View Full Version : Poetry.com / International Library of Poetry / Watermark Press

Pages : [1] 2

01-31-2002, 07:29 AM
Hi folks,

This was just posted on our old "bewares" board (I haven't switched it over to here yet), and I thought it was important to share it here:

Name: Robert J. Funches
Subject: Attention to all poetry.com/ILP entrants
Email: rfunches@theearthnews.org

I am Robert J. Funches, one of many poets who has entered poetry at poetry.com/International Library of Poetry. In light of recent legal investigations, I have set up a website for people who have complaints or concerns about poetry.com/ILP to submit those complaints and/or concerns. This site, StopILP.com, is independently run by me, but I have talked with a legal firm and the Maryland State Attorney's Office, and the information will be collected in case of possible legal action and to help fellow writers and poets. If you have submitted poetry to poetry.com/ILP or any of its imprints, please visit www.StopILP.com. (http://www.StopILP.com.)

02-06-2002, 07:50 PM
As much as I detest what Poetry.com is doing, I am not sure the courts will agree to shut them down.

They are not blackmailing anyone or holding a gun to anyone's head to submit their poetry or even buy the material. I am well aware of the emotional impact their practices have on everyone - I too was taken in by them a couple of years ago - but can what they are doing be consituted as "illegal" ?

Pam Gebhard
03-11-2002, 06:53 AM
Dear Robert: 10 minutes til closing time here at the local library but I am very glad to have found your comments about poss. legal action against Intern. Poetry Society also known as Poetry.com, etc. You are more than familiar (as I wish I had been for the last 2 years, 2 pathetic years since I wrote staying home and getting the familiar "encouragement" form letters that anyone, even a trained rat would get if one would be naiive enough to write and submit to them, that is!) Anywhoo! I am totally furious with them for offering "false hope" to millions and making multimillions from the sale of say my 30 poems and over 15 of my poems recorded on Sound of Poetry. I am furious that I was month after month a recipient of the form letters and other garbage, encouraged by the prizes offered and NOTHING! I have to go. Definitely count me in pamgeewhiz@yahoo.com Power to the Poet!

06-10-2002, 12:07 PM
I feel naive, although I have only submitted 3 poems. I don't know exactly what they are doing, but I think it is stupid that they make money off of us by publishing OUR poetry in THEIR books then try to make us buy the books. We should at least get one free then have the option of buying more. And I don't know if anyone actually gets anything from them.

I am not going to submit anything else to them and start sending my poetry to a place that actually appreciates it. As long as I have the rights to my poetry (poetry.com says I do), then I'm okay with it. I won't go back, but I'm okay.

Thanks for the warning---I filled out the form.


07-10-2002, 06:53 PM
I entered the phone number of poetry.com at the Better Business Bureau to check its history and found this information:

"The Better Business Bureau has received complaints against the company that allege non-delivery of publications. The company has responded to complaints by fulfilling the order or issuing refunds. The company explains that there is sometimes a delay in releasing a book because the book is a compilation of poetry and they sometimes have to delay publication pending their receipt of the authors' approval of their work."

www.baltimore.bbb.org/nis...0000005437 (http://www.baltimore.bbb.org/nis/newsearch2.asp?ID=1&ComID=0011000000005437)

If that link doesn't work, just go to search.bbb.org/search.html (http://search.bbb.org/search.html) and enter in the phone number for poetry.com ((410) 356-2000) and you can read on some more.

I was very interested to read some of the horrible poems people sent in to test this site and their experiences. I just wish we could do more about it.

Never sending any more poetry there,


08-08-2002, 11:27 AM
ILP are great heartless-pitiful con-artist. I am 14 young naive and dead broke from buying plaques and book with my poem on them. I almost went to the conference where i was nominated as "poet of the year". It turns out that was a scam. so don't waste your talent on that frivolous stuff

08-09-2002, 03:53 AM
Poetry.CON as it should be re-named - sent a letter to an 11 year old telling her she too had received the Poet of the Year Award!

Shame on them!


08-12-2002, 02:14 PM
I figured this was not all it was cracked up to be when, on a complete whim, I took five minutes to come up with a poem and discovered that it was a semi-finalist. I laughed and thought it was a fluke (since I'm not a really a poet but a reporter and screenwriter). Then next year came around and they solicited me again. So again, I took five minutes to write. And yet again I was a semi-finalist. By then I got the hint.

Their scam is simple: inform people they've made it to the semis or finals and then get them to buy their mucho expensive collections. That's how they make money. I doubt anyone ever wins any prize money.

08-15-2002, 05:07 PM
I did a similar thing when I got the 1st "acceptance". I just sent in an awful poem, and even bought the book it is published in. It seems like every poem in that book was written with the same idea. I thought MINE was bad! Yikes! I'm sorry for those who've spent $ and got let-down. But now it just makes us more careful!

09-12-2002, 05:46 AM
Unfortunately, folks, I don't believe what they're doing is illegal. As long a people are willing to pay to see their words in print, there's going to be a business for this sort of thing. Given Poetry.com's success, I'm just thankful to see that they haven't spawned a lot more imitators.
I would like to make a suggestion to folks who are paying to obtain printed copies of their work. If you're willing to lay out that money, you could be using the same money to put out a zine or an e-zine featuring your work and other's work that you deem worthy of publication. YOU COULD BE DOING SOMETHING POSITIVE WITH THE SAME MONEY THAT WOULD HAVE A HECK OF A LOT MORE INTEGRITY.
As a community, I believe writers are doing the right thing by informing others of the con-artist nature of Poetry.com. It's just sad that so little is known about the nature of poetry publishing by the general public that such a business can thrive. They key to overcoming an obstacle like this is through education. To that end, this discussion board and others like it make significant contributions.

09-13-2002, 02:08 AM
it is true. they have done nothing illegal. it hurts to be scammed by them, but the way to fight back is to no longer submit and get the word out at places like this. the more who know, the less submittals. hit 'em where it hurts--the pocketbook.

09-25-2002, 09:07 PM
I've checked the website Better business Bureau System for online companys. They actually say their complaints are average for the type of company they are. They state what they do, and never offer you a free book, and give you the opportunity to turn down adding your poem into the compilation Anthology. Whether or not they actually give a cash prize, I don't know? That would truly be the only thing that I think you could get them for. I also entered a poem, and was told it made the finalist for prize...gave permission to have placed in the Anthology, but I knew that I didn't have to give them permission. So, what can you do. I thought the least they could do was to give me a book? I've sense turned down all other wants by them, the last being having my poem placed on a plaque, (for them to sell and make the profit on)...Let me know what you think?

09-25-2002, 09:19 PM
Oh and by the way, my poem was everything to me that i submitted. I know I read a comment from one about putting in a terrible poem and yikes of all the other bad poems. Well, I don't know how you can justify bad poetry? I suppose if it didn't come from your heart then it might be considered bad. For me, it would be hard to actually come up with a bad poem. Like trying not to brush your teeth right?? LOL

09-25-2002, 10:38 PM
<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--> Unfortunately, folks, I don't believe what they're doing is illegal. <!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->

I think a parallel example would be the suit brought against Publisher's Clearing House. They never made anyone order magazines or told any one that his chances were better for having done so, but the court still found that they "made willful misrepresentations to consumers in order to convince them to participate." Here's the link to the complaint filed by the Oregon Dept. of Justice:

www.doj.state.or.us/relea...012500.htm (http://www.doj.state.or.us/releases/rel012500.htm)

Clearly, Poetry.com is making similar willful misrepresentations and should be subject to the same ruling.

