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“No Poetry Accepted” Eradication Request for Poets

Updated on February 28, 2017
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M.D. Johnson is a poet, playwright, author, and blogger. She has a BA in English and a Masters of Management in Business.

What has writing become? What is the literary arena turning into? What has happened to poetry in this decade alone? Doesn’t anyone use language artistically anymore? Is every fiction piece simply description and action with no emotion conveyed, whatsoever? Has anthropology vanished? Why is writing so mechanical and technological nowadays? I suppose I can’t be bewildered by it, as writing is always reflected by the times or era. We live in a mechanical, technological world devoid of emotion with continuously perishing human connection, and our language has grown perverse and somewhat shallow, as a society. We want information quick and in a hurry. Get to the point, I’m in a rush. This too is reflected in the writing of our times. I am therefore grateful that the great literary works of the past are not buried as of yet, and perplexed how far we have eroded literary works today, as if we’ve gone from a champagne, caviar diet to that of fast food in the literary arena. I’d hope it would have been the reverse where champagne and caviar would perhaps become wine and escargot.

It is absolutely my pet peeve to read, “No poetry accepted” when it comes to what publishers, writing contest entries, literary reviewers or what literary agents accept. It’s like a slap in the face I’d imagine to have William Shakespeare rolling around in his grave. Even though some scholars believe that poetry may not have predated writing, others believe the art of poetry may have predated literacy, so why is one of the oldest forms of writing not yearned for by the multitudes of society in this day and age? I’d have to say it’s not even seemingly appreciated. Is it because it’s misunderstood, or are we, as of now, simply a misunderstanding society?

Kate Angus in her article Americans Love Poetry, But Not Poetry Books, stated, “Although the audience for poetry is vast…this wider audience hasn’t yet crossed the bridge from reading poetry into buying poetry books.” Why is this? How is this? It seems poetry is always integrated with theatrical performance, spoken word entertainment or performance overall, opposed to being read. Is it that we just have yet to make the association or is poetry just now considered overall a performance art opposed to a genre of writing or a form of readable literature? After all, Shakespeare’s poetry was written and performed in plays, but is not Oedipus Rex and The Canterbury Tales not poetry, -only told in story form opposed to a play for the theatre? To enterprise on the sale of poetry in books, do poets need to make a story of their poetry?

Being a poet at heart, I have slipped poetry in most all of my books because of my love of it. If it aids the digestion of poetry by society being read opposed to viewed entirely, why not? It works well in children’s books; just ask Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein. It gets rather boring for me to write in story line format all the time for my fiction books, so I added poetry in some chapters to give it an old world feel or a Zora Neale Hurston inspired and soulful impression. In my non-fiction books I too added poetry, as I felt it conveyed a more emotionally charged point of view and sentiment. We shouldn’t be driving poetry in a funeral procession to a gravesite to be buried; we should resurrect poetry from its dying state, if it’s so loved and valued, then why not incorporate it in more stories and books? Sometimes you have to create the demand for something not in demand, even in the book or literary industry, by making it available more abundantly and inspiring the love of it –once again. So to all my fellow poets, I urge you, to resuscitate poetry from its dying state and incorporate it in your stories, until publishers and literary agents delete: “No poetry accepted,” from their websites and ads. I urge you to publish poetry books in all its various facets: Ballads, Bios, Burlesques, Dramatic Monologues, Elegies, Epics, Free Verses, Haikus, Limericks, Lists, Odes, Romanticisms, Shakespeareans, Sonnets, Tankas and Visuals, to name a few. Poetry isn’t something we should only hear orated or read on a Hallmark card or catch at a theatre or poetry reading club or forum. It’s more phenomenal than that.

Gioia, Dana. The Atlantic Online. (1991). Can Poetry Matter? Retrieved February 24, 2017 from

Angus, Kate. MM The Millions. (2014). Americans Love Poetry, But Not Poetry Books. Retrieved February 24, 2017 from

Hess, Gary R. Poem of Quotes. (2013). 55 Types of Poetry Forms. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from


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      John Hansen 9 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Bravo! I applaud you for writing this article in support of poetry, which to me is the greatest form of writing. I agree with everything you say. I enjoy writing short stories and flash fiction but I much prefer to write poetry and lately find myself writing poetry that tells a story so I can combine the two and the response has been very positive.