have implications for writers.

poetry vs The Tortured Poets Department

How Will The Tortured Poets Department Impact Poets?

As a marketing professional who looks at search demands every day, I can say a few things confidently:

  • We will continue to see that red line for [The Tortured Poets Department] spike from now (2/6/24) long past the album’s release.
  • Search demand for [poetry] and [poets] will see a increased in demand for a time. I don’t know how long it will increase, but with more eyes on an album invoking poetry, the more eyes folks will turn to every day poets.
  • As time passes, the From Whispers to Roars team will update you all on these search trends to see if our predictions are correct.

How Should Poets Respond?

When a spotlight is turned on your community and genre, what is a poet to do?

We recommend staying active on social media and using techniques to grow your Instagram poetry account. Also, if you don’t have an author website, it’s time to invest in one; while a small investment it can have a massive impact on your search-ability online and can provide you with another avenue to grow your readership and writing network.

We also recommend seeking out more publishing opportunities. If you are a fan of Taylor Swift, you may even be able to find thematic calls for submissions over the next few weeks and months. To find opportunities, explore Submittable, Duotrope, or consider submitting to From Whispers to Roars.

Looking for writing inspiration?

Our friend Jared Meland of Poetry Rise did an analysis of Taylor Swift’s Tortured Poets poem – check it out if you want to see the art within the album announcement.

Lastly, and while it is probably true that poets haven’t had trouble seeing this connection, it’s worth stating something clearly; this album title cements the idea that music and poetry are intrinsically connected.

Many of the writers we know have found music to be inspiring at some point, or throughout, their creative journey. Maybe it’s time to give music another chance if you’ve stepped away from it for a while. Also, consider diving into songwriting (this is something our editor has been doing in 2024).

As time passes, we’ll update this page with more search statistics. In the meantime, it’s time to get out your pen and write some poetry that you’re proud of.

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