9.28.2005

Angry poet

I did a search for the terms "I tried to get published" and "gave up" to see who out there has thrown in the towel, and found Lelia, a poet who's been beaten down by the process.

She starts out with what a lot of people are saying throughout the Internet, I'm sure: "You know what really pisses me off? Publishers and agents."

And then the complaints of a fed-up poet begin:

Last year, I entered contests and lost to–without fail–abstract writers and poets (can we say LSD-induced writing? Yes, yes, we can) and…a group of a particular race, or so it seemed. Names just sometimes give away a nationality, or at the very least a culture mindset (e.g. Mohammed and La’Quinda).

Not even my SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) was returned on most occasions. That is not a huge surprise, as this is typical of the publishing business’ lack of etiquette, but it’s still very frustrating...

After that, she offers us a list of "Other things that piss me off about the writing business," a small part of which is:

Publishing contests which obviously have a politically correct bent. This is VERY TYPICAL of American poetry contests. There are only so many survivor cancer patients, African American women, teens from the ‘ghetto,’ and Islamic ministers who can be so enlightened as to win every year for a particular contest. Give me a break...

..."We do not accept unsolicited poetry manuscripts and suggest you go through an agent if wanting to pursue publication with our publishing house.” — Grand. So, this leads me on the wild goose hunt for agents (most of which are apparently still living in the Stone Age and without a website). I finally find an agent, and what do I find on his submission guidelines? “[Insert Agent Company Name Here] does not read or represent poetry submissions.” In other words, let me get this straight: I’ve got a chance if I’m Rowling or King.

At the end of her rant, she really tells the publishing industrial complex off (what she calls the "prissy boys in the printing biz"). But it's too rude to quote here.

Hey, she said all that, not me. I'm just sharing it with the world. Good thing I'm not a poet. The fading fiction dream is bad enough.

2 comments:

a guy in pajamas said...

No, please, don't tell me there's some glass ceiling in the world of poetry ... Bah, this is why I stopped reading a lot of poetry. I haven't even bothered submitting in years.

mj said...

I think non-fiction is the way to go.