Tuesday, May 24, 2011

If You Missed the WB Live Chat on Poetry...

Since April was National Poetry Month, we celebrated on the Write-Brained Network with a modern poets series, poetry challenges, and a live chat on poetry.

Photo credit: Molly Nook
The gist . . .

One of our featured poets, Dave Lucas was good enough to join us for the chat, wherein we discussed some of the differences between publishing poetry and publishing fiction/nonfiction.  

Bonus: We also learned that Sara McCleezy was a poetry all-star back in college.  V. impressed! :D


Do poets need to have agents to get traditionally published?*

Dave says . . . 

No. The only poets he knows who have them are those who also write fiction/nonfiction or who are so advanced in their careers (i.e., Seamus Heaney, Robert Pinsky, Billy Collins, etc.) that they need someone else to handle particulars lesser-known poets don't have to think about.  

*Not that fiction & nonfiction writers HAVE to have agents to get published these days, but it's still a pretty good idea.

How does the world of poetry publication work?

Dave says . . .

In terms of the publication of collections, the world of poetry publication has been long dominated by the contest system -- a magazine or press holds a contest, you submit your manuscript to be read by a judge, and then they pick a winner.

He went on to mention that this system has come under a great deal of scrutiny after a Web site called Foetry (now defunct) came on the scene a few years ago.

His own collection, Weather (University of Georgia Press, April 2011) was published after over five years of submitting, having poems pubbed in the Virginia Quarterly Review, and catching the attention of an editor there who opened an imprint at UGA Press.

Just like in publishing anything else, it takes a lot more work and dedication than one might think. If you can do anything else, DO IT! (Dave said he was in edits for over a year before the Weather manuscript was accepted for publication -- and that his only other marketable skill is playing air hockey.)          

He also said: 
I do think it's important [...] to add the unfortunate caveat that publishing a book does very little to change your life or your sense of yourself as a writer.
There you have it, folks.
Wait . . . 

When's the next WB live chat?
TONIGHT -- May 24, from 9-10 p.m. EST

What's the topic?
Platform & online presence

How do I get in?
Got ya covered! Click here, yo.
Hope to see ya tonight!


  1. Thanks so much for the recap! Dave sounds great :)

    I'm not able to attend tonight's chat either, so I really hope you'll give a summary of that too (no pressure, of course).

  2. I will, Jess -- and hopefully a lot sooner than I posted this one, LOL. :) Thanks for stopping by!