09-26-2002, 07:40 PM
I think the two cases are different, but correct me if I'm wrong...

The article that you reference us to states, "The lawsuit alleges that in conducting promotional sweepstakes, Publishers Clearing House makes wilful misrepresentations to Oregon consumers in order to convince them to participate in sweepstakes, purchase products, or order subscriptions."

Poetry.com does not make any wilful misrepresentations. They offer services for a fee and it is up to you whether or not you want to participate. They do hold the conference and they do deliver the products that they offer (and as stated before in the BBB report, if there is a problem they refund money or make good on their deliveries shortly after).

All that aside...I am not so sure that I agree with the outcome of the case against Clearinghouse. Everyone is capable of making choices and should be forced to take some responsibilty for making a wrong choice.

The only message being sent here is that if you aren't careful and make a wrong choice then you can put all the blame on someone else and not take any responsibility for your own actions. I don't like that message at all.

I think it is time for people to grow up, face the consequences of their wrong choices, learn from their mistakes, and move on.

09-26-2002, 08:45 PM
The claim against PCH said that they made willful misrepresentations by means of their printed materials, even though they never explicitly stated that buying anything increases your chances of winning.

I agree with you that the PCH decision is debatable. There is a degree of "caveat emptor" with all these examples. Not to put too fine a point on it, but since when is taking advantage of human nature illegal? It's what advertising is all about.

However, I think the substance of the two cases is the same: each professes a value that doesn't exist. And, since the courts have rules in the PCH case, the same legal reasoning should be applied to Poetry.com.

And while we're at it, they should take care of the International Star Registry, too.

09-30-2002, 08:26 PM
If all cases were treated with equality legal journals wouldn't have the capacity to fill a large 20 storey building!

Judges have guidelines to follow, of course, but when all is said and done, their rulings are made based on their own prejudices about a situation. They are human after all, so no matter how hard they try to leave their biases out of the court room, they see things and rule on things based on their own life experiences and knowledge.

Cases like these make me wonder if the people who want to sue these companies aren't more angry with themselves for being taken than they are angry with the actual company for what they are doing. It is so much easier to place the blame on someone else than it is to point the finger at your image in the mirror.

10-01-2002, 08:14 PM
<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--> It is so much easier to place the blame on someone else than it is to point the finger at your image in the mirror.<!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->

Of course, you're right, on all counts. I wouldn't mind seeing everyone take a step away from the lawyers and just chalk it up to "life's lesson learned." I mean, do we really need to contribute any more lawsuits to the already overly-litigious society we live in?

As it is, though, I'm more in favor of consistency in the law than anything, so unless the courts were going to admit they blew it on the PCH decision, they should be prepared to follow their own lead. But that's just me and I'm neither a lawyer nor an injured party here, so it's just one person's opinion.

pissed off
10-07-2002, 02:55 AM
okay i thought i was smart enough to avoid scams. Obviously i wasn't because i've seen crap printed in poetry.com anthologies.i'm not saying that its all bad but some people like me would submit bad poems to test out the company. And their ploy worked because everytime they would be told that they made it into the finals of the contest. In fact i've submitted a poem dissing the site and they still told me it was going to be considered for the contest. how dense are the people running the company? i bet they don't even have judges, instead there are just computers processing everything making sure that the "poems" at least meet the bare minimums such as the 20 line limit. the very 1st poem i sent in was something that i worked on really hard and i really did think i could win a poetry contest with it. but then i found out poetry.com was a complete scam and there is almost nothing i can do to stop them. They already have my poem and they are going to publish it. They get the money and the glory while i'm left here with nothing...

10-20-2002, 12:25 AM





11-01-2002, 10:59 AM
i too entered a poem that i worked hard on and meant a lot to me. today i got the semi-finalist letter and like anyone i was extrememly happy. happy until something told me this is BS. so after searching for info i came to this board. all i have to say is im ripping up the return authorization letter thing and throwing it out. i will never go to that site again.

ps-does anyone know any respectable poetry sites where i can send stuff and actually get it reviewed??? thank you.

11-14-2002, 03:03 AM
Heck, I sent them the worst poem imaginable and they thought it was great (go to the page and search for the author "Helen Bach").

These people are scum.

boldcow -- Try getting a copy of "The International Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses" (should be available at your library) for markets.

11-24-2002, 12:13 PM
"Cases like these make me wonder if the people who want to sue these companies aren't more angry with themselves for being taken than they are angry with the actual company for what they are doing. It is so much easier to place the blame on someone else than it is to point the finger at your image in the mirror."

I'm all for someone taking responsibility for his or her actions, but the fact of the matter is, Poetry.com takes advantage of gullible people. Sure, one would think he or she is smart enough to avoid a scam, but since poetry has had a resurrgence of popularity over the past couple of years, everyone and their mom seems to be a poet. What angers me about this organization is that it gives a false sense of hope to people who probably aren't good poets, while those who bust their butts at polishing their craft get little or no recognition. I've known a few people who were excited to have their work "published" or "win" from Int. Society of Poetry. I've spent a while convincing a former friend of mind that it's a scam, including giving her websites that have warning messages about the company.

Writers, regardless of genre, are a small minority. Wanna-be's are in abundance, anyone who wants to take advantage of a wanna-be, should be stopped.

11-29-2002, 11:23 PM
"Writers, regardless of genre, are a small minority. Wanna-be's are in abundance, anyone who wants to take advantage of a wanna-be, should be stopped."

All writers have started out as wanna-be's. I was one of them. It was my dream to be a writer..didn't matter what kind of writing, I just loved it and wanted to do it. I never had the opportunity to go to a fancy college or university - I was working full-time at the age of 15. I was sucked in by Poety.com and was ticked. Experience has taught me that there are all sorts of people out there who want to take advantage of those who are not as smart or not as versed in certain areas. I could go after those people who took advantage of my ignorance for the past 13 years, or I can choose to live my life by what I have learned. I have chosen to live my life and learn from my mistakes...today I am a writer.

There are always going to be the shady characters out there that border on being illegal and take advantage of those with a dream, but it is up to those with the dream to be careful and work hard to achieve their dreams. Just like our children, they can't be protected forever, and must make mistakes to learn.

Poetry.com and those out there like them get what they deserve eventually. What goes around comes around.

12-18-2002, 02:15 AM
I was sent a letter back in March of 2002 that one of my poems had been picked as a semi-finalist at poetry.com that month. I sent back all of the proofs for the anthology and the recording, but I didn't send any money. I wanted to buy it from a book notable book store, kind of an ego trip thing:) but the months kept rolling by and the release dates kept getting pushed back. I became very suspicious and started checking around. I have found put a lot about NLP and I have deleted all of my poems from their site, and sent them a nasty little letter too. I was one of the lucky ones and I thank God he gave the will power not to jump heart first into this.

