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Debbie Guzzi's Blog

About Debbie Guzzi
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Deborah Guzzi travels for inspiration: China, Nepal [during the civil war], Japan, Egypt [two weeks before ‘The Arab Spring’], and most recently Peru. First published at the age of sixteen, she writes articles for Massage and Aroma Therapy Magazines. Her poetry has been accepted in the Literary Journals of Western CT. University, Inclement Magazine, Pyrokinections, Jellyfish Whispers, Grey Wolf’s Summer Legends Anthology, The Germ, Wilderness Literary Review, The Anthology Sweet Dreams & Night Terrors, Bitterzoet Magazine, haiku journal, Contemporary Haibun Online, Bella on line, The Autumn Sound, Eskimo Pie, and Ribbons, The Inwood Indiana Review, Five Poetry, Tanka Society of America Journal, and 50 haiku. She has published two illustrated volumes of poetry, The Healing Heart and Heaven and Hell in a Nutshell.

Getting Out There and Getting Paid

Blog Posted:3/3/2013 8:04:00 AM
Lately, I have felt a bit disenchanted with poetry sites. Being so absorbed in writing daily, I found this site to be very stimulating BUT I was unaware that everything I posted is counted as self published and not acceptable as an entry for publications which PAY. Below you will find the article which I just read that explains this clearly. The site is called

Writer's Relief


The definition of previously published:
Back when print publishing was the sole option for sharing work, previously published was a black-and-white term. If your poems, stories, or essays appeared in a book, journal, anthology, textbook, newsletter, newspaper, magazine, or any other publication, your work was considered published. If it didn’t, it wasn’t. Simple. But now, more complicated questions arise.

Previously published poems, stories, and essays:
Literary journals don’t want previously published writing because editors want to ensure that their publications are fresh, new, and unique. In other words, editors want to be first to discover your writing. Also, editors would prefer to stay away from any rights entanglements.

Is work considered previously published if I post it on a blog, Web site, large social-networking site, or online literary journal?
If you’ve posted your writing on any of the above sites, it is generally considered previously published.

Is my work considered previously published if I post it in a writing forum or Web board?
If the forum or Web board is private and intended for the purposes of encouraging feedback or community support, then most editors and literary agents will consider the work unpublished. But just in case, you may want to take it down once you’ve received feedback so it doesn’t appear online.

If the forum in question is public (that is, if nonmembers can see what you’ve written), then your work will likely be considered previously published.

What if I published my work on my blog or other Web site, but then I take it down before submitting it—is that considered previously published?
This can be tricky. Try not to publish your work online if you plan to submit it elsewhere (like print journals). If you did post online, no one can stop you from taking your work down and then submitting it, but be warned: Editors may not like this tactic.

Once your work is removed from the Internet, do a search of random lines from the work to make sure it is not appearing anywhere. (Warning: Google and other search engines will often archive old Web pages, so simply deleting something from the Web doesn’t mean it’s gone!) If an editor finds your “unpublished” work online, you might look irresponsible or, worse, devious.

If I publish an excerpt online, does that mean the whole work or part of the work is considered previously published?

Generally speaking, excerpts are okay to publish online, as long as they are on the short side (relative to the work in question).

Previously published novels and books:
The rules for determining what is previously published change when you move into the book-publishing business. Literary agents and publishers at traditional publishing houses have different expectations and goals than editors of literary magazines, so the concept of what it means to be previously published can shift.

It’s no secret that literary agents are keen marketing experts. The success of their business relies almost entirely on their ability to find and represent books that are not only well-written but also potentially lucrative. Because of this, work that is available online can sometimes be unappealing for a number of reasons. First, if the book is already being published and the writer is making money, the agent is cut out of those profits. Second, if a book is posted online as a free download, why would readers pay to read it?

The laws (and the industry jargon) are still trying to catch up to the technology. Keep in mind that the following points are general guidelines: Each literary agent or editor may have his or her own definition of what is considered previously published.

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  1. Date: 3/11/2013 3:02:00 PM
    Thanks for the helpful info. I was wondering about deleted poems and stories that were self-published.

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  1. Date: 3/4/2013 8:13:00 AM
    Good info and blog.

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  1. Date: 3/4/2013 7:30:00 AM
    Yes, Chris I am starting a daily habit [I HOPE] of writing one for myself and one for here..maybe..LOL, I need an editor believe it or not my grammar is far from perfect! If there is anyone out there maybe even 6 folks who want to try to submit work for publication we could all edit each other and help pick proper sites.

