On Being A Published Poet
I am a published poet. It was in 2006 when I had my first published poem in a literary magazine late in the year. I started writing poetry as a means of expressing certain events in my life in the past four years simply as a means to "get it all out." I have heard it said that writing can be a great way of unloading one's innermost thoughts and feelings and was certainly better than just throwing and breaking things. As I started accumulating files and hard copies of poetry which now number in the hundreds, I surfed the Internet and discovered a number of lists that provide poetry publishers in journal and chapbook format. I perused each list, paid attention to what each journal publishes in the way of poetry style - avant garde, experimental, or traditional rhyming poetry. To be honest, I have little talent in the way of rhyming poetry but can compose a great narrative piece, avant garde poem, or something so off the wall it is humorous in itself to read.
Submitting poetry to different publishers is time consuming in itself. When I first started submitting, I would be sending emails to those who accepted email submissions, at least twenty a week. Those publishers who accepted only snail mail submissions, about five a month. Before I knew it, I would be receiving acceptance letters telling me a particular poem the editor of a journal liked is going to be published in the next issue of their journal. For me, it was exciting and a little scary, accomplishing something totally new to me. Of course, I also received just as many rejection notices, but I never stopped trying. What poems were rejected by one publication, I would send on to another. Publications that accept simultaneous submissions are great but other publications eschew the practice as evaluating poems for potential publishing can be time consuming. Plus, submitting requires maintaining a meticulous record of what was submitted to who, and when. I knew this at the beginning and have a huge file documenting all of this information.
Last year I finally purchased my own dot com site for my poetry. I continue to write poetry, drawing from real life as well as my dreams. Just this year I started creating visual poetry. I'm pleased with my ever growing resume of published poetry.