Queen Phaedra
12-24-2002, 07:03 AM
:lol I entered a poem back in late 1995 to poetry.com, and they were just bursting with praise and telling me how great it was, I was going to be a finalist in their contest, so I bought the book and thought it was cool that my poem was published. I entered another poem, and the same thing was told to me. Eventually my status went from finalist to semi-finalist. I thought about buying another book, but didn't have the money. I do remember that the line "Wonderful verse! Recommend for the Sound of Poetry," was always at the top of their letters for each poem. When the same things were told to me after I entered another poem, I thought, "Ok, can they say ANYTHING original? They had all these other offers too, like one time I got a letter talking about they wanted me to be on their radio program, but you had to pay expensive fees first.

I wrote them a letter asking how they determined their
choices and who were their judges. I never heard from them and this was back in 96 or 97 when I wrote the letter. As a matter of fact, I got a letter in the mail praising my poetry on one side, and then on the other side, they were praising someone else! :rolleyes

I've never been to the conventions, but they always talked about how I was nominated for poet of the year, blah blah blah, trying to set up a mood by having me imagine that I was there, a hush over the crowd, and then the thunderous applause when my name was announced. I would like to meet the people who were named poet of the year from previous conventions. I wonder if those pictures they use from the conventions are even from those events.

I haven't sent anything to them in a few years and haven't heard from them, but when I first stopped sending them anything they would send me letters encouraging me to submit another poem and it would immediately be entered in another contest, and I should be proud of my talent. I like one of their letters that told me that only 2% of people considered had the opportunity to be published in this anthology that had the best of poets of the current year.

Unfortunately, however I don't think it will be shut down because people have the choice to buy the books or take part in any other of the offers, no one was forced or threatened. What might happen at the most is they will be forced to refund the people the money they're owed and stop being so praising in their letters, because that ropes people in to submit more. No one has the right to take advantage of you without your permission. With enough persistance, you can find reputable places online. I know I'm looking!

Everyone keep writing and sharpening your talent! Never give up!

Queen Phaedra
12-24-2002, 07:08 AM
I would love to learn how to do that...I don't want them profiting off my work! Please let me know!

01-09-2003, 12:03 AM
While deception is a given in marketing and advertising (and thus, acceptable?), outright lying is not legal. Yes, Poetry.com and it's sister sites do nothing to force one to buy their products, and perhaps everything that one submits actually is published --- but without buying the book, how can one ever verify publication for sure? It is fairly certain that no copy will ever show up in a legitimate bookstore or library.... But the lie is this... the author of a work is told that he/she has had his/her work CHOSEN, from thousands of works, of which many works were not selected. True, if you submit many works, you will find only one "chosen", typically. But, for EVERY batch of works, which you submit under unique email and physical addresses, you will receive a notification of having at least one entry "chosen". I am fairly certain that the 'CHOOSING' process has nothing to do with human selection of works of artistic merit. :hat :hat :hat :hat

01-09-2003, 09:21 PM
Good point...but think about it...

Out of all the submissions that they receive they only have to reject such a small amount to make that statement true.

01-27-2003, 03:04 AM
:b :b :b

Thank God I didn't pay any money but hey look on the bright side. They've just sent me a picture of a crappy cup and they will present it to me if (poetry.con used the word when you fly... ) I fly to Florida, pay them $600, listen to them taking the piss out of me, saying I'm a great poet. I just couldn't stop laughing when I saw the cup. I mean it looks so plastic and they couldn't even be bothered to change the year on it; it still showed the year 2000. :lol I suppose the sad thing is that they're making the money and not us (I think there's a poem there in that sentense. I think I'll send it off. Might make it to the final).

01-28-2003, 03:15 AM
WHile I agree that we must take responsibility for our selves, it is still wrong for a company to lie or scam money from people. Maybe it is a person's fault for falling for a scam, but it is good for them to complain also, to blow the whistle on them and save the rest of us some bucks.

Any business that can't abide by the law to survive should not be in business.

02-02-2003, 12:57 PM
my story is the same as everyone else's .......though I didn't buy anything (couldn't pay in dollars) .....but it still hurts!

02-03-2003, 03:54 AM
I had the same experience a few months ago. I have now banished it from my mind and erased it from my memory. I have however noticed people offering titles bestowed by Poetry.Com on their websites(International Poet of the Year, Eligibility to attend swanky conferences, The 'coffee-table anthology' containing their writing etc) while taking care never to mention the name Poetry.Com. I was wondering what you think of this phenomenon?

02-05-2003, 07:38 AM
After reading the back-and-forth here about responsibility for one's choices, I want to add that the people fooled by the International Library of Poetry's come-ons have included children as young as eight. I don't know whether that makes their tactics illegal, but it bears on the question of responsibility.

I remember being eight. At that time, the American Dairy Association was a sponsor of the weekly Walt Disney TV program. The commercials encouraged viewers to drink more milk. I didn't understand that a TV show was a commercial property. I thought the American Dairy Association was a group of people who wanted children to be healthy. Later I learned they were selling milk.

The one good thing about poetry.com is the free rhyming dictionary on their site.

02-17-2003, 02:22 AM
I have read here how some people feel they were mistreated by poetry.com. I submitted a poem, yes it was "selected for publication," but I have no intention of giving anyone money for my own work. I was offered a copy of the "anthology" free of charge, if I don't receive it, so what? If I do receive it, I know that I never paid any money for it, and that it will be filled with less than award winning poetry. Reality check people: If it is yours and someone wants you to pay for it, just don't! Recognition is great, but try recognizing a scam before you get suckered into paying anyone money. Yes, it is sad that children are suckered into this scam. But if the scam is explained, the child capable of writing poetry is capable of understanding the scam. Foster the creativity of children, not their gullibility.

Cindy Adamson
02-20-2003, 11:15 PM
I entered a poem in January 2003 that is very dear to me. It's titled "Letting Go", I wrote it while sitting in the hospital with my Uncle one night on his death bed. I was so flattered and honored to receive a letter that I was a semi-finalist and that they wanted to publish it.
I think that some are missing a point.
I wasn't even thinking about making money on the poem,
I just feel like it is such a wonderful way to honor my
Uncle and keep his memory alive.

It seems to me that people are upset because poetry.com is making money and their not, granted I can understand that it's work that's been done from our heart and soul and we should at least get a free book, however, I choose to look at it in a more positive way.
If just one person reads my poem and finds comfort in any way, then that's payment enough for me.
Financial gain isn't the most important for me, I've gained
so much spiritually from writing this poem and all I want to do is share that with anyone who takes the time to read it and for that I am truly grateful!!!!!!!