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    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 3/4/2013 11:17:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I think this is a good decision. But "a daily habit"? This is only a suggestion for you to mull over. Instead of writing "one for me, one for PS", how about not posting ANY of your new poems right away?(not instantly at least -- give them a few extra reads, etc). Hold off on the urge, read through your newly written poems and set aside any that you deem as being above par....and not simply above par, but even skeletons or conceptual pieces that might have a different feel to them; a new direction. I am an amateur with a long ways to go. Years from now, I for one don't want to find myself fading away, posting all of my poems on a site, simply for some back-patting. Yes, it is perfectly normal for us humans to desire some back-patting on a site such as PS. But for anyone wishing to eventually fly beyond, there comes a time to set more lofty priorities to attain such goals.
    Grisetti Avatar Joann Grisetti Date: 3/4/2013 11:10:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I am interested. I have difficulty editing my own work, and you are most helpful.
  1. Date: 3/4/2013 7:25:00 AM
    I believe I was able to reach that UK site by googling Poetic Republic, the link as printed didn't work in the google search engine. This sounds like great fun BUT..they also require Previously unpublished work

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  1. Date: 3/4/2013 5:14:00 AM
    Thanks Debbie. This very informative.

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  1. Date: 3/4/2013 12:22:00 AM
    Here is one to get your feet wet and perhaps win the cash for your summer holiday:

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 10:47:00 PM
    There is a tendency in the market place towards self-publishing and if you can prove a ready market for your work, then it might be easier to convince a publisher to take a chance on you. Also, note that very few poets make it big time. Publishers do not do the marketing for you. You must approach the outlets. You can submit your work yourself to be listed on Kindle Amazon for example, but it must be in the accepted form. Details are on their site. Here is a link to a software program which you might find useful.

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 3/3/2013 11:15:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I have blogged in the past on my fb page, Water Dance, regarding copyright. International copyright has last year been blogged about on this site. Please note that by South African copyright laws, once you are in print (electronic or otherwise), your work is automatically copyrighted.
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 3/3/2013 10:47:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    It's fun and simple to create your first draft, perfect and submit it - or even self-publish your work in Epub or Kindle at a click, if you wish. It costs a trivial $40. You can download a free 30-day trial here, for either Word or Mac:
  1. Date: 3/3/2013 10:46:00 PM
    In my experience, publishers are often more trouble than they are worth and they take the lion share of any profits. They do NOT get involved in marketing your work and they forbid you to publish the work in progress anywhere else - even in contests! So, you might sit with a winner, but they can and sometimes will wait up to 5 years before publishing - depending on their budget. You have no say in the design, etc. In the mean time, it will cost you huge amounts of $ to take out copyright on your proposed book and to renew it each year, until publication, and usually for 5 years after. They hold the international copyrights to your manuscript from the moment you sign with them. That is daft!

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 3/3/2013 11:21:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    As long as it is your own work, you can do with it as you please and submit it to as many contests or publications as you want to. Only if you are signed with a publisher or magazine deal, does the copyright issue come into play and you must adhere to the rules. Any legal costs will be for your account. So tread wearily before you sign anything.
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 3/3/2013 11:18:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    The main reason why magazines and internet sites stipulate the "new work, previously unpublished - and they draw a distinction between sharing on facebook and other sites), is that they do not wish to get involved in a copyright lawsuit.
  1. Date: 3/3/2013 5:49:00 PM
    This is a great blog, Debbie --very pertinent when posted on a poetry website such as PS. I don't have illusions of grandeur, especially about making money via poetry. I am into poetry for reasons other than money, but I think the idea of being published by a reputable publishing house, to be absolutely wonderful. If one wants to eventually be published by a reputable publishing house, it is definitely advisable to not publicly post poems that might hold publishing power. Yes, there are publishers who don't care about being previously published, but then there is the personal angle of offering the reader poems that are fresh, never seen before. There's nothing wrong with still posting poems, but the cream-of-the-crop-poems, the: "Humbly, this is the best poem I have written to date"-type of poems, are best not posted if one has the dream, vision, talent and drive to pursue a good publishing house. I have immediate family members and friends who have/are being published by internationally reputable publishing houses, and they all agree to set your cream-of-the-crop poems aside for now, no matter how strong your desire is to show to an immediate public audience.

