Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hit Me with Your Best Poem

Because I truly believe that people who think they hate poetry have just never crossed paths with the right poem, I took on the [possibly idiotic, ridiculously time-consuming, but] truly enjoyable task, two and a half months ago, of sharing a poem a day with the world at large. www.YourDailyPoem.com exists only to illustrate the vast diversity of the poetry genre. If you like poetry, check out the site to read both classic and contemporary work. If you don't like poetry, sign up for a month and see if you don't come across something that you like at least a little.

Getting in touch with poets to get permission to use their work is challenging. (Note to poets: you need a website!) Tracking down who owns the copyright to poems published 5-50 years ago is a nightmare. But connecting with poets, and talking with them about their work, is pure joy. And the biggest names have been some of the nicest to work with (isn't that so often the case?). Perhaps because the poets I feature write wonderful poetry--"reality" poetry that makes me laugh, makes me cry, touches my heart, fires up my brain--they are wonderful people to start with. I try to convince them to share a bit of themselves in their bio instead of giving me a laundry list of awards. Not that Pushcarts and NEA fellowships are anything to ignore, but I think it's much more interesting to know something about the poet than about his/her pedigree.

So, if you're a poet, I'd love to consider your work. Send your submission in the body of an e-mail to info@yourdailypoem.com, along with copyright information, publication details if applicable, and an author bio of a hundred words or so.

And if you're a poetry lover--or, even better, a poetry hater--give www.YourDailyPoem.com a try, then let me know what you think.