Have a Blessed day
and God bless

02-22-2003, 09:33 PM
Hi, this is my first time posting. I am a freelance writer and I have also come across poetry.com and others like them: I say this, I doubt what they do is illegal, as to if it is immoral, well that is subject to each persons perception. I got so fed up by being solicited to enter contests that I sent an entry as such:
Imagine my surprise when notified regarding my promising poetic talent!:b

I say as with anything in life, make decisions cautiously and based on actual factual information. I started out a "newbie" (Hey! wait I am still a newbie.:o ) and fell for many traps- which worked on my ego quite effectively. Now- I made a decision to not GIVE any of my writing away. If it isn't worth paying for, then I will look elsewhere. (Aside from any newsletter- charity type writing I may decide on.) I only enter contests I am 99.5% certain are legit- Writers Digest for example. I tend to go for those with no entry fee if I am uncertain of their origin.
I say keep the faith, keep writing and as long as you learn from your mistakes, you are that much further ahead.
Warmest Regards
Back to the writing board :smokin

02-25-2003, 05:39 AM
I entered one of my heart felt poems into their contest. I was excited when I recieved a letter telling me that I was a semi-finalist, and that my poem would be published in a book ($59.00) (I payed the $59.00 for the book, not knowing it was a scam) I later recieved a letter informing me that I was invited to the spring convention in florida at walt disney world. BUT.. I had to pay $595.00(!!!!) JUST to attend. And with me being a minor, My mother or father would ALSO have to attend, costing an additional $495.00 each. We couldn't afford that (I mean, how many people can??), and I didnt mind not going. I then recieved a letter and email telling me that i could still recieve all my awards (to name a few: poetry medallion, silver award cup, $100 gift certificate, and 1 year subscription to a poetry magazine), even though i am not attending. BUT I would have to pay $169.00(!!!) to pay for someone to read my poem at the convention, shipping and handling, AND to pay somewhat of the awards. Why should I have to pay for something that I won? Im not going to pay that. I then started to research poetry.com, poets.com and a few more all to be scams. They tell you that the book that your poem will be a well-read coffee table book. HOW CAN IT?! When it costs $65.00?? Anyways.. I just hope that this has helped some people to know that it IS a scam.. and all they want is your money. I am a teenager, and it has hurt me. But, my writing I feel, is still pretty good, and i bet yours is also. Just because it is a scam, it DOES NOT mean your writing is bad. I want the word to get out about it being a scam. This scam, is just not cool. :\


03-07-2003, 03:34 AM

I read your statement below, and would like to know how you erased your poems from NLP, because I want to do the same thing.

Where do I go? What are the procedures?

Thank you very much.


03-22-2003, 11:55 PM
I've read all of your comments and it seems though you are mad you haven't heard all the stories, because there is most definatly something wrong here ligally! On a previous sight I read a very destraught letter from a girl that had sent the company almost $250!!! She never recieved one of the five anthologies she ordered, furthermore when she e-mailed thier service she was avoided and when she called they told her none of her poems had even been published. If this was not a scam, I don't know what is.

03-26-2003, 01:53 PM
In December of 2002 i entered my poem on poetry.com and i waited days and weeks to here something from them so then on January 20,2003 I got a letter in the mail from them telling me I had been chosen to be published in their spring 2003 hardbound anthology and I was happy
So my mom and dad sent them the $67.95. So i thought
that i would finally have something that i could show people and tell them hey look at what i have acomplishied. so here it is spring is all most over and no book, and then i come to find out it is all probably a scam. This has just broken my heart.:(

03-30-2003, 04:11 PM
I submitted my poem to poetry.com about 3 months ago. Not because I expected anything back, but because I had some poems I wrote back in high school creative writing class. I submited them and didn't give it a second thought. It was a contest, so I didn't think I would "win" or "get" anything, and I didn't expect to.

In january, I recieved a letter addressed to me that said my poem had been selected to be published in one of their books. I was at first skeptical, but I read it just in case. Later, I decided I really didn't need it, and it wasn't real anyway, so I threw it away.

Yesterday, I got another one of those letters, only this time telling me my poem was selected out of 33 people to be put in the "sound of poetry" CD. It looked believable so I saved it. They had my poem there and forms to fill out if you wanted to buy the book or CD your poem was in. I found it quite odd how they said you had to pay for the book and CD yourself. If they are using YOUR poem in THEIR books, shouldn't YOU get paid for it? why should you have to pay for your own work?

Maybe I am the most neive person in the world, but I actually thought my poem was special, and I thought they liked it. It's a small short poem .. and my friends and family all like it. But .. it all makes sense now. After I told my friend what I got from them, she told me that it was a scam. I didn't want to believe her, but I typed in "poetry.com scam" in a search engine, and sure enough I found alot of results (including this board) about them and their scam. It's so easy. Have people submit their poems, and to everyone who submits, they get a letter. However, these people don't get "sorry you have not been accepted" letters; they are all told that their poem was picked out of 33 finalists to be published in a book and CD. THAT YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR. They make it all seem legit. They send everyone letters telling them what a wonderful poem they have written and how it has been "specially selected" to be published. While they are buttering you up and telling you of your "poetic genius", they try to get you to purchase a plaque with your poem on it, and also a CD with your poem and others on it. Hey, they even go as far as to say that NORMALLY people pay $79.00 for the poems CD, but since you are such a "poetically gifted" person, you will only have to pay $59.00! oh wow, and they give you a $10.00 coupon too. So really, if you take them up on their offer,you will only get scammed out of $49.00. Now, that's a deal.

In fact, I am QUITE sure that you can send a poem to them consisting of "I am a cat in a hat" and they will probably still send you one of those stupid notices telling you you've been selected and that they want to publish your poem. It may not be illegal, but it SHOULD be. Know why? not only are they making MONEY off people's poems, they are also crushing alot of people's hearts when/if they find out this is a scam. Oh yes, and do you see the 9/11 section of their site? how freaking low do you have to be to scam and rip of people who write about their dead family members and put their hearts into their poems?

I am going to write them a letter back telling them i'm on to their little scam. It may be pointless and fall on deaf ears, but i'm just gonna do it just so they know SOMEONE out there knows what they do. They probably think we are all fools, submitting poems, thinking that it got "selected", and then shelling out money to buy the book and CD. Well, I won't do anything like this again, and I hope more people know about this so they don't get scammed and hurt by this cruel injustice.

04-16-2003, 10:36 PM
Does anyone have information on a company called American Poets Society? They too could be in the scam business

04-17-2003, 07:47 PM
There's something to be said for a woman's intuition!

After I submitted my work and received the form letter telling me I was a semi-finalist for the $1,000 prize, I was excited but skeptical. I held off on sending in any money for the anthology. When I received a second letter for another poem, I realized their game plan. Although I think my work is worthy, poetry.com will not see any more of it. Does anyone know how to get poems deleted from the site?

04-21-2003, 05:04 AM
I have a sad story to tell you. The National Library of Poetry has been exposed as a scam on one of the evening news programs in recent years. They are the same who run the Poetry.com site. The only goal is to get the writers to buy thier books/CD's/whatever.

