Sunday, January 28, 2007

Poetry update...

As regular readers will be aware, way back in October, I entered a poetry competition - which resulted in me being sent a rather splendid letter from poetry.com telling me that my poem had so impressed the judges that I had made it through to the semi-finals of the competition and that I could have my poem published in an anthology of poetry (for only a small sum). Well, obviously I was excited but - being a little short in the cash department - I was unable to take them up on their kind offer (or, indeed, take advantage of their kind offer of a multi-volume order discount)...

Then, on the 2nd of November, poetry.com realised they needed to up the ante as I received the following email:

Over the past several months, we have been reviewing the thousands of poems submitted to us, as well as examining the poetic accomplishments of people whose poetry has appeared on the Internet and in various editions released by other poetry publishers in America and Europe. After an exhaustive examination of this poetic artistry, The International Library of Poetry is pleased to inform you that you have been nominated for inclusion in THE INTERNATIONAL WHO'S WHO IN POETRY.

Congratulations on your accomplishment, Oliver. This is an extraordinary honor. The International Who's Who in Poetry will be among the finest quality and most interesting books we have ever produced, and poets from several nations around the world will be featured. Each poem published will be exhibited on a page by itself. Every aspect and design of this anthology will display an uncompromising level of craftsmanship and attention to detail. This coffee-table quality book will be printed in two colors on fine milled paper, and it will feature a highly detailed, ornate cover and quality typography throughout. It will make a handsome addition to any library, a treasured family keepsake, or a highly valued personal gift.
Obviously I was elated with this news - a ringing endorsement of my poetic credentials - but, again, they needed a small amount of money from me - $49.95 for the book, $19 for postage and handling and a (nominal) fee of $25 to prepare and print my artist's profile. It was such a wonderful offer but I just couldn't quite bring myself to shell out all that money (even for such a finely crafted anthology) and so I resigned to not hearing from poetry.com again...

And was therefore surprised when, on 27th December, I received a further email from poetry.com that was so exciting that I almost collapsed
in shock. Thankfully I was sitting down when I opened the email:

Dear Oliver,

The Editors of The International Library of Poetry were thrilled to inform you that your poem was bestowed the prestigious Editor's Choice Award because of your artistic accomplishments and unique perspective--characteristics found in the most noteworthy poetic works. To further commemorate this prestigious achievement we have elected you to receive the 2006 Editor's Choice Published Poet Ribbon Award Pin.

This stunning pin proudly displays your elevated status in our poetic community. Since only an elite group of published poets were selected to receive this special honor, imagine the sense of pride you will feel when others see you wearing the 2006 Editor's Choice Published Poet Ribbon Award Pin. What an impressive way to show off your status as an honored poet for the year 2006!

As you can see from the picture above, the pin in question is clearly an exquisite work of art and - were it not for the $19.95 plus $5 shipping - would be extremely tempting to any would be poet. Since receiving the email, many have been the times that I've reflected on the sense of pride I would have felt when others saw me wearing it. Oh well, I guess it just wasn't to be...

And then, just when I had resigned myself to the fact that poetry.com was only interested in me for my money, I received a (frankly stunning) email from them on the 13th January which surely demonstrates that they are interested in me - first and foremost - as a poet and artist:

It's something we don't often do, but after reading and discussing your poetry, the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Library of Poetry has nominated you for membership in the most exciting poetry organization in the world--the International Society of Poets!

The Editorial Advisory Board wholeheartedly agrees that your poetic writings warrant nomination into the International Society of Poets--a poetry organization that is world-renowned and dedicated to recognizing poetic talent such as yours. As Chairman, I want to personally inform you about all the new benefits of Membership, and I did not want you to miss out on this opportunity. Oliver , I know that after hearing what we are about, you will join us as a member of our society--the International Society of Poets!

The excitement was palpable (which is surely the best kind of excitement). I am so glad that the quality of my poetry is due to be recognised within my own lifetime. Now, I just need to find $149 for my annual membership fee and I can join my poetic brethren...

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ha! I had the exact same thing happen when I entered a "photo contest" several years ago!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I thought I was 'Editor's Choice'...

Gill said...

So much nicer to get a huge badge like that instead of horrid non reviews....

I enjoyed Gill’s book but…

It was the wrong shade of lavender for me. I liked a lot of the poems, most of them very much.

The ones I didn’t like were in the most prominent places carrying an artistic/political message that is not mine, i.e. the first poem, the last poem, some of the others, the title poem.

For Gill(’s review) you need a flamboyant feminist, possibly a performance poet, possibly a lesbian poet, probably someone with a more political slant. Even a man if they had the right image.

Sally Evans- Poetry Scotland

Anonymous said...

Great design, useful info!This resourse is great!Keep it up!With the best regards!
Frank

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Anonymous said...

I think it is a brilliant opportunity for any budding artist (I was repeatedly persued for my "outstanding artisitc ability" for a photo I submitted to a similar Photographic society). My mother is the proud owner of the 2004 edition of their superb high quality coffee table book where my Photo titled "morning drink" is displayed next to hundreds of other similar quality art works.

What a shame you have not found a higher paid job so you could afford to be a member of this worthy society.

Anonymous said...

That g----mn Poetry.com! I entered one pretty lukewarm poem and got the same letters, I think they put my poem on a CD and in a book and so on, I never sent them any money, but I felt good for a minute or two, they send your letter with your poem all typed out in a plastic window for the postman to see... then they have these little comments in type that looks like actual handwriting - "Excellent poem (exclamation point!)" Then when they start eloquently demanding money, you realize... though my brother said the person writing those congratulatory letters sure had a way with words. Best rule I've heard: a person should never pay to be published.

gisellegiselle said...

Hi,

"The International Who's Who in Poetry" is as far as I know a perfectly bona fide work of reference published by Routledge, a large and respected London publisher.

Cuentos said...

Of your last posts, this subject is the most interesting… for me. Greetings, Mariana Cuentos.

genXpoet said...

I won 3rd place and got a shiny medallion, plus they published my poem first in their book. Of course, I had to pay them for this. VANITY! I then went ahead and got myself immediately into an MFA program. It was wonderful. I've graduated and now I've got $30,000 in debt. However, I love poetry and I've gotten so good at it, I'm looking forward to yes, teaching poetry and I'll keep on writing it too. It's all how you look at it.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha and I thought I was special when they said i could be published in Immortal Verses, and was told that i could go to this years semanar in Los vegas, and when i chould join the socity of poets,and ect. lol Man they are just a bunch of scam artists!!! lol!

Anonymous said...

At first I thought it was a scam, but I was able to publish many poems without paying one cent. I also got contacted by a major publisher and inherited an international copyright for one of my poems. They need to fund raise. You know you wish you could go to vegas and recite your super weak poem in front a huge crowd who loves super weak poems.

shar said...

I got the same thing from poetry.com...

So to test it, I submitted a poem similiar to this
"iha fsdakhfkdnk hdaihndvjahivbv adhvaknvajkvha dhlan"

They LOVED it! Even wanted to publish it. I should have sent the $50.