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How to be a Poet

How many people consider themselves to be poets? Poets for a living? Part-time poets? A poet as a hobby?

You don’t have to have an MFA to be a poet!

There are many forms of writing that can be considered poems or poetry. Song lyrics, prose, formal poetry, the ever popular free verse, vignettes, poem novels, flash fiction, quotes, blogs, and so on.

I studied poetry with one of Amercia’s great poets while I was in graduate school. I don’t usually list this in my Bio or even bother to include my graduate degree, either. I want my poems to be liked for my poems and not because I may have some kind of institutional pedigree. I’m not knocking those who do.

I like to read poetry and attend poetry readings. I read poetry every single day. I read poetry in magazines, chapbooks, online, where ever I can find to consume it. It’s a part of my life.

I publish a free resource for poets that offers poetry markets, poetry contests, poetry news, and reviews of poetry books or chapbooks or interviews with poets just to help keep it alive.

Any form of writing is good for me; although poetry and short or long fiction are my favorites. I would rather write than speak — I’m not a talker!

To be a poet is simple! First and foremost you need to have a love for poets and poetry so if you aren’t buying poetry magazines or books or chapbooks then why not! Or at least read free poems online! Second, you need to write every day. You need to study poets and poetry and teach yourself every day. Edit your work! I edit and critique poems for a living and it’s amazing how much a poem improves when the punctuation is correct and the spelling! Submit your work!

Yes, it’s just that simple. Being a poet is work. Living and breathing poetry is the answer.

Here’s wishing you poetical success with your poems!