When I was 14 years old (nearly 10 years ago) I sent in a poem to the NLP and got great reviews, and editors choice award, and an invitation to be included in "The Sound of Poetry" recording. This was all fine and great except they wanted my to buy the book I was published in called "Where Dreams Begin" which was offered at a publishers "discounted" price of $49. My parents bought the book. Three years ago I read the poem I wrote from that book. It made no sense at all! Not a single line meant anything. No editor would have chosen it. It's called "The Slow Understanding of Love and Hate" if you wanna read it from the "Where Dreams Begin" edition to see for yourself, if you can find it anywhere.
Since becomming a freelance writer and learning about the business I have also come to the realization that I was heisted in my youth. The National Library of Poetry is a scam. They may possibly give a lot of people the wrong understanding of the publishing industry, though at times seems shady too.



04-22-2003, 04:21 PM
A petition to shut down Poetry.com: www.gopetition.com/region/237/1044.html (http://www.gopetition.com/region/237/1044.html)

04-26-2003, 03:23 AM
I am one of the poets that haven't sent anything to Poetry.Com. I became a little suspicious, and searched around. I am going to hold back until it is verified.

04-26-2003, 04:07 AM
lol .. there's really no verifcation needed. All you need to do is go to poetry.com, look in their poems section, and see what kind of poems are there. Alot are good, but most are awful. I just saw one called "wanita stopped givin' me play". Now, no reputable poetry site would ever have poems like that on their site.

04-26-2003, 10:14 PM
But, isn't false advertising illegal? After all, their brochures claim that their anthologies are to be found in libraries, book stores, and even used as source books for poetic talent by recording companies in the music industry. I have NEVER seen any of the books bought, sold, or even any where near the meantioned establishments!

04-27-2003, 12:47 AM
I don't think false advertising is illegal. I agree its not right though. The problem with the goverment today is that many things slip though the cracks. False advertising happens on TV all day through commercials. Like take mc donalds for example; they talk about how good and how delicious their food is, but they don't say it's bad for you, because then that wouldnt make them look good.

Poetry.com is a sleazy scam. Not ONLY because they practically steal people's money, but because they care nothing about poetry, they fool people and take advantage of people. Just look at the 9/11 poems of their site. Those poems were written with people's hearts, and poetry.com couldn't care less if they are taking the money of 9/11 victims.

05-02-2003, 05:24 AM
They gave me an ISBN number, I wonder if thats fake too, because thats a federal offense

05-05-2003, 04:59 AM
:\ i'm in the same situation as most of you. I wrote, I posted, I got my hopes up and I was disappointed.
But atleast you in the US can be part of any lawsuits which are filed against these people. I'm outside of US jurisdiction.
I didn't buy any books (thank God) but MY work is being pimped (yes it's being used to screw innocent people), and I don't like it. I was advised by a family friend, who is also a legitimate poet laureate, that I should make sure that the poetry is in my copyright ONLY and distance myself from further dealings with the site.
Does anyone have an email address for these people? And does anyone know how to delete one's poem from the site?

05-05-2003, 11:28 PM
I think this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture, be done on somebody's part.

I say start submitting trash to poetry.com (e.g., grocery lists, gibberish, perhaps even full-frontal assaults on poetry.com). They will all be deemed "semi-finalists" and the geniuses at poetry.com will send out their wondersful letters. Let's run up their postage expenses!

...I thinks that's how they got Capone.:rollin

05-06-2003, 11:33 AM
lol .. even that wont show them. They don't care. They already have nonsense crap on their sites .. they don't even remove it. >_<

05-08-2003, 10:10 AM
Oh well

05-08-2003, 12:29 PM
I like the idea of running up their postage expenses. ;)

But seriously, what can we do? We're all outraged, we all know how shady this operation is, and we all know innocent writers are being conned out of their money.

I've reported them to the Better Business Bureau, with disastrous results-- the BBB basically told me that the National/International Library of Poetry/Poetry.com was in good standing and was doing nothing wrong. I couldn't believe it.

So... writers, let's unite. What can we really do to get rid of this company? How about if ALL of us mail letters to the BBB? Maybe then they can't ignore us...

05-08-2003, 12:58 PM
lying to, misleading, stealing, and taking advantage of children, 9/11 victims and the elderly is doing "nothing" wrong? maybe the "BBB" has a different defination of "nothing wrong". "Good standing" my foot.

05-18-2003, 10:17 AM
Cannot believe that so many of us just wanting to be noticed have been scamed. Myself included. I did not write for money. Unreal. Well is their anywhere I could submit poems for real evaluation or recognition? I should have recognized it was wrong when they said I won an award and asked me to pay for the event and seminar to recieve my award in Florida. Something else . How do any of us know our personal info is safe? There is no passwords!

05-18-2003, 08:45 PM
If you want to send letters to the BBB, then you need to find some previously decided case where a decision has been made. For example, maybe there’s a decision out there against a company that preyed on the emotions of the elderly to sell them a misrepresented product. I'm sure there have been cases against companies such as these. But it would be difficult to shut them down just because they hurt our feelings.

Also, it would be interesting to track down some of the alleged prize winners to 1) prove their existence; 2) see if they were actually given any prizes. If the real winners don't exist, then it really is a scam by offering bogus prizes. Just curious, has anyone here been more than some incarnation of a finalist? Anybody really win any of the big bucks, no whammy that they offer?

05-23-2003, 08:27 AM
I submitted something (apparently 7 weeks ago, that's how long it takes to get your first piece of junk mail) and recieved their garbage in my mailbox today. I was fairly apathetic about it. I checked around the web for poetry.com to see what they were about. Quite interesting. So, I took it upon myself to add some graffiti to their web site. Not a hack or anything. Just search the name: (last name) Enhowe, (first name) Dewey. It's a slap in the face at them. You'll find the poem under the name - Dewey Cheetham Enhowe. Fitting.

My point is, why not just clog their system with crap writing? They have to pay postage on the mail they send out, right?

Remember, search (last name) Enhowe, (first name) Dewey. "Bucket of Three Dollar Bills". Keep writing, folks.

05-23-2003, 12:22 PM
heh heh heh

05-23-2003, 07:57 PM
Send Them

this here
peace of crap
and if it is to be
given a
well done and
slap on back
they are to be
publishing hacks

05-27-2003, 01:21 PM
Yeah, I got one of these "semi-final" letters yesterday but I can't say I was overjoyed; just suspicious because a) my poem was pretty mediocre and b) all these ridiculous prices to see my own work in print. Like I'm going to pay over AU $100 to get my crappy poem in a book which I'd be too ashamed to even show anyone.

My favourite part was where they said that if I was going to have a biography included it would cost a "little extra to cover costs of compilation etc" - how does it take $50 to type up 50-100 words?

So yeah, thought I'd check it out today and I found this board; it's good to know for sure what I suspected.

It's stupid; I wish I hadn't submitted anything now if I'm going to be solicited with their crap. But since I'm not going to reply to any of it, I suppose it's at their cost, huh - and they are, after all, footing the cost of international postage. ^_^.

>My point is, why not just clog their system with crap writing? They have to pay postage on the mail they send out, right?

Yeah, let's find out what countries they'll have to pay the most postage on and invent names and addresses there; that'd be good.

