Charles Coe: State of Poetry

Mass Poetry

This is the thirteenth  in our series of essays on the state of poetry. For others, check our list.

An Open Letter to Poetry Reading Organizers

A couple of months ago I gave a poetry reading where I’d been paid no appearance fee and no one but the event organizer bought a copy of my book. (I don’t know whether she really liked it or was just embarrassed; I suspect a bit of both.)

So I’d spent my entire Saturday afternoon to make $13.95. Actually less than that, since I buy copies from my publisher. Plus, it was a three-hour round trip; while grinding my teeth on the drive home I did some hard thinking about how I believe presenters should approach poets to read at their events.

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