1. DopePoet
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    DopePoet New Member

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    Is there even a market for poetry?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by DopePoet, Jun 4, 2013.

    It seems to me that there probably isn't much of a market for poetry these days. Was there ever? So many people write poetry. Elderly grandmotherly women write elderly poetry and angst-filled teens write angsty poetry. The successful business executive scribbles his iambic pentameter in secret after his company has gone home for the night. Many people write poetry - all types! of poetry - yet it seems that not many people read the art. Please don't get me wrong. I realize there is deff an unpaid poetry market, but is there a paid market at all? I think not, but was wrong once before. end.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    There is, but it's relatively small and very competitive. There are only a handful of magazines that pay pro rates for poetry.

    Also, you are absolutely right about people not reading poetry. I guess most people just can't appreciate it.
     
  3. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    The form that poetry takes now is far less structured than it once was. I see poetry all the time in my city: scrawled in graffiti, printed on t-shirts and even on hipster coffee cups. I think that the market has changed significantly, especially in the ways in which we consume poetry.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's always been a market for poetry, since printed writings have been sold... but it's grown ever smaller in the past couple of centuries, since people became less interested in reading it...

    there still is, but it's a very narrow market... some magazines and many literary journals accept poetry submissions, but the pay is very little, if not just in copies... there are many online venues for poetry, but there the pay is even less and most don't pay anything at all...

    poetry collections used to sell fairly well in the 'olden days' too, but now, if you're not a world famous poet or so world famous/infamous in some other field that your grocery list would make bestseller history, no paying book publisher will take you on, since too few will buy it...

    on the upside, poet laureates are still the norm for many countries, so the art has not yet been completely besmirched by schlocky wall hanging and greeting card doggerel... and the kind of merde that's passed around as spam on the internet...
     
  5. Krishan
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    Krishan Active Member

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    The poetry market in the UK is about £7 million annually (which sounds like a lot, but is miniscule compared to other types of writing). Much of that is taken by a few, large, established names, but there's still significant money in the art form.

    Some literary magazines (most of them in the USA) pay a reasonable sum for poems, and accept work from people who aren't already famous.
     
  6. circ
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    circ New Member

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    ...no
     
  7. u.v.ray
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    u.v.ray Member

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    It's something of a cliche, but you don't choose to be a poet. It chooses you. In most cases it takes many decades before a writer starts to earn anything like an income from poetry alone. And even then it is only a minority that do. I used to be committed to it. But now I really don't see the point and wonder why I spent 30 years writing it.
     
  8. 7thMidget
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    7thMidget Member

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    Because it chose you!
     
  9. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    I enjoy writing poetry, but I know a number of people who detest it (particularly modern material) as pretentious self-indulgent clap-trap. So much of it is unstructured, or streams-of-consciousness waffle demanding interpretation where there cannot possibly be any (a bit like some art).

    It seems like the definition of poetry is anything that comes out of the head, and therefore demands merit. And how many today that write poetry ever studied it in the first place?

    I can see why the understanding and appreciation of poetry is falling off markedly.
     
  10. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Or is it that there's very little to appreciate?
     
  11. circ
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    circ New Member

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    Fair point.
     
  12. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I'd say that there's a good amount of good poetry being published every year. It's just a matter of looking in the right places. As an example, I like the magazine Poetry.
     
  13. 7thMidget
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    7thMidget Member

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    Spoken-word poetry seems to be going strong, by the way. Or is it just my impression?
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You do impressions? That could certainly add appeal to spoken word poetry.
     
  15. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Yeah, it's fairly popular. A lot of the spoken word videos on Youtube have more than a million views. I'm also pretty sure there's a spoken word/slam poetry club in my city.
     
  16. 7thMidget
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    7thMidget Member

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    I do and I'm a natural. I can even pretend to be a perfectly sane person.

    I can see why spoken word poetry is appealing. As far as it being a relevant paid market, which is what the OP is looking for... Probably just for some lucky few, as usual.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Of course spoken word poetry is popular, in a youtube world. Why read it when you can have it performed before your eyes?

    Cynical? Me? Nahhh.
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think that is a fair assessment.
     
  19. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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    I would argue that poetry is alive and well in song writing and rap music. That tends to be where people go now if they want to hear something meaningful expressed into a relatively small space.

    Plenty of artists fans will sit and read lyrics independently of the music. I think if you write poetry now you're essentially competing against Eminem and Bruce Springsteen for peoples time and money.
     
  20. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I guess the issue now is whether or not rap is considered poetry.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    some actual poetry is set to music as lyrics, but not all lyrics are poetry...
     
  22. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    How can you tell the difference?
     
  23. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    one way is by the structure... most song lyrics have a structure that includes an intro, verses, a chorus, and often a bridge...
     

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