************

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Printer's Ball

A great article today in the Chicago Sun-Times about the fifth annual Printer's Ball. It starts like this . . .

Robert Frost was never this hot. Guns. Empowerment. Mass media. Those were some of the popular themes at the Brave New Voices summit here, where more than 900 teenage poets and spoken-word artists from across the world gathered to bring poetry into a new convergence of hip-hop, choreography and guttural rhymes.

Words have always helped to make sense of a turbulent world. In this regard, hip-hop and slam poetry is an extension of the 1950s Beats' link between jazz and poetry. "The Beats taught everyone poetry doesn't have to be homework," said Tony Trigilio, 43, director of creative writing and poetry in the English department of Columbia College, which offers the nation's only undergraduate poetry major. "They used the elaborate rhythms of jazz. They brought poetry back to its roots in music."

Read the rest of the article here. And did YOU know that Columbia College offers the nation's only undergraduate poetry major? I dig it.


Tech Tip: Poets – make Word stop capitalizing!

 

Out of the box, Microsoft Word is good for a lot of writing assignments, but not if you’re a poet. Here’s a quick fix to reconfigure Word to make it more poet-friendly.

WordIcon

The Problem: Word automatically capitalizes the first word of every sentence and every new line. You do not write poetry in that format, and are tired of backspacing and changing all those words.

The Solution: A few simple checkboxes.

(The steps are for Word 2007; menu choices will be different for other versions)

  1. Click the Office icon at the top left of Word, then choose Word Options from the bottom of the menu.
  2. Click Proofing
  3. From the screen on the right, click the box “AutoCorrect Options” in the first section, called “AutoCorrect Options”
  4. Uncheck “Capitalize first letter of sentences”

Word will now no longer automatically replace what it considers “incorrect” lower case letters.

But it will still mark this error with a green squiggly “Grammar Error” line. To turn off that annoyance:

  1. In the section called “When Correcting Grammar and Spelling in Word” click the “Settings” button.
  2. Uncheck “Capitalization”
  3. Click OK

Now Word will stop reminding you that as a poet you don’t know what you’re doing.

If you’re likely to make other grammatical errors in your poems – unusual spelling, syntax, punctuation, click one more box in this screen, “Hide grammar errors in this document only”

Finally, you can set Word to ignore capitalization in all new documents or just the current one. The very bottom of the screen has a drop-down box called “Exceptions For.” Choose either the current document name, or All New Documents.



Blind Review Friday



Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.


Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to salinger@ameritech.net with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.

Last week's offering The Yellow Bicycle was by Robert Hass - This weeks piece is also by an established poet. In honor of vacations at the beach:

"Any fool can get into an ocean..."

Any fool can get into an ocean
But it takes a Goddess
To get out of one.
What's true of oceans is true, of course,
Of labyrinths and poems. When you start swimming
Through riptide of rhythms and the metaphor's seaweed
You need to be a good swimmer or a born Goddess
To get back out of them
Look at the sea otters bobbing wildly
Out in the middle of the poem
They look so eager and peaceful playing out there where the
water hardly moves
You might get out through all the waves and rocks
Into the middle of the poem to touch them
But when you've tried the blessed water long
Enough to want to start backward
That's when the fun starts
Unless you're a poet or an otter or something supernatural
You'll drown, dear. You'll drown
Any Greek can get you into a labyrinth
But it takes a hero to get out of one
What's true of labyrinths is true of course
Of love and memory. When you start remembering

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Monthly Poetry Salon

Pudding House Salon

Poetry Workshop in Cleveland

phPudding House Salon brings its dynamic workshop to Cleveland, where intermediate and advanced poets find mutual support, critique and development. Following the longstanding Columbus Pudding House Salon, every month we’ll do read-around, share poetry news, hone mic skills and scout publication opportunities. Afternoon intensive critique focuses on strengths and weaknesses of each poem and asks, has the poet dropped down into the deepest level to which the poem calls?

Pudding House is the largest literary small press in the U.S. with over 1,000 titles in print. Beginning this September, Cleveland Salon runs every second Saturday of the month at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Coventry Village library in Cleveland Heights, from 9:30 a.m. till 4 p.m., facilitated by longtime Columbus Salon member Sammy Greenspan*.