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    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 3/4/2013 11:05:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Right, the marketability issue of the Rand makes sense to me. Even so, I figured there would be Saffie-poets being represented by overseas publishers.
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 3/4/2013 9:40:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Because the R/$ is not favourable. Few overseas publishers seem to take on SA poets - I have not found any SA poet represented by an overseas publisher. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place. :-)
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 3/4/2013 12:03:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    If you can, please ignore the typos as much as possible. Dankie.
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 3/4/2013 12:02:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    And why does a Saffie have to stick with a Saffie publishing house?
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 3/4/2013 12:00:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Sure, of course a poetry site can be a great experience for the testing the proverbial waters. And yes, publishers can turn out to be a nightmare for some people. I guess one of my main points is that even if one is going to self-publish, why not hold some poems back regardless so that they are seen for the first time in the self-publication.
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 3/3/2013 11:50:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I agree with you, Chris. However, I find a poetry site like PS great for "testing the water" insofar as the quality of your poems are concerned. The important criteria is "reputable publishing houses", so read the small print if you are new to the game. In SA there is only ONE publishing house dealing with poetry - and they are very selective: max 35 books and poetry volumes per year. :-(
  1. Date: 3/3/2013 4:52:00 PM
    I like the haibun form and soup has now added it but in tyoical form they gave an example which does not use a haiku..I'd like to know for sure and am researching whether tanka can be used

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    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 3/3/2013 5:37:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    My comp isn't enjoying the hidden link-scripts of the soup today. Again, if I wasn't clear enough, among certain elitist circles, tanka-prose should be labelled as tankabun/tanka-prose, vs haibun. If one mixes tanka and haiku, then "tanka-haibun" is a more logical label, since haibun literally means: a marriage of haiku and prose, and to label tanka-prose as tanka-haibun, without an actual haiku in it, technically doesn't make sense. I am not so strict with the labels, so I simply leave a footnote of: tanka-haibun, whether I mix haiku into my tanka-prose or not.
    Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner Date: 3/3/2013 5:19:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Of course tanka can be used. How? By simply writing "tanka-prose". There are elitists who still want tanka-prose to be held separately accountable to haibun(or "haiku-prose"). From "Haibun Today": "What of tanka prose then? Because tanka do combine readily, because tanka are more expansive (and dramatically more so in sequence), the prose component can better sustain an elevated or poetic diction in response to the verse’s call. This kind of heightened prose must be very abbreviated in haibun(haiku), for the bare haiku will not support such tension for long. So this is one quality that tanka prose offers that haibun cannot."
  1. Date: 3/3/2013 4:47:00 PM haven't checked these out myself. But here are a few to consider. Note: It is advised that any writer first get his/her feet wet in publishing by being published in NON PAYING journals/mags as a way to garnish tear-sheets (publishing credits) It does look better in a query letter to a publisher to say where you have had your work published, especially for paying markets. Some small presses will pay in copies, too. Oh... and Andrea is bang on with what she's saying. This is also true of small literary mags, too. And I am looking forward to you sharing your finds. Thanks, Hon! You're always looking out for us xox

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 4:21:00 PM
    one last thing. Just wanted to tell you that I am seeing amazing entries in your haibun contest. It make me wish I had sponsored a contest like yours!!

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 4:19:00 PM
    Continued..Anyway, there is no money in that business. She could barely make any money off it and she had to have people give her their poems to use for free since it was so expensive to put out a magazine with quality paper and mailing costs. .. You will be very lucky to find any magazine that pays you, and for that reason I highly disagree that we should not be able to give poems from online. After all, there is little chance that readers of magazine are also reading Soup's poems. MArie did not care about that stupid previously published rule and anyone with a brain would realize how ridiculous it is.

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 4:17:00 PM
    Debs, you will not find many magazines that pay for poetry. The vanity ones make YOU pay THEM (a subsciption fee). The GOOD magazine that try to be selective will sometimes let you have a copy of the magazine. When I was editor for Marie at Shadowpoetry, we put out a really nice magazine called SPQuill. She and I would decide which poems got in. Marie would always weed out about 90 percent of them and then I would select my favorites from among her 10 percent. This meant that the magazine was using good quality poems because Marie had very nice taste in poems and I didn't need to weed out very many poems . I usually liked what she liked.

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 4:06:00 PM
    I can let this stop me or I can figure out a way to do both? I think we can all help each other those of us who would be so thrilled by having our joy be at least one of the ways we find food for the table? I am going through a list now of Magazines which pay for poetry & I will let you come along with me.

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 3:27:00 PM
    I think it's a very stupid rule and I was well aware of it, Debs. When I hate a rule, I just go by the saying Rules are meant to be broken. (anyway, I have not published in years since I prefer just sharing online!)

