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← My usually atheist poetry homepage

Ilovelucy's Avatar Jump to comment 31 by Ilovelucy

Comment 30 by Ailis R :

Second, I disagree with whoever said to start charging for your work. News flash: poetry is dead/dying in the U.S. because vanity press knockoffs like anthologies corner the market. No one reads them. On the internet, your only pay may be snide remarks at first, but you have access to an authentic audience. Use it.

I didn't say start charging for your work, I suggested that he not put all his stuff out on his website because publishers and anthologists like to get the scoop. There are plenty of good journals and zines out there, they don't always pay money but they don't take any either. Finding somewhere to get your work published alongside poets you have a lot in common with, seeing your work in the context of others can have a far greater effect on you and others than just creating in a vacuum and posting on the internet. My experience is that people that like poetry read the journals and anthologies, nobody reads someone's work on the internet apart from their mates and family. The vanity presses can be spotted a mile off, they're all over the internet, probably the first to start business there.

And poetry isn't dying, not in the US, the UK or anywhere else, this is just a melodramatic meme that the press like to hike out every few years. As long as human brains are hard wired for language, there will always be the curious linguistic misfire that we call poetry. It ain't going nowhere.

One more piece of advice for Gareth, get yourself out to an open mic some time. There's usually one in a certain town of each county and plenty in the cities. This is where you can meet lots of other poets and find inspiration and support. If you find yourself at a dull, cronyish open mic, try another, the good ones are out there. If you're close enough to London then I suggest you check out the Poetry Library at the Royal Festival Hall. It's free to join. They have a massive collection of poetry books, but they also have a comprehensive stock of magazines. A good browse of these may reveal who you would like to submit to as well as a ton of living breathing poets that you might have something in common with.

Mon, 31 May 2010 09:32:47 UTC | #475022