Poetry.com and Brian Plante

Brian Plante updated his Chronicles of the Garden Variety Writers today. I found almost nothing offensive in this week’s entry, though it did still feel a little smug. I agreed with the assessment he made of a member’s “winning” poetry publication in a national contest. You can find one of mine from a similar “contest” somewhere on their website. After accepting my poem and lavishing all kinds of praise upon it, they informed me that it was selected (with thousands of other poems) for publication in a beautiful, cloth-bound volume which I could purchase for my coffee table. Then, later, they told me that my poem had been one of the “few” selected to be recorded for their poetry CD, which I could purchase for my CD collection. Finally, they told me that I could attend their convention, hosted by Florence Henderson, for only $595 plus. Oh, and one of the nearby hotels was offering a special rate of $120 per night to International Society of Poets members. If I attended, I would receive a trophy consisting of a large silver bowl on a cherry wood pedestal (a $170 value!) I guess that means they would only clear about $400 on my at that convention.

(“Oh my gosh, Mr. Johnson. You mean Poetry.com is really just a vanity press? My word!”)

To be fair, there are a lot of great poems submitted to Poetry.com. It’s just too bad they will only be read by people who search for the poet’s name on the site or buy the overpriced books (and probably not even then.)

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