I suppose it's a rather clever ploy if you think about it, but too bad for those who really are fooled; I think they could still make money by genuinely choosing reasonably good poetry (eg not sending congratulatory crap in response to *every* piece submitted) so at least you wouldn't be ashamed to see your poem in print with the others. And hey, they could probably still make some money from people who know they are just paying to have their stuff published but don't mind because they think it's cool that way.

But my conclusion is definitely: you shouldn't have to pay for something they are 'honoured to bestow on you'.

-Leto ^_^.

05-31-2003, 11:30 PM
I guess the turnip truck is overloaded. So many folks fall off of it. It is no secret that there is no market for poetry as such. When is the last time you saw a poem in a newspaper? Yet my grandpa used to make money writing poetry for the papers.

There are only two wasy to get your poetry
published. One is to publish it yourself, and then give copies to friends and family.

The other is to submit to one of the jillions of "little" magazines that publish poetry. If your poem is accepted then they will pay you in copies. You may have to buy an issue up front. And they do screen for quality, so it helps if you have studied poetry in school and have read the better poets both traditional and modern. Just having the urge is not enough.

One other comment: the internet is not the only resource in the world. In this instance it is not even the best. Visit your library and talk to the research librarian. Look in the annual "Writers Market." If I were serious about getting any of my poems published that is where I would start, not online.

John Culleton
BS Ennglish 1960

06-01-2003, 09:11 PM
As a lawyer and a new member here, I find this thread very interesting. There's no shortage of misrepresentation on the internet; regardless of the merits, I think there are enough flags present that anyone considering entering a relationship with Poets.com should do so with caution.

As to these interesting comments:

Judges have guidelines to follow, of course, but when all is said and done, their rulings are made based on their own prejudices about a situation. They are human after all, so no matter how hard they try to leave their biases out of the court room, they see things and rule on things based on their own life experiences and knowledge.I know a number of judges personally who would be deeply offended by that assertion; in fact, a ruling made in this manner would violate the judicial canons of ethics. While it's true that no person can leave his preconceptions and life experience in chambers, judges for the most part do follow the law to the best of their ability. Sometimes you hear about surreal rulings that appear biased, but those are exceptions, not the rule. Especially in motions practice, I've found it's often straightforward to sense the likely outcome of the hearing--obviously, the clearer and more settled the law, the easier that is (and of course vice-versa).

You can spend a semester struggling with the issue in a law school jurisprudence class (and I have), but when you get out into the real world, it turns out most judges are trying to make the best ruling they can under the law. Not an easy job.

Cases like these make me wonder if the people who want to sue these companies aren't more angry with themselves for being taken than they are angry with the actual company for what they are doing. It is so much easier to place the blame on someone else than it is to point the finger at your image in the mirror.I must respectfully disagree. The defense of "the rube should've known it was too good to be true and therefore deserved what he got" is a classic defense in the common law of fraud, and its wholesale rejection is equally classic. A person's gullibility does not excuse the deceit. Deceit is immoral, and deceit for financial gain--that is, fraud--is both immoral and illegal.

It is the very essence of fraud to prey upon the vulnerable. Whether it be a little old lady buying into a pyramid scheme with her retirement savings, or a hopeful writer banking on a publishing gimmick, people with high hopes and naivete are targets for con artists precisely because they're likely to fall for it.

To suggest otherwise implies that fraud should only be illegal when it cleverly hoodwinks the savvy--and that just doesn't make very much sense.


06-02-2003, 11:39 AM
Well I believe that this "scam" of poetry in poetry.com is quite amusing! Humbly, I believe that I am a good writer and a good poet. Whether published or not, I feel sweetly praised by my own work. A fake copy of massively sent letters of "praise" and "recognition" for poems *good and bad* doesn't give me the key to feel more of a queen. The writer is in me, along with all its muses. Yes, I believe it's a shame how this company is using the choir of the human race in the art and creativity of one's own vision is quite horrible when taking avantage of it! Every person has the "muse eye" of sweet, inspirational invention in them. But what a haste and tasteless crime it is to use these artist for money! I have been getting those letters recently about getting published in their anthologies and sounds of poetry, but not at all have i felt overjoyed or felt truly overwhelmed in being published in their domain. Now that I know it's a scam, I in a sense feel overwhelmed that I don't have the money to go through their crap anyway. It's a shame. I observed that all that this company is gettting is MONEY MONEY MONEY. To who? TO THEM ONLY, NOT TO US! WHY SHOULD WE PAY FOR OUR OWN WORK! I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEM DISPLAY THEIR ARTISTIC TALENT AMONGST ALL OF US WHO CAN!
For all of those that felt sad and hurt over this scam, please, don't bother in the pity of their useless crime. They are abusive towards true mortality. But if you, a writer or a poet of any kind, have that true mortality in yourselves to keep on writing, take your light in flight and let God be with us all! :D

06-02-2003, 12:35 PM
I submitted by first poem back in 1996, I think before the website was put up. I have sent in a number of entries since then and even bought a book, 2 plaques and a recording on cassette. I got 2 offers to get my poems recorded, and I too got the 'don't tell anyone else' note about it. But, I don't really think what they're doing is illegal per say. My poems really mean something to me and I was genuinely trying to get them out there and recognized. I was very disappionted to learn that this was all a scam. It's sad, but we should learn from it. I haven't visited them in a while because they don't have my country of residence on the list, so I can't send entries even if I wanted to. So does this mean the International Library of Photography is the same deal? That sucks! It was all too good to be true anyway. Oh well, c'est la vie!

06-10-2003, 08:49 AM
Hey, I've got an idea. What if a bunch of people all submitted the SAME poem to poetry.com? Would they all get the letter about "your unique talent"?

And what if that poem were very well known and very long--say, "Paradise Lost"?

06-10-2003, 09:09 AM
Nope, it still wouldn't matter. Poetry.com doesnt even READ or evaluate any of the poems that are given to them. There is already questionable and horribly bad written poems on their site. That is because they don't care about any of the poems submitted, so even if you do send in the most horrible poem, or the most easily reconized one, you will always get the same exact letter. You could submit the pledge of allegance to them and claim that you wrote it, and they would STILL send you the same letter. They don't care about anyone's poetry at all. They just want people's money.

06-12-2003, 04:11 PM
>: i have recieved several letters in regards to this website and found that they truly rip people off.. they are now calling themselves the international society of poets.. i am glad that didnot send my monies to this place.. it is a great let down for those upcoming and inspiring poet writers... thank you :hat :rolleyes

06-14-2003, 02:23 AM
It's too bad the site on the first post of this thread hasn't been updated.

How is poetry.com and the other site able to keep going if they're scamming?

Also, to include my experiences, I had to sign a piece of paper four times over the years on ONE poem. It was to be included in four different books. Yearly, I am asked to pay them 4 to 5 hundred dollars to pay for a meal, plaque, and whatever they want me to pay for. I even have to pay extra to have some 'famous celebrity' that I've never heard of to read my poem outloud.

Needless to say, I didn't buy a tape, book, plaque, not a single thing!

And I agree with what someone said earlier.. WE, the writers, WE should be getting paid for our poems to be included in books. WE should be getting the money, not the other way around.

