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:


A Poetry Reading And Tribute To The Late, Unforgettable Bill Knott
WBUR
But he also won the Iowa Poetry Prize and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and published many books and chapbooks, mostly under his real name. He was a poet of contradictions and a dark sense of humor. Robert Pinsky called his poems “thorny.


WBUR

At Harvard, Technology Resurrects Long-Silent Voices Of Poets
WBUR
Harvard's Woodberry Poetry Room is home to thousands of archived recordings from some of the most important English language-poets of the age — T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost. (Curt Nickisch/WBUR). CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Imagine being around ...

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Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cabin Country: The poetry of cabin life
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One summer day when I was shopping at a center in St Paul, someone was reading poetry on a loud speaker, and as I was eating my apple pie, I heard the words: “I must arise and go now, and go to Innisfree.” The poem continues: “I shall have some peace ...


On Poetry: Stevie Howell's [Sharps] gives evidence that “anything can happen”
National Post
1179 To the Southern Ontario kid raised on Fox 29's down-market commercials, who knows the shibboleth of a Fucillo “huge” and can sing the Cellino & Barnes jingle by heart, there's a particular kind of innocence that's lost when you first visit Buffalo.


How Has the Social Role of Poetry Changed Since Shelley?
New York Times
Each week in Bookends, two writers take on questions about the world of books. Shelley once called poets the “unacknowledged legislators of the world.” This week, Adam Kirsch and Leslie Jamison discuss how the social role of poetry has changed since ...


Poetry gathering hosts competition on YouTube
Elko Daily Free Press
ELKO — The Western Folklife Center has announced the launch of the second annual spoken word poetry competition on YouTube for poets ages 18-35, as part of the 31st National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. “Expressing the Rural West: Poetry of the Next ...

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Advocate.com

Richard Blanco Talks Pilgrims, Poetry, and His Princely New Memoir
Advocate.com
Back in 1970s Miami, Blanco had not yet grown to become the first gay, Latino, and immigrant inaugural poet, who helped usher in President Obama's second term with the hopeful ode to unity, “One Today.” He was Ricky — an overweight and sensitive child ...


Library in Narrowsburg to host poetry reading
Times Herald-Record
Facilitated by Marcia Nehemiah, poets Will Conway, Sheila Dugan, Mary Greene, Pat Kett and Vera B. Williams will discuss the theme of aging and writing and share their original work. Tune in to 90.5 FM or stream the show online at wjffradio.org to hear ...

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Older Oklahomans are invited to share their poetry in contest
Muskogee Daily Phoenix
OKLAHOMA CITY — The 40th annual Oklahoma Conference on Aging is accepting entries for the 2015 Senior Poetry Contest. The contest is a popular event held in conjunction with the conference, which is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Human ...


Thanksgiving Poetry Potluck
Huffington Post
"The Pumpkin" by John Greenleaf Whittier Whittier, an American poet who spent most of his life working a farm, wrote this poem in praise of everyone's favorite decorative gourd in 1850. The stanza below is particularly appropriate for the dessert ...

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