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:


Chron.com

Poetry longlist for the National Book Award
Washington Post (blog)
“Gabriel” (Knopf), Edward Hirsch's devastating elegy for his son, who died at the age of 22, is among the books on the longlist for this year's National Book Award in Poetry. One of the most celebrated poets in the country, Hirsch wrote the popular ...
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Line by Line, E-Books Turn Poet-Friendly
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Stephen King, ?Falling,? and My Father?s Poetry
Daily Beast
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FanSided

Blake Griffin Showcases His Dramatic Side with 'Slam Poetry' Commercials
Bleacher Report
Dunking basketballs and delivering lines—these are Blake Griffin's gifts. He was born to do these things. No one in the NBA can lay down a drier line than the Los Angeles Clippers forward, who recently added three Vizio commercials to his long line of ...
Clippers' Blake Griffin drops some slam poetry in new ad campaignCBSSports.com
Blake Griffin shares his gift of spoken word poetrySportingNews.com
Blake Griffin doing slam poetry about tearaway pants? We got that. (VIDEO)NBCSports.com
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Review: 'Voices Beyond Bondage' expands the field of black poetry
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Focusing only on poems published in that era's black newspapers — the main literary outlet for black authors and poets of the time — "Voices" covers the gamut of African-American poetry from 1827 to 1899: odes to freedom and condemnation of slavery, ...
Review: 'Voices' draws attention to black poetsRed Bluff Daily News

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Writing Poetry to Save Your Life: An Interview with Maria Mazziotti Gillan
Huffington Post
Maria Mazziotti Gillan is a recipient of the 2014 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature from AWP, the 2011 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers, and the 2008 American Book Award for her book, ...

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Carnegie Library opens poetry series
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Two of Pittsburgh's acclaimed literary artists, Toi Derricotte and Vanessa German, will launch a new series of poetry readings at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on Saturday. They will read from their works in the Andrew W. Mellon International ...


Wisconsin Poetry Festival Oct. 10-11
Daily Union
The Friends of Lorine Niedecker will host the sixth Lorine Niedecker Wisconsin Poetry Festival on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 10-11, at the Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson. The event, designed to celebrate Wisconsin poetry, is free and open ...


Art, poetry and Beethoven's Fifth launch Grand Rapids Symphony's season
The Grand Rapids Press - MLive.com
David Lockington leading Grand Rapids Symphony Grand Rapids Symphony's 85th season and final season under music director David Lockington opens Sept. 19-20, 2014 in DeVos Performance Hall. (Paul L. Newby II |The Grand Rapids Press)Jeffrey ...

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New York Times

Poetry in 'A Sucker Emcee' and Other Stage Productions
New York Times
The actor-playwright Craig Grant, known as muMs (with the D.J. Rich Medina in background), incorporates poetry into his one-man show “A Sucker Emcee,” which is coming to the Labyrinth Theater Company. Credit Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times.

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