Merry Meet All,
I posted something about poetry readings and deleted it. But now I am here to write my thoughts again on the matter. There are two types of poetry readings. There are the genuine readings populated by those who actually work hard at their writing and get published in actual literary journals and those who self-publish and see it as the only way out. They are weak and honestly aren’t trying that hard. I admit that I published a thin volume of poetry myself. However, it is still in bookstores six years later, earned a stellar review from George Elliott Clarke and sold like crazy when it came out in print.
I prefer the actual readings by people getting their poetry published in journals and books. The readings are worth your time and you may be surprised that the poets are nice people. They may be open-minded about your work.
The other kind of poetry readings, while local and supporting local authors, tend to the ephemeral and transient type of authors. I would not continue to self-publish. You do not earn the same kind of recognition, can’t publish something with a traditional publisher once it is in print and thereby severely limit your literary career and reputation, and you have to pay. A writer deserves to be paid. The author is always paid, not the other way around. Ask yourself if that is what you really want for yourself.
If you agree to have something get published with a good magazine and they do print it or even reprint your article, and not get paid, even that is not as bad. You are creating a track record that you can have to impress an editor with later. I did say it is good to be paid. However, writing voluntarily has also opened doors for me in my career. Never doubt yourself or the value of your writing. Keep working hard and you will get there, believe me. I have published several articles with Circle Magazine. I am paid a token fee with The Source Journal. It starts small and once you have an article published, it is blissfully uphill in your career from there. So never turn down an opportunity. You may develop a long-lasting positive relationship with an editor.
If you have an editor who insults you in front of people, changes your words without telling you, is not reputable, or won’t pay you, just end your relationship with that editor no matter how painful and move on. There are tons of markets out there. Soon you will find your Zelda!! Ask the Goddess for literary inspiration. Try writing poetry at your altar. You may be surprised.