There is a nominal fee for the eleven-month series, (some need-based partial scholarships available). No required degrees or publication list. To determine if this workshop is a good fit, please submit three of your best poems and any questions to:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Shatner Does Palin (07/27/09)

NEO Poet Field Guide

phil01Full name: Philip Metres (Honestly, my “full name” is Philip J. Metres III, but that sounds a little too Thurston Howell for my tastes. Plus, I feel as if I’m at least three people when I write—a patryoshka, if you will.)

Age: On the left side of 40.

Habitat: University Heights of the Mind.

Range: http://behindthelinespoetry.blogspot.com/, John Carroll University, Purvis Park Pool (summers), Chicago, Boston, (have yet to travel to two states: North Dakota and Alaska), Russia (mostly in dreams), the Middle East.

Distinguishing Markings: To See the Earth (2008), Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront (2007), among the recent.

Diet: There is too much great art in the world, and not enough life to live it. Have you taken your Chekhov this morning? Don’t forget: three shots of Whitman every day, a little bit of Hopkins (aperitif). The sort of punk rock that riles you up just enough that you almost forget the words, but find them haunting you later. I’m the sort of twisted individual that finds depressing documentaries uplifting and cathartic.

Predators:Self-congratulators, imperialists, fundies, haters, free market capitalists, narcissists.

Prey:Self.

Call:

Son(s)net (from “Ode to Oil)

During the 1991 Gulf War, U.S. fighter pilots were shown

“motivational films;” i.e, images of disrobing women.

This is an argument with

the shape of a sex organ, a poem

in the arc of a dinosaur

skeleton. This is a porn flick,

the dope of a moper, a heart

attack in the slope

of a stiffening shoulder, a lube job

rubbed on the rods

of excited fighter pilots, a fuse

that refuses to choose, an ode

to a code that ignites

on and we ride it into the burning

West, the postcoital sun as it sets.

Contact: pmetres@jcu.edu

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The death of poetry... again

Serena Agusto-Cox, in The Examiner, and Marc Bain, in an article "The End of Verse?" in Newsweek, discuss a NEA report announcing that the number of American adults reading fiction had increased... and ("as an afterthought") that the number of adults reading poetry had dropped, from 12.1 percent in 2002 to 8.3 percent last year.
...

Even if readership is down, Bain writes, not everyone is concerned. "In fact, popularity is itself a fraught subject in the poetry community.... Today, to call a poem "accessible" is practically an insult, and promotional events like National Poetry Month are derided by many poetry diehards as the reduction of a complex and often deeply private art form to a public spectacle."

John Barr, president of the Poetry Foundation, says it's "not necessarily a bad thing" if fewer people read poetry. The goal is to find each poem "its largest intended audience."

...
Barr continues: "Of course, poetry has been supposedly dying now for several generations. In 1934, Edmund Wilson published an essay called "Is Verse a Dying Technique?" Fifty-four years later, Joseph Epstein chimed in with "Who Killed Poetry?" and former NEA chairman Gioia gained fame with a 1991 piece titled "Can Poetry Matter?" In answering their titular questions, all three to some degree concluded that poetry's concentration in the hands of specialists and the halls of academia was bad for the art form's health.

"Former poet laureate Hall, who published an essay called "Death to the Death of Poetry" in 1989, has heard it all before. "I'm 80 years old," he says. "[For] 60 years I've been reading about poetry losing its audience."

Despite what national surveys may suggest, and despite rumors of its demise, poetry seems likely to persist, in one form or another."
--
"To call a poem 'accessible' is practically an insult"... is that really true? Does accessibility cheapen a poetry? Is popular poetry necessarily bad?