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 1:14:00 PM
    Debbie, I hear you but I seriously think that someone, anyone that wants to make money writing poetry, unless they know someone very important, is more apt to strike it rich winning the megabucks--perhaps their odds might be better!! But--there is an alternative--will share later after more thought--sort of a shark tank kinda thing

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    cornish Avatar craig cornish Date: 3/3/2013 1:15:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    btw--please keep writing here!!
  1. Date: 3/3/2013 10:07:00 AM
    Debbie I find this very fascinating as well as incredibly eye-opening, I had no idea about this, not that I am seeking a publisher (ha). Still very interesting, great blog...

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 9:46:00 AM
    Aw, hon, I soooooo think that you should receive compensation for the art you create. It is not JUST that poetry is a poor-man's art. There is such a difference in fiction writers and poets. Storywriters can see PAGES as practice, a way to hon skills, but some poets get caught up by ONE WORD or one line, one verse? I think you should write as you like, CHOOSE a market, write FOR THAT market and what you choose to share on the net, treat like a mandela, lovely, worth sharing & free to land where it may. Whatever you end up doing, write what you want, what inspiration and heart calls for... thine own self, hon.... damn the torpedos & damn the markets. Hold your candle high! LOVE YA! GREAT BLOG

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 9:42:00 AM
    Very interesting, Deborah...I agree with Joann: one of the best blogs. A question: Do the writers always lose their rights? If somebody wants to make a movie based on a novel or a short story...the writers never keep the rights of their stories?

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 9:41:00 AM
    Thanks....was not aware of this.

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 8:38:00 AM
    I think this is a public site because I can read poems without logging in. Also, most of the poems posted here show up in a google search. Have you used Writer's Relief?

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 8:32:00 AM
    Joann, I glad you support me in this, I did read that if the site was private ie:members only ..the public can not read it..some publishers are OK with this.

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 8:30:00 AM
    Dee I would like to think my writing has reached a point where some one would pay for it LOL, anyway...perhaps I should go toward writing more haibun as an entry because most would I believe concider that [short story?] also don't we all write be cause we want readers? as well as for the release?

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 8:19:00 AM
    This is the best blog I have read. Most helpful, clearly this is an area we must watch. I rarely post many poems. I have run into contests that will consider the poems here as 'unpublished' but others that don't. Thanks for the warning.

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  1. Date: 3/3/2013 8:17:00 AM
    Hey, Sis. Well, only half-a-handful of poets will ever make any money for their poetry. I can make $5-$1,000 for a short story and not pay an entry fee for some contest. When I started to look into how to "earn" money as a poet, now there is a laugh, insert track here, my jaw dropped. I've been paid for my fiction, but to get paid for my poems I must give them $10-$25? Huh??!@# so I was aware of this. Now, in Canada, we do have some poets who manage to get an art's grant, find a reputable publisher and maybe sell enough to buy some groceries for a year. There is no money in poetry, only art and personal reward as far as I can see. Still, worth every wrangled, wrestled line, to me. And you..

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 3/3/2013 8:30:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    This book lists publishers looking for poems, what their criteria is, what they are looking for, what they deem as unacceptable, where to send, what they pay (HA! GOOD LUCK!) and how often/when they accept submissions.
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 3/3/2013 8:27:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    First thing, you have this book, right? If not, get it! xox
  1. Date: 3/3/2013 8:07:00 AM
    I think I need to stop writing here, I don't know if I can [fret] perhaps I can write one for here and one to hoard grrrr what a pain in the butt!

