In this post I wrote about the spate of illnesses that dragged down the last part of August for me. Even though I’m fine now, I’m still behind and still struggling to catch up on everything that fell by the wayside.
One of the really nice things that happened then, and that got buried by all the physical angst, is I received my contributor’s copy of the 2012 Poet’s Market. I haven’t been part of the book since I ceased being editor in 2008, and it’s really enjoyable to have contributed to the new edition, thanks to editor Robert Lee Brewer.
My article is called “From a Judge’s Perspective: On Poetry Contests and Competitions.” In it I share some observations gleaned from judging several poetry contest over recent years, citing what made entries stand out in both good and bad ways and suggesting mistakes entrants could avoid in future contests.
That article is just a small part of the treasury of advice and perspectives on writing and publishing poetry. Offerings include sections on craft, the business of poetry, and interviews with poets Jessie Carty, Aaron Belz, Collin Kelley, Annie Finch, and Erika Meitner.
What impressed me most is the section titled “Promotion of Poetry,” which is worth the price of the book all by itself. For those poets out of step with how social networking and changes in publishing have impacted the world of poetry, there are savvy articles on such topics as finding readers and creating a press kit, tips for the perfect reading from slam poet Taylor Mali, and poet and author Sage Cohen’s viewpoint on why poets need platforms. Editor Robert Lee Brewer, who also edits Writer’s Market and founded the blog Poetic Asides, draws on his extensive expertise to present articles on blogging basics, using Twitter, and how to use Facebook and LinkedIn for most effective results.
Of course, Poet’s Market has market listings of publications and presses as well as contests, conferences, and organizations, just to name a few areas of interest. If you want to examine every aspect of how to publish your poetry, and promote yourself as a poet, in this second decade of the 21st century, you can’t go wrong with the 25th edition of Poet’s Market.
Personal promotion warning: I’m very proud to have been involved editorially in nine of those 25 editions of Poet’s Market. I was assistant editor for the 2001 edition, edited the 2002 to 2008 editions, and had gotten the 2009 edition started before I left, including assigning the articles and writing two of the interviews. It kind of feels like coming home to have an article in the 2012 edition.
Also, as author, I needed a photo to go with the bio that accompanied the article. I take REALLY bad photos, but I look human, almost pleasant, in one taken by my nephew, J.Hooligan, a couple of years ago. I keep using it because, well, I can stand to look at myself in it. Robert Lee Brewer generously allowed me to credit J.Hooligan as photographer, a big thrill to a 12-year-old! (Diamondqueen is quite proud as well; she blogs about it here.)