Friday, July 24, 2009

Mac’s Backs Wednesday Reading series

macsThe first time I ever read my work in public was at Mac’s Backs paperbacks sometime back in the ‘80’s in the days when Mark Hopkins was booking the readings and advertising them with woodcut print featured fliers and cars ran on coal. Mac’s has been ubiquitous with the poetry community in Cleveland for as long as I can remember. Suzanne there has always been a champion of the local publisher and writer. I can’t say for sure – but I would venture the supposition that the Wednesday reading there is the longest running series in town.

macs001This past Wednesday I made the trek to their Cleveland Heights 1820 Coventry Road location to catch a reading by a couple of the area’s long time established poets. I don’t make many of these readings anymore, certainly way less than when I used to live across the street from the shop) but I try to check in a couple times a year. The readers were Robert McDonough and Jerry Roscoe.
macs003The reading was scheduled to start at 7pm but true to PST (Poetry Standard Time) it really got rolling closer to 7:30. Just two features no open mic so the whole shebang was done by twenty after eight. Before the reading commenced Suzanne made some short announcements making everyone aware of the late start. I chatted with Sammy Greenspan about Mary Oliver and literacy. I told her about a writer of several teachers professional books who was denied permission of using an Oliver piece in a text book because Oliver “Didn’t want her work interpreted.” I wondered if that also meant she didn’t want her work read – because in my opinion all reading is an interpretation.

Jerry Roscoe was the first reader. He is the author of several collections and the recipient of two Individual Artist Fellowships from the Ohio Arts Council. He opened his set with a piece about his son tmacs002hen proceeded in quick succession to roll one piece into another with little pause and no commentary separating the poems. His subject matter ranged from Catholic grammar school reminiscences the big bang theory and sex. His reading style fell into an academic sing song and I found myself struggling to piece a narrative to his work. Occasionally I was pleased to catch a nice turn of a phrase but his habit of ending a piece on an upswing, as if there were more coming left me feeling like the works were not finished. I did however buy one of Roscoe’s chapbooks so that I could get a better idea of what his work was like. I don’t know if this is the most effective marketing plan.

Here’s an excerpt of Roscoe’s poem AGAINST REVELATION from his chapbook, s-e-x published by Pudding House Publications:
What do we care if the moon
Provides no light of its own?
It is cunning enough at least
To get in position to cheat

Off the brightest student in the class.

The basement of Mac’s Backs is where the readings take place – thankfully the temperature outside was not too high – but nonetheless the room was humid and the crowd of twenty or so folks occupying the wooden folding chairs approached the limit of comfortable capacity. A woman up front languidly fanned herself with the front section of the New York Times as Robert McDonough replaced Roscoe at the podium.

macs005McDonough opened his set with a piece about his daughter – both men began with poems about their children. This got my mind wandering about how we as poets pick our subjects or perhaps more Zen – how our subjects pick us. Most of Robert’s material came from his collection of Greatest Hits, a chapbook also coincidentally, published by the Pudding House Press. McDonough’s reading seemed a bit more relaxed and conversational than Roscoe’s. This I believe can be attributed to home field advantage. McDonough has been leading a monthly writing workshop in the basement space for around seventy five years or so. He introduced his pieces with applicable anecdotes that didn’t explain the poem to follow as much as they set the table for their serving.

macs006McDonough’s work is personal, observational without becoming confessional and spiced here and there with humor. His piece on writer’s block titled, Dry Humping the Muse from Greatest Hits, Pudding House Publications:
It’s a hard grind. She doesn’t even say
she has a headache, she just lies
there, polite enough, face set
in a little smile. And she lets you try:
you can touch her in all the secret places
that worked once but don’t now,
you can try new things you’ve never
dreamed of, get a little rough with her.
She doesn’t mind as long as some things are clear:
It’s not her fault, she’d be
perfectly willing if you could…
and she won’t fake it. Sorry,
she says, straightening her clothes,
she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings
but if you’ve forgotten how,

she can always find someone else.

McDonough finished his set ruminating on the phrase “close enough.” Poetry he decided should be closer than enough.
Then boom, just in time for my parking meter to expire the reading was over. I grabbed my new chapbooks promising myself that Mac’s backs and I need to cross paths more often. Mac’s Backs Wednesday readings – get ya some.macs004

Blind Review Friday



Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.


Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to salinger@ameritech.net with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.

This week's offering is from an established poet and picked in honor of the Tour De France.


The Yellow Bicycle

The woman I love is greedy,
but she refuses greed.
She walks so straightly.
When I ask her what she wants,
she says, "A yellow bicycle."

.

Sun, sunflower,
coltsfoot on the roadside,
a goldfinch, the sign
that says Yield, her hair,
cat's eyes, his hunger
and a yellow bicycle.

.