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My Past Blog Posts

More, More, More
Date Posted: 9/30/2014 5:22:00 PM
Published Poetry of the 21st Century [not mine]
Date Posted: 9/28/2014 2:41:00 PM
HELP the Meow Meow Pussycats!!!
Date Posted: 9/8/2014 3:54:00 PM
What Does Debbie Sound Like???
Date Posted: 8/29/2014 11:53:00 AM
Eunoia Review
Date Posted: 8/23/2014 7:58:00 AM
Date Posted: 7/30/2014 3:16:00 PM
Thank Ruben! OH Oh, Mr. O
Date Posted: 7/24/2014 7:38:00 PM
SHUF Home of Experimental Poetics
Date Posted: 7/22/2014 3:52:00 PM
Grrrr PS please STOP
Date Posted: 7/17/2014 8:27:00 AM
Dead Snakes
Date Posted: 7/15/2014 11:30:00 AM
I got 'splaining to Do!
Date Posted: 7/7/2014 11:03:00 AM
Date Posted: 6/14/2014 3:42:00 PM
Tincture - A Fine Magazine
Date Posted: 6/5/2014 3:22:00 PM
Smart and Small, Yet Says it All
Date Posted: 6/1/2014 5:42:00 PM
I'm Waiting!!
Date Posted: 5/27/2014 8:22:00 PM
Help Me
Date Posted: 5/17/2014 12:40:00 PM
Last Call Anyone Else want help? Spring haiku Contest
Date Posted: 5/13/2014 11:37:00 AM
Some Good Advise
Date Posted: 5/9/2014 3:21:00 PM
Andrea Dietrich, Joanne Grisetti, Susan Burch
Date Posted: 4/14/2014 9:17:00 AM
A Ghost Hunt by Jack Horne
Date Posted: 4/9/2014 5:32:00 PM
Intro to a VERY Friendly Publisher
Date Posted: 4/6/2014 5:17:00 PM
Thoughts on Faith
Date Posted: 3/29/2014 7:07:00 PM
God, Spring, Resurrection & Reincarnation
Date Posted: 3/21/2014 7:49:00 PM
What did you look like at Five?
Date Posted: 3/12/2014 9:00:00 PM
Writing, Writing, Writing
Date Posted: 3/6/2014 2:02:00 PM

My Poems

Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
9/30/2014Forever Blowing BubblesLimerickhumor,
9/28/2014Free FormVerselife,
9/23/2014Eccentric EyesSonnetpain,
9/23/2014Hiding PlacesHaibunabuse,
9/23/2014Daddies GirlFree versechildhood,
9/16/2014Holy is the LambFree versepeople,philosophy,
9/3/2014The Devil Made Me Do ItHaibunanger,feelings,relationsh
9/2/2014Watching the Shadows GrowTrioletnature,
8/26/2014Love Froze the FlameGhazallost love,love,
8/21/2014Mist RiseOttava rimabeauty,
8/19/2014Bewitching PowerRhymemen,power,
8/15/2014Unknown InnocenceSonnetfaith,
8/13/2014Mi CorazonLyricromance,
8/12/2014What Ever Gets You Through the NightVersefaith,
8/10/2014A Different FearVerseabuse,
8/7/2014Prayer for HarvestVersesky,
8/4/2014Black Ships SailTail-rhymeabsence,
7/31/2014The Sky Larked MoonVersemoon,
7/31/2014White Shoulder DreamsFree versemissing you,
7/31/2014Masked at MidnightBlitzmurder,mystery,
7/28/2014Velvet as Laughter - BlitzVersejoy,
7/24/2014Soar Among StarsVersegrowth,
7/22/2014Peek A BooVersebaby,

My Photos

Fav Poems

Poem TitleFormCategories
GodFree verselife,mystery,
Hard TimesCowboycowboy-western,family,fun
For Things Once CountedRhymeintrospection,loss,uplift
Defender of the WastesFree verseart,life,parody,world,
this is why i woo wordsVerseart,inspirational,philoso
ForbearFree versesad,
Gold FeverFree versefaithfaith,political,
SplatteredI do not know?life
EchoQuatrainlost lovewords,love,
Bells (after Poe)Lyricpassion
Respectfully, Emily DickinsonLyricintrospection
Give the End Back to the BeginningFree versededication,faithme,
The Bruised and Rotting PearCoupletfaith,hope
flyFree verseanimals
ABC's for a Young CaptainABClife
Not Entirely About Living In New YorkFree verselifeworld,light,light,
WoodcutterI do not know?warold,old,
DreamsFree versefaith,forgiveness
A Feed of ChipsNarrativefunny
Weep O WillowsVersedeath
Harlem BluesFree verseblack-african amerchildre
Summers EverlastingFree versenostalgia

Fav Poets

Carolyn Devonshire United States Flag United States Read
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Deirdre Omaidin Ireland Flag Ireland Read
Andrew Crisci United States Flag United States Read
Jim Fish United States Flag United States Read
Debbie Guzzi United States Flag United States Read
Nigel Fawcett Italy Flag Italy Read
L'nass Shango United States Flag United States Read
Andrea Dietrich United States Flag United States Read
Robert L. Hinshaw United States Flag United States Read
Chris D. Aechtner Canada Flag Canada Read
nette onclaud Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Sidney Beck Russian Federation Flag Russian Federation Read
Sami Al-khalili Canada Flag Canada Read
Charlotte Puddifoot United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Cyndi MacMillan Canada Flag Canada Read
T Wignesan _Not Listed Flag _Not Listed Read
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jack horne United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read