I hope this situation will resolve itself one day.

06-28-2003, 03:41 AM
ok, i have to admit, if you pay money to buy the book, its not illegal, tho its not right either. But what makes me mad is that I never gave them permission to publish my poem in the anthology. I didn't return the Artist's Proof and they still are publishing it. Everytime i tried to email them, i get the email returned saying that the email address was not found. I mean, give me a break! I don't want to call long distance just to tell them not to publish my poem.

07-02-2003, 12:04 AM
Ha! I am a really crappy writer and when I discovered poetry.com I thought " Gee, maybe I can win some money!"
:lol I started with those silly once a day contests ( haiku, poetry in motion ) Today after I submitted my haiku for the day only a portion of it showed up. I wanted to edit it. But guess what? In order to edit it I must first register with poetry.com ( SAY WHAT???) I suppose that means I must pay them some money? Well, I couldn't find any info on how to do THAT so I called. After being placed on hold for 10 min. I hung up. I realize: SCAM...They hook you with a chance to win some money . You play along for about 3 days. Then about the 3rd try your poem fractures. Now your upset because you believe you really have a chance to win. Your on a roll.....You want your poem to show up. Here, here Mr. Poetry.com man. Please take my credit card #!!!! I am so glad I found this sight. I knew something was amiss!
I am very sorry to hear that truly deserving writers are being shafted!!!!!:|

07-02-2003, 05:26 AM
The thing is, I don't think most of the Poetry.com shaftees are "truly deserving writers". At best, they're exceedingly naive hobbyists. At worst, self-styled amateur "poets".

07-02-2003, 10:32 AM
No.....But if you are a very good writer with little experience....hey....poetry.com sounds legitimate enough. And some people, stuck way out there in the middle of the rolling plains, well... hey....sounds promising! And they may say to themselves " I count! I am worthy!This is my big BREAK.....thankyou lord JESUS, I knew I had TALENT! All the while pounding the floor with their eager and undeserving fists. Hoady doe doe. When I look at all the pollutants eminating from poetry.com I say to myself " Boy, I'm sure glad i'm not floating around in that caldron of waste !"( yet, I'm part of that dank stench, believe me! )
If I get a letter saying my crap poem has promise, I'm going to thank them profusely and exclaim " I'm poor,but OH SO Proud! thanks again LORD HEY-SEUS" I'm a writer now. Yippee. I always thought I was just a dishwasher.......:rollin

07-14-2003, 12:24 AM
i've long abandoned poetry.com but i'm still getting emails from them (i.e. "news about your distinguished poem!") :p geez... i wonder if that steve michaels guy has seen this board?

07-15-2003, 02:35 AM
i was about to send my check in for 2 books, thank god I followed up on it, which i do with everything now. Although, I went on bbb online (better bus. bur.) and they said they were a satisfactory business. but I believe the pages and pages of people who were scammed. I just hope, nothing would have come of this.
thank you everyone, and sorry for you.

07-15-2003, 02:42 AM
with all of these people; couldn't we start our own poetry book?

little bird
07-15-2003, 02:41 PM
I only found out about Poetry.com because my sister, who has a habit of sending me things and asking me "is this for real?" sent me an e-mail from Poetry.com that she got.

In fact, all my family has started doing this since I started sending them the snopes.com entries for all the much-forwarded AOL stuff they were sending me. Poetry.com wasn't on snopes, so I did a yahoo.com search. If you've tried this yourself, you can imagine all the entries I found, including this site.

As regards the legality or otherwise: first of all, they claim to award a prize, variously quoted as $1000, $10,000, $20,000 depending on whether it's monthly, annual, semi-annual, what-have-you.

IF they actually award these prizes, then no, they aren't doing anything illegal, just maybe unethical. IF they aren't awarding the prizes, then yes - something actionable is going on.

Well, there might be a question as to the legal definition of "finalist" or "semi-finalist." That does imply that you have been forwarded to a narrower competition bracket, ie more likely to win. If in fact EVERYONE is declared in that category, it might be an actionably fraudulent claim - I'm not sure what the laws about that language really are however.

As for the prizes - if they are smart, they DO award them. After all - why not? It gives a veneer of legitimacy to their organization, and I'm sure even the larger prizes are only a fraction of a percent of their takings from the books, the plaques, the conventions, etc...

In the end, your best protection from scams (and please - share this advice with all your friends) is to ask yourself one simple question: Does it seem too good to be true? And before accepting ANY offer, no matter how fair or reasonable it seems , always follow these 3 steps:

1) Do a search online (Yahoo, Google, whatever your favorite Search Engine is) for the name and/or description of the product/offer/contest/company. Try several combinations and ALWAYS try the name of the company and the word "Scam."

2) Try to find a real-world address and phone number (NOT a 900 number!!!) for the company. Confirm by calling the number, and by looking the listing up in an online yellow pages. For certain types of things you might check with the local Chamber of Commerce for the town they are listed as residing in. Be very suspicious if you cannot find ANY real address, or if the local CoC has never heard of them.

3) Check for entries with BBB and/or other consumer agencies - warning - while this will often reveal the real bad apples, don't automatically assume that a good or neutral listing means the offer or product is good.

And again - remember - if it seems too good to be true - it probably is.

(PS: nobody in Nigeria is REALLY going to give you any money for clearing up a millionaire's banking problem)

All that said - best of luck with poetry-writing and remember that writing poetry is its own reward. Don't depend on others for validation. If it makes you happy, it's worth doing. It may not have meaning for anyone else, in which case maybe it really doesn't need to be published. Maybe it does. There are Writer's Market listings that will give you legitimate places to submit your work. DON'T expect to succeed the first time, and listen carefully to any feedback, criticism, and suggestions you get.

Best of Luck!

- just a little bird.

limestone editorial
07-16-2003, 10:42 PM
*butting in*

I am SO glad I'm not the only one this happens to... Silly of me, but I assumed forwarding the snopes.com link to debunk the pieces of junk my friends/family members sent would make them think: "Hey! Maybe I should check this out on snopes.com before I send it along!"

Nope. Now they just forward them to me with a note reading: "Could you check this one out for me?"


*butting out*

07-18-2003, 11:05 PM
I sent one in too fully aware it was a scam. Why would I do such a thing? Well I got the letter back telling me I was a semifinalist. Hah! They will keep sending me stuff and this will cost them money. So maybe we are going about this in the wrong way. Everyone send poems, and lots of them, but never, send them any money. Having one poem published in a book with a thousand others, who cares. I empathize with those who have been taken. We kind of set ourselves up because we think, finally somone has seen my brilliance. That's why it's called vanity press.

07-22-2003, 11:45 PM
Please check out my article on poetry scams:

www.absolutewrite.com/spe..._scams.htm (http://www.absolutewrite.com/specialty_writing/poetry_scams.htm)


07-24-2003, 01:05 AM
Hey Cindy, I Think you have the point! I too have sent a poem that was dear to me. It's entitled "Still With You". It was written for those who are greiving. I had entered my poem not in hopes that I would win anything, but that those who read it might be comforted. I have to admit I was upset when I realized this contest was a sham. I hated to think that my poem was being used to scam people out of their poetry and money. However,your letter reminded me that my poem is a gift to share with others. Thank you very much - Shawn

07-29-2003, 10:26 PM
I meant to post this initially here - but seem to have started a new subject - sorry.

