Poetry Sites Review
My background in poetry
I was a late bloomer when it came to writing poetry. I started in my early to mid twenties when I was struggling with some issues in my personal relationships. It became a way for me to deal with those issues and release my tensions. I only wrote for a few months at that time and then abandoned it for several years. I began to write again in my early thirties and have gained a deeper respect for it.
Until earlier this year I never had much of an interest in sharing my work. I would read over my poems and they would seem childish to me. I felt like I wrote at a middle school level and that my work wasn't worthy of being shared. My family praised my work, but I was skeptical of the their opinions since lets face it, they are family.
In April of this year I finally decided that I would take the plunge and try sharing my work online before seeking any kind of real publishing avenues. Since that time, I have found that the real benefit of using these sites is not in just sharing my work but in gaining inspiration from other writers and getting feedback to help me develop my skills.
This site has provided me with the greatest experience by far. It has user generated contests that are peer judged. This is a great way to find out how you are doing as a writer. It also seems to have better quality writers than what I have seen on other sites.
The nice thing about All Poetry (AP as many of the writer's refer to it) is that it is not confined to traditional poetic writing. Many of the members experiment with new styles and structures of their own creation. This gives writers like me a chance to expand on my abilities and experiment as well.
Through All Poetry I have learned about the use of brevity which can be fun and challenging at the same time. Given a specific word count you are challenged to write about a particular topic. I have also been challenged to use specific rhyme schemes and syllable structures through other contests I have entered.
Overall I really like this site because it does a great job of building community between the writers. You can easily search by subject matter or by writer. And the people on the site are very helpful in praising and also pointing out constructive criticisms.
So far this has been my favorite site and so it is my top recommendation.
This is a site I have started using a little more recently within the last month. I like that on here you can find works from famous poets as well as poems written by contemporary amateurs like myself. You can still search Poem Hunter by poem or by poet like the previous site I reviewed, but it seems a little more difficult to find like minded poets and build community.
One of the big draws here is that they hold regular contests that award actual money and an opportunity to be published. This contest is peer reviewed and there are millions of poets using this site so it is still difficult to win, but that is no reason not to give it a try to find out how you stack up to other writers.
One thing that is sometimes helpful and other times frustrating is that your work is always defaulted to be listed in alphabetical order on your profile page. This isn't really a big problem when you are searching for an individual poem, but when other members of the site check out your page they may not see your latest and possibly greatest work first.
Still this site ranks as my second favorite site based on maneuverability of the site.
In theory some of the practices of this site are good. Before your newly posted work can be seen by others you are forced to comment on at least 2 poems written by others. This makes their guarantee that within the hour your work will be commented on come true. The problem with this is that when you post your work you want it to go up quickly so you are in a hurry to comment on other peoples poems so you don't take time to really enjoy those poems.
I have also found that the quality of the writing on this site is sub par in general. I am no Edgar Allan Poe, but I do have decent writing abilities. I have been constantly frustrated with the comments I receive on the site. They show no incite and in some cases it seems that the person didn't even read my work before commenting.
The other problem I have with the site is that you don't really have a way to build community. When you click on comment on a poem, it just randomly dictates what you will read. You are given a slew of poorly written pieces with no regard to subject matter or style of your preference. To find poems in a style or subject of your liking is a pain as well. You are given a list of poems in that genre in order of the interaction they have received instead of by how recently they were added. So guess what? Every time you search that genre you see the same poems at the top of the list further perpetuating that they will remain at the top of the list.
I still use this site occasionally but it is definitely not a favorite.
So as I mentioned before the clear winner for these three with me is All Poetry. Since I am still relatively new to these online sharing sites, I would love to hear about others you have tried. Please let me know in the comments if there is a site you think I must try.
Also, I am curious to see if you have tried these three sites I mentioned and what you thought of them. Take my poll below or leave your comments for me.
Poetry Site Poll
What is your favorite poetry site?
© 2013 Eric Niehoff