Brodsky and the Business of Writing

Sorry jumbo shrimp, but there is no bigger oxymoron than "the business of writing." Even Thomas Jefferson would find this truth self-evident. I was reminded of it while reading Shauna Osborn's poem "panic stricken uncertainties & the business of writing" in the June issue of Poetry. The poem kicks off with a Joseph Brodsky quote, …

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Swinging for the Fences

Marketing poetry isn't simple math. It's a word problem. You show your work, and the teacher in you is either satisfied or not. Lately I have yearned for more, meaning the math has shifted such that I am studying that old Indian concept of zero. That's right. No longer satisfied with placing poems in this …

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Try Non-GMO, Organic, Locavore Poetry!

Recently I read a sad statistic. The average print-on-demand book (the typical publishing model for poets who do not self-publish and who do not have the name recognition of the big boppers) sells only 35-40 copies. Why? Because that number happens to match the average number of friends and family members in the POD poet's …

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The Simul-Sub Dilemma

Simultaneous submissions, like the Internet, are both boon and bane. They giveth and they taketh away. As a writer, you love journals that accept simultaneous submissions because they maximize your poems' chances for publication. But... First the little "but." The niggling problem--a nice one to have--comes when you get an acceptance. You have to go …

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Publicity Hounds from Hell

Note: The following is written for hounds trying not to bay like the Baskervilles. It explores Aristotle's philosophical conundrum: Can you self-promote your work without looking like you're self-promoting your work? Heed, then, the "sound" of trees falling in the wilderness.... I've written before that a part-time poet (full-time poets, like unicorns, are rare beasts …

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