Monday, January 23, 2006

Poetry publishing and unknown poets

I'm a novice where poetry is concerned. That is, I haven't studied the art of writing poetry but have been reading and writing it for years. Finding a publisher for poetry books is an arduous process, even for established poets. Thanks to Winterwolf Publishing my first book of poetry is reality.

I was a "dabbler" in poetry when Stephen Sulik asked if I'd be interested in creating a book together. Stephen and I have never met. I reviewed a prose book he wrote, and we exchanged a few emails about our history as writers. He'd had a book of poetry published in the 1970s. Stephen is a retired Texas cop, a family man who values his privacy. I decided to give our joint venture a shot. Stephen already had a concept in mind: his poetry would be harsh, representing the masculine point of view as a policeman who has seen humanity at its worst; mine would be soft, feminine, sweet. Well, after reading my poety he had to scuttle his concept and come up with a new approach. My poetry is often harsh, rageful, based on life experience in childhood. Most of Stephen's poetry is sweet natured, surreal or dreamy. Unlike my childhood at the mercy of an alcoholic father, his was nurturing and safe. Color of Laughter, Color of Tears presents a diverse picture of life from two very different viewpoints.

Poets laureate around the country won't need to worry about Johnson and Sulik usurping them. Once our individual fan bases bought copies of our book or received them as gifts, sales plummeted. Stephen's fans loved his poetry and hated mine. Most of my fans love everything I write and hope I'll complete a book of only my poetry soon. Meanwhile, against prevailing odds, the book we co-authored together is a reality.

The purpose of this blog is not shameless self promotion. The point I wish to make is: Keep reading and writing poetry. It's an honest expression of feelings that often can't be expressed effectively any other way. I love poetry and appreciate poets. If you write poetry and have no luck at all getting it published, consider submitting to online journals. I have several listed in my links. And I'd love to know when your poetry is accepted.

1 comment:

xianfu said...

I like writing fact my teacher jz asked us to write a poem about Good luck on ya book!!

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I enjoy good writing by writers and poets who are not famous. My mother said I was born a hundred years too late. The older I get, the more I realize how right she was.

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