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How to Make a Living as a Poet

How to Make a Living as a Poet

By Gary Mex Glazner

Soft Skull Press, 2005

215 pages, (paperback)

ISBN 1-932360-69-7

MSRP $14.95

What a concept! Poets, are you listening? How to Make a Living as a Poet has complete instructions and countless examples of how to become a professional poet. Glazner has worked as a poet-in-residence; he once secured a sponsorship to take 100 poets on a tour of America; and he is a published poet. Not only does this author share details of his own success throughout this book, he includes interviews with major poets such as Sherman Alexie, Mary Karr, Paul Polansky and Naomi Shahab Nye.

In How to Make a Living as a Poet, Glazner offers a step-by-step guide to help you make your poetry pay. He writes, "(This book) contains life lessons from working poets on how to integrate the world of commerce with the art form of poetry." He says, "It’s not an easy task to become a working poet or a full-time poet. In most cases when people ask what I do and I answer, ‘I am a poet,’ their immediate response is, ‘Yes, but what do you really do?’" His goal with this book is to take another small step in changing the attitude and perception of skeptics and to encourage poets to take the leap to full-time poetry.

I learned from reading this book that opportunities for poets are much broader than I thought. Glazner and participating poets actually give many ideas for how to thrive from one’s art.

Is it difficult for you to fathom the concept of poetry as a livelihood? Does the idea intrigue you? Then you really must read this book. It might prompt you to solicit a poetry benefactor, for example, or to interest a hotel in hiring you to write pillow poems or to conduct fireside readings. Glazner shows you how to make money doing poetry readings in some of the most unlikely places—ordinary diners, for example, or a center for Alzheimer’s patients. And, of course, he touches on publishing. What poet doesn’t dream of holding a book of their best poems? Are you ready to make the leap? Then you need this meaty book.



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