Once, when they had made love in the middle of the night and
it was very sweet, they decided they were hungry, so they got up,
got dressed, and drove downtown to an all-night donut shop.
Chicano kids lounged outside, a few drunks, and one black man
selling dope. Just at the entrance there was an old woman in a
thin floral print dress. She was barefoot. Her face was covered
with sores and dry peeling skin. The sores looked like raisins and
her skin was the dry yellow of a parchment lampshade ravaged by
light and tossed away. They thought she must have been hungry
and, coming out again with a white paper bag full of hot rolls,
they stopped to offer her one. She looked at them out of her small
eyes, bewildered, and shook her head for a little while, and said,
very kindly, "No."

.

Her song to the yellow bicycle:
The boats on the bay
have nothing on you,
my swan, my sleek one!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sixteen Floors Above the Ground

Sixteen Floors Above the Ground: a Benefit for the Sudanese Lost Boys of Cleveland

took place last November to raise monies and awareness for the young men from Southern Sudan, known as Lost Boys because they lost their homes and families to widespread genocide. The name of the event is from Langston Hughes' poem "Life is Fine". This November Green Panda Press plans a 2nd event, and seeks poets willing to find sponsorship from local businesses and organizations, to read their poems of hope and perseverance. In addition to the poetry reading, a silent auction of arts and crafts by locals will take place, raising money for the Friends of the Sudanese Lost Boys of Cleveland, a non-profit raising citizenship and other costs for the boys.

Last year we raised $1974.00 thru sponsorships and artwork sold. The goal is to exceed this number. If you can commit to getting sponsored by a local business (or businesses) for a minimum of $60.00, and want to read your poems, OR are a local artist and want to donate work for the auction, please email:



Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Moon Day


Forty years ago today, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, the first human beings in history to set foot on a body other than the Earth.
Happy Anniversary.


We walked on the moon in '69,
Didn't seem like much of a thing at the time.
We had the moon and we never went back.
We forgot our dreams, or just lost track.

Oh, there were rockets, and wonders, and Viet Nam,
protesting the war, protesting the bomb.
Gotta take some time and just get high,
had to bust our balls to just get by.

We looked back on our planet from out in space
a tiny and fragile and beautiful place
then we came back home, and sorta forgot,
didn't really give it another thought.

There were Watergate plumbers, and marches for peace,
dodging the draft and the Chicago police,
We just had to lay back and just get high;
we were busting our balls just getting by.

We walked on the moon in '69,
didn't seem like much of a thing at the time.
We went to the moon and just never went back.
Did we forget our dreams, or just lose track?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Landis Wins Rhysling!

ClevelandPoetics Blog contributor Geoffrey A. Landis has won the Science Fiction Poetry Association's 2009 Rhysling Award in the Long Poem Category. This is Landis' second Rhysling win. He also walked away with the award back in 2000. Here's a complete list of this year's winners:



Long Poem:
Winner - Geoffrey A. Landis, "Search"
2nd Place - Samantha Henderson, "Hungry: Some Ghost Stories"
3rd Place - Amal El-Mohtar & Catherynne M. Valente, "Damascus Divides the Lovers by Zero, Or, The City is Never Finished"

Short Poem:
Winner - Amal El-Mohtar, "Songs for an Ancient City"
2nd Place - Samantha Henderson, "Spell"
3rd Place - Billy Collins, "The Future"

Congratulations, Geoff! Congratulations to the other winners as well (including one-time Clevelander Catherynne M. Valente who shared 3rd Place this year and won last year's Rhysling Award in the Long Poem Category). Cleveland Rocks! And, by the way, there was plenty of competition this year with a total of 93 nominated poems.

Geoff's winning poem "Search" is included in his latest book, Iron Angels. You can also read the poem here:
http://www.geoffreylandis.com/search.html

You can find more information on the 2009 Rhysling Award and Rhysling Anthology here:
http://www.sfpoetry.com/rhyslingarchive/pages/rhysling09.html

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blind Review Friday



Blind Review Friday.

The author shall remain anonymous (unless they chose to divulge themselves in the comments.)

Those commenting are also welcome to remain anonymous if they wish.


Incendiary comments will be removed.

If you would like your piece thrown to the wolves send it to salinger@ameritech.net with "Workshop the hell out of this poem" as the subject line.

