I am very disheartened when I see a company taking advantage of people and encouraging hopeful writers in the deceitful way that Poetry.com does. Way back in the beginning, before I became jaded about such things, I submitted a couple of my poems to this distasteful site. About a month later I received something in the mail from them saying that one of my poems had been chosen to be published in an anthology. I was so excited! Yeah, that didn’t last long. As I read on, still very enthusiastic, the letter said they needed me to proof my poem for publication and sign to be sure it was exactly the way I wanted it printed, which I did, still hopeful and happy. Reading further still, the high praise that oozed out of every paragraph made me feel like I had really accomplished something. Then…I got to the crux of it all. If I wanted a copy of the book that my poem, mine, mind you, was to be published in it would only cost me the ‘discounted’ price of $49.95. Wow, that’s it. I could have my own poem, in a book, as long as I paid them for it. That was bad enough, but it got better. The next thing was a ‘beautiful plaque’ with my poem imprinted on it for me to display, ‘proudly’ in my home for eveyone to see, and that would only cost me another $39.00. The messed up thing was, at the time, I was so naive, that had I had the money I probably would have bought the book, and the plaque. Paid for my own work. How f#*&ed up is that? They feed you this line of bullshit and a lot of people actually buy it, pun definitely intended.
Of course since that first experience I’ve gotten wise to them, and this is really hilarious, the reason I got wise to them was the fact that every poem I submitted to their contest got the same response. I was one terrific poet. I was awesome. Every poem was going to be published in a book that I could buy. Wow, how incredible!
I guess I just wanted to warn any aspiring poets out there to beware of sites bearing false promises. If your work is good enough to be published they’ll pay you for it, or at least give you a free copy of the book!