I sent in the following uh- "poem" to our friends, convinced that it would not elicit the standard "you're a finalist" letter. Boy was I wrong. It came in the mail last week. You can find it at poetry.com (poet = John Buckman). Please excuse the explicit nature of the subtext.


Po' ettrie dot calm,
You got me good

Po' ettrie dot calm,
You el stinko, bubba

Po' ettrie dot calm,
See you in Florida

Po' ettrie dot calm,
Put this one in your book.

Po' ettrie dot calm,
If you see Kay,
Why owe you!


09-14-2003, 03:30 AM
Does anyone know how to delete poems from this site? I've seen some of you ask but haven't seen anyone answer. Any ideas? Please email me and use poetry.com in the subject line. Thanks!


XThe NavigatorX
09-22-2003, 04:59 AM
Dave Barry had some interesting things to say recently about Poetry.com I submitted a freemont story not too long ago. It's actually one of the few still up there.

davebarry.blogspot.com/20...chive.html (http://davebarry.blogspot.com/2003_07_01_davebarry_archive.html) (july 13th is the first post on the subject, I believe)

Vauren Davidson
09-27-2003, 10:44 AM
If any of you are interested in an interactive poetry writing group or a site where your work can be displayed respectfully, not for a fee, please email me at vauren@arishan.com or visit www.arishan.com/poetry/main.html.

09-27-2003, 06:45 PM
I don't know if you can delete the poem but I suppose you could use the "login to edit your poem" function and just change it completely to reveal what you really feel about them now.

Just an idea. Hope this helps.

sonja semyonovna
10-26-2003, 07:31 PM
anyone who thinks that what poetry.com, and others like them, does, isn't a hundred times worse than publisher's clearing house's actions (inclusive of the dumpster full of unopened and unchecked (no order) entries.) well, pardon me, but they just don't get it.

so, you entered a pch sweeps, or seven or twelve, and while you were at it, you ordered a tv guide or a people's magazine. how long did that take you, and how much thought did you have to put into it? and you got your order, didn't you? and what did you think of your chances of winning?

still, they were, and probably still are, quite wrong and, in my humble opinion, got, at the very least, what they deserved. me, i would have sent SOMEBODY to prison!

prison wouldn't cut it with poetry.com, et al. they deserve to have their black hearts removed with a butter knife! after all, didn't they ask us to pour ours out to them, for ONLY their own personal gain? this gain to come ONLY from us?

wouldn't we all like to make money with our work? but, truly, how many of us have that as our main purpose in putting it out there? writers write, that's simply what we do, and the form poetry takes appeals to many of us.
and when we've worked hard on it, and polished it to a T,
what burning desire then overtakes us? why, to show it to as many people as possible,naturally, but to people who might care about such things. care enough to plunk down 39.99 for it. or 19.99, or 5.99.

our cut, whatever it might be, would be nice (and useful), but more for what it represents than for the purchasing power. the more it is, the more it means someone likes our work. and, anyway, we have it coming to us. if anyone makes money on our work, and they should, if they publish and promote it, then we should too.

so, i say, let's really stir up a ruckus, and not just in here. put it out to the media, so that we can get everyone on the bandwagon and, when the time's right, take it to court.

overly litigious, did you say? well, if people weren't overly scheming, overly negligent, overly cruel and overly greedy................


p.s. stay away from sparrowgrass too.

10-27-2003, 12:06 PM
Call them up and ask them to remove your material, you are still the owner of the material and they have to remove it, otherwise you can sue them.

I submitted poems to them as far back as 1492, but never did contests nor bought into their "galley proof" acceptance to let them publish.

Anyways, the books aren't stocked in any stores and they're only sold to the Poets and Poetess's.

Someone had a good idea for a few peeps to get together and finance their own work; at least it will be on the web for sale and more importantly, you will be able to share it as an "Author" to your friends and family.

10-28-2003, 12:15 AM
Gee, that sounds familiar? Calling a large group of victims "peeps" is also something we've heard before around here. Picture.com is a like-kind operation from a similar loction;Owings Mills, MD. Sending them a picture places it in the coffee table book for free, but I can imagine many would pay the $69.95 to buy it and pay to post a biography in it. I sure didn't. The Maryland AG office must be very busy.

As for the author's gravesite pictures, my ancestors resting places look similar, but lucky for me they left testimony in writing and a documentable public history.

10-28-2003, 02:16 AM
I just submitted a poem to poetry.com... purely on a whim. I am now officially 'Thomas Matthews' with 'Dorian' as a middle name. It's an awful poem, but I still demand a plaque, a mug and a set of postage stamps with my work on it! Ahem.

Nothing else of value to add, was just bored.


sonja semyonovna
10-30-2003, 04:42 AM

someone said if we got nothing but a free copywrite, GIVING our poems to poetry.com might be worth it.
well, guess what? we don't get a copyright, free or otherwise. poetry.com has the copyright if anyone does. if we had it, we'd have it in writing along with the COPYRIGHT NUMBER. without it, we have nothing!


XThe NavigatorX
10-30-2003, 05:14 AM
I submitted poems to them as far back as 1492


And I thought my neighbor was old.

10-30-2003, 05:17 AM
Seems like I've heard of an Italian in that year.

10-30-2003, 11:10 AM

10-31-2003, 01:25 AM
I'm not going to suggest that anyone submit poetry in Mr. Sese's name (or one of his many aliases) with a Nigerian email address, but I sure will laugh if someone does and the two start trying to get money from each other.

Similarly, it would be almost as funny if numerous submissions were made with fake addresses in many foreign countries so that any attempts to contact and sell awards and such became a pure waste of money when the mail either reached the dead letter basket or cost them additional funds for return postage.

Even though the rules limit entries to so many lines, I don't recall any about the length of the lines. That might produce some interesting results. Also, what about writing and spelling every line from right to left so that it's totally backward? It wouldn't be difficult then to include some hidden messages in the text.

But the one sure way to prevent them from shattering dreams for writers is to never buy anything from them. If they want to waste their time going through submissions and sending out letters filled with false praise, let them. They'll realize eventually when the money stops rolling in that the ride is over. Maybe then they'll get a more honest job even though I'd prefer to see them become specialists in molding license plates.

10-31-2003, 01:44 AM
I just read Gloriana's article on contest scams. Unfortunately, one piece of advice isn't totally reliable. It's the one about not submitting to contests that are free.

Sadly, there are far too many contests out there that charge fees that are also scams. Those types frequently make their money by awarding the advertised prizes only when the pot of submissions reaches a certain point thus making those more like lotteries than actual contests. Some award reduced prizes and others just cancel the contest when too few entries are received.

Consequently, very few contests with fees are legitimate, though they do exist. With a contest featuring an entry fee, you have no way of knowing if you're even entering a