Write Your Way to Fame

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be to see your poem discussed in the New York Times? Think you have what it takes to become a famous poet? Well the unfortunate truth is that no one has what it takes to be a famous poet. Here's a little exercise: Name the most famous contemporary poet you can think of. Louise Gluck, Frank Bidart, and Maya Angelou, are all well known poets, but did you even know who all of them were?

Mainstream America has no interest in poetry and so your biggest audience, as a poet, is going to be other poets. Even Maya Angelou had to write novels in order to place herself in the who's who's list of poets. Poets have to have day jobs. Even Pulitzer Prize winning poets are essentially awarded a day job along with the esteem and money that comes with the prize.

Now then, if you still aim to be a published poet, despite the lack of fame or wealth you will receive for your endeavors, there are a few things you can do to boost your "career." Considering the fact that your biggest audience will be poets, you might need to establish a name for yourself within that circle.

Get subscriptions to well know literary journals. Keep your poetic eye on the kind of poetry that these journals publish. When you find a reputable journal that publishes poetry that compliments your poetic style, find out how you can submit your poem to this journal.

Submitting poetry to literary journals is an art in itself. Always pay particular attention to the guidelines and be sure to follow them to the last letter. If and when your poetry is published, be sure to pay attention to the rights. You might not be able to submit the same poems to another journal.

All right, then your next step will be to submit poetry to other journals, and since you've been published before, you can put that in your biography. You are now establishing a history of getting published in reputable journals. The more you publish, the higher you can go, see?

You can also try your hand at publishing chapbooks and asking local bookstores if you can do poetry readings to help you sell them. Self-publishing, which is how you publish your chapbooks, is more common and helpful for poets than it is for traditional novelists. The reason for this is that the consumer very rarely seeks after poetry. You might consider publishing your books and chapbooks after developing a history of getting published by literary journals.

Finally, don't count out the power of the Internet Super Highway. Create a website for yourself that attracts the poetic community. Advertise your website and try to boost up your site's Google rating. Once you do this, you have a great marketing tool for your self-published chapbooks and poetry books.

There are many ways, some not even mentioned in this article, for you to establish yourself as a poet. Just remember that it might be a slow, and at times, arduous journey that rarely yields wealth and fame.

Devrie Paradowski is a freelance writer and poet. Her poetry has been published by several literary journals and she has written dozens of articles for various publications including "Poetry Renewal Magazine," and "Poetryscams.com." She is the author of the chapbook, "Something In the Dirt," which can be found at http://www.lulu.com/content/108560 . In 2001, Devrie founded a popular online literary community ( http://www.LiteraryEscape.com ) that has become highly respected for some of the most honest and in-depth poetic critique on the Internet. In keeping with her commitment to inspire amateur writers to hone their skills, she also founded a local writer's group called, "The Fire and Ice Writer's Group."

In The News:


Edward Hirsch on the 'soul-making activity' of poetry
Washington Post (blog)
The celebrated poet and teacher Edward Hirsch spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday night about “Gabriel,” his upcoming book about the death of his 22-year-old son. His comments came toward the end of “The Life of a Poet,” a presentation at the ...

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Poetry Pairing | 'The Salutation'
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Nashville Scene

Celebrate Poetry Month Tonight With Poetry Bomb and Poet's Corner
Nashville Scene
Technically, this event is titled “Poetry, Printmaking and Popsicles,” but we thought “Poetry Bomb” would better get your attention. Now that we have it, we should say it's actually the culmination of an event that's been going on all month — National ...


ACWC marks end of poetry month with jam, displays
The Daily News Online (blog)
PERRY – The Arts Council for Wyoming County, 31 South Main St., will celebrate the end of National Poetry Month this weekend with a poetry jam and exhibitions. A poetry open mic night begins at 7 p.m. Friday in the ACWC's Main Gallery. Writers and ...


Insert Bad Poetry Here
Harvard Crimson
When I was in seventh grade, I filled up pages and pages of notebook paper with teen angst—how misunderstood I was, the color of my crush's eyes (green, for the record), and how I dreamed of being somewhere other than middle school. I still have them ...


San Angelo LIVE!

ASU Professor Wins Poetry Award
San Angelo LIVE!
Dr. Chris Ellery, a professor of English in Angelo State University's Department of English and Modern Languages, has won first prize in the second annual Alexander and Dora Raynes Poetry Competition administered by Jewish Currents magazine.


A Special Readers' Review: A Celebration Of Poetry
The Diane Rehm Show
author of six books of poems and four books of prose, including the recent "A Poet's Glossary." He has received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Prix de Rome, and a MacArthur Fellowship, and is president of the John Simon Guggenheim ...

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Poetry Month 2014: We Need Writers So We Can Continue to Exist
Huffington Post
We're past the halfway mark, but happy Poetry Month, anyway. It's still April after all. And while taxes (for most of us) are done, poetry is still going strong. And what a busy scene we have here in Detroit. All month, my poetry plate has 'runneth-ed ...

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Dodge Poetry Festival Set to Return to Newark
New York Times (blog)
The Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, the biggest in North America, will be back for the third time at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, a city not often associated with iambic pentameter when the festival first announced it was coming ...
Chapman event celebrates National Poetry MonthSpartanburg Herald Journal
Poetry's Leading Voices Scheduled for Dodge Poetry FestivalPatch.com
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