Poetry Economics

The economics of writing poetry are unfortunate. Most journals don’t pay poets for their poems. Most journals don’t make money. Most of the time all the poet gets is a free contributor’s copy. No complaints here. Though when I say most journals don’t pay what I mean they don’t pay money. Those journals, and there are many, pay with respect for the writer and the work. I’ve been thrilled to have my poems in many of them and even continue to support those journals with a subscription. But recently I’ve had a poem appear in an anthology, Wait a Minute, I Have to Take Off My Bra, that's taking advantage of the writer’s who made the book possible. I was happy to let them publish my poem, didn’t even occur to me that I should be paid. When I saw the book was being sold on Amazon I sent them an email asking when I could expect a contributor’s copy. Their reply, it would be months before they sent contributors' copies, and this was followed by an email saying that I could buy books at a discount. Hmmm, they have time to sell the book but don’t have time for the people who made the book possible. Sending contributor’s copies shouldn’t be a troubling chore when it’s the only form of payment. The book has been selling for months. If and when they send a contributor’s copy I’ll let you know. Let’s start a pool and see how long it takes. I’ll send the book to whoever gets closest.