This week's offering is from a Cleveland poetics blog regular.



The Summer Before College

In a colorless uniform I rode my bicycle
to the brand new Holiday Inn.
Solitary hours of changing sheets
and dusting faux surfaces,

of double-checking for a rogue hair
on the sink. I'd stare at a pair of hiking boots,
a men's magazine, a used condom
and imagine who had been there,

what they had been doing.
Silence weighed my body down
and magnified the loneliness,
so one August day I pushed the door shut,

turned on the television and sat on a bed
to watch Richard Nixon resign,
breaking the rules to witness
that singular shameful moment.

Days of laundry duty, the drone
of dryers, blinding white towels
folding when I closed my eyes at night.
The radio played the first time ever I saw your face

over and over and the music spun yearning
into my eighteen-year old heart.
That was when songs made decisions for me
and at 4:00 on that same day I said I quit.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Local Author Fair

Cuyahoga County Public Library's
Beachwood, Mayfield and Orange branches present the Second Annual Local Author Fair, a chance for local authors to meet each other and the community and promote their work.

When: Saturday, October 17, 2009 / 1-4 p.m.
Where: Mayfield Village Civic Hall, 6622 Wilson Mills Rd., Mayfield Village
Who: If you've been published or self-published and live in the Greater Cleveland area, you're eligible to participate.

We provide one table per author free of cost. If you want to sell your work, you will be responsible for providing the books, having change available, and donating 10% of your sales to the Friends of Mayfield Library at the end of the fair.

Space is limited and participation is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Email: Laurie von Mehren (lvonmehren@cuyahogalibrary.org ) for an application.

Questions? Call Laurie at Mayfield Branch, 440-473-0350.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What the Flarf?

Cleveland's a great town for poetry.  But, one thing that we don't seem to have is Flarf.

Of course, that may be a good thing.


Flarf?  Serious?  You can't be serious.

The origins of flarf poetry are very similar to the origins of Wergle Flomp: deliberately bad poetry, written to prank the scam "contests" to see just how bad you can be, and still be praised.  But flarf evolved onward into something else, using google to generate word-associations for poetry, in a dada/burroughs sense.  The thing about flarf is, once you've started out with the idea that it's not an object of the poem for it to actually be good, you can write something that's, well-- if not good, interesting.

Heck, for a while it was hot that even Poetry Magazine was at it.  Of course, the flarfers seem to be a lot better at issuing semi-coherent manifestos than at actually doing poetry.  

It sounds interesting when they talk about it!  Kaplan P. Harris says (as quoted by Bruce Sterling ): "Words are fused and isolated, phrases are redacted and rearranged. The result is a poetic Frankenstein, part irreverence of Dada and part disjunction of Language poetry. The camp of gay performance art is in there, too. Nothing is (or claims to be) especially polished."

Cleveland's mostly a flarf-free zone.  Maybe that's good.

So, out there-- do any of you flarf?  Do you want to?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

NEO Poet Field Guide

Full name: Mike Finley

Age: 59

Habitat: Amherst and Vermilion

Range: Many books posted free at mfinley.com/booklist2.htm

Diet: James Wright, Charles Potts, d a levy, Sharon Olds, Charles Reznikoff, Emily Dickinson, Robert Desnos, Bill Knott

Distinguishing Markings: Pushcart Prize 1985

Predators: advertising, credentialing, ideology, gnosticism, ill-humor, Latinate forms, the designated hitter

Prey: self-pity, delusion, bad companions, mutual back-patters, angry masturbation

Call: Vip-Poor-VEE!

Gise Pedersen Sets Me Straight on a Matter of Natural History


"No, you've got this part all wrong,"
Says Gise, swatting a poem about birds
With the back of one hand.

"You have whippoorwills sobbing in the limbs
Of poplars, but whippoorwills don't perch
In poplars, whippoorwills don't perch anywhere,

Because their legs are just tiny twigs,
They are gone into atrophy, no muscle left,
So all they can do is plop themselves

Flat on the ground and make the best of it
There on their haunches. And furthermore,
What is this sobbing business? It's poetic

But hardly accurate. Their cry is more
Like a cheer, it is a call my son Peter,
Before he died, liked to imitate

On his walks home from school.
Many times, late summer nights in our cabin,
Hendrik and I would be feeling morose,

Only to hear out there in the darkness
The cry of a creature pressed close
And shouting from the cold of this earth

To all who might hear him:
VIP-poor-VEE!"

