Wednesday, September 2, 2009

You don't get rich from poetry

Robert Lee Brewer, in his Writers Digest blog, is asked the question "How much money does a poet make?"

His answer is "Many journals pay in contributor copies (and some don't even do that). The few that can afford to pay in actual money usually offer less than $100 for a poem. And publishing a book isn't going to rake in the cash either." Final word is that, if you're not a celebrity or the National Poet Laureate, "bottom line: There's no money in poetry."

Yeah, I already knew that. Anybody here surprised?

(Empty Mirror Books says about the same thing. For that matter, so did Robert Graves-- "There's no money in poetry, but then, there's no poetry in money, either.")

He continues, "But is that such a bad thing? I think the lack of money in poetry helps take the pressure off the art form. It's really all about a great line, a wonderful image, something that sticks with the reader."

Yeah, I already knew that. (Not that I wouldn't mind a little cash, now and then.)

Wadda ya think?

1 comment:

Erin O'Brien said...

Good lord.

Even when I sell a piece of writing, I often have to beg for payment.

Silly writing biz.

But then again, where would I be without it?


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