Friday, July 10, 2009

To Be Read or Not to Be Read?

Did anyone ever
tell you that it didn't matter if people heard or read your poetry - that the joy should be in creating it? I have had this conversation repeatedly with someone - let's just say - someone close to me. I also sing and paint pictures, and I have heard the same argument - the joy is in doing it, not who may or may not hear or see it.

Poetry is to be read! Art is to be seen! Music is to be heard! I cry over and over.

Today I glanced at the current Newsweek in the grocery store line. There is an article about our national poet laureate, Kay Ryan. I love what she says about this:

"One of the elements of an art is the fact that it communicates," Ryan says, "The transaction isn't complete if you don't publish." (Of course, that easy for HER to say, but we all try, don't we?)

I also appreciated this unrelated quote:

"Poetry is resistant. In a culture in which the "take-away" is paramount, poetry gives nothing away. You have to look past whatever the poem seems to be about to see what it is."



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tied to the Bitchin' post...

Okay,

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted – been out of town for the better part of a month but I’ve been checking in. First off – we could certainly use some new fodder for the Blind Review Friday’s portion of the blog.

Secondly – to piggyback a bit on Geoff’s post below I would be interested to see what folks list as their pet peeves in the “poetry scene.” I define scene rather loosely here – could be Cleveland could be the literary world as a whole. Maybe it’s contest fees maybe it’s reading hosts constantly screaming at you to “give it up!” for this or that reader – whatever it is let us know.

Personally I am offended by the feature reader who reads their work – cites a long ride home or some other pressing engagement – then heads for the door after one or two open mic participants. I watched a fairly well know reader in town pass notes to her/his entourage while a couple of people who sat through his/her reading took their turn at the open mic. Then, after two readers this person left. Lack of class in my book.

I know a LA poet who likes to go to open mics and read the sign up list as a roll call at the end of the reading to highlight how many folks come, read their stuff and leave.

So – any takers – what makes you nuts?

And – get those blind review submissions in.

Thanks.



Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pay to Play


I'd dropped by the house of another poet the other week, and she had a copy of last month's Poets and Writers magazine. I skimmed through it, and flipped back through until I noticed that they had a list of various literary competitions. It wasn't an exhaustive list- P&W's listing only included contests and grants with prizes of over a thousand dollars, and that's barely the tip of the iceberg (for example, google gives me over a hundred thousand hits for "poetry contest" plus "prize.") But flipping through their list-- Fifteen dollar entry fee. Ten dollar entry fee. Twenty-five dollar entry fee. For my own edification, I added it all up. Fifty-eight contests were listed with a total of One thousand, one hundred and twelve dollars of entry fees. $1112.

I've posted about scam poetry contests before (see "the great Wergle Flomp"), but this wasn't a list of scam contests, this was a list of "respectable" competitions.

Personally, I have a rule: I don't enter writing contests with entry fees. Period. But yet, I know that other people do.

Is this really the way people gain respectability in the literary poetry community? Entering contests? Or is this an example of the literary establishment taking cynical advantage of vulnerable, hopeful writers?

Yes, I've talked to editors, and I've heard their side of the story. Even quite legitimate, respectable publishers tell me about how hard it is to find the money to keep alive, how desperate they are for even small amounts of funding-- for that matter, about how running a contest costs money, and that they aren't even covering their expenses.

Still. What they're telling me is that their readers aren't willing to pay for poetry, and so they have to subsidize their magazines (and contests) with money from the writers and the would-be writers. They are, essentially, feeding off of hope.

Now, this practice isn't going to go away just because I refuse to participate. People are willing to pay for their dreams.

Still, I'm wondering. If readers aren't willing to pay to read what their writers write, and a magazine can only survive by cadging money from writers (and would-be writers) to publish... I wonder if these are really contributing to the literary world. Maybe we might all do better if some of these just quietly folded, leaving, perhaps, the rest-- the ones people really do read-- just a little bit stronger.

How about you? Do you enter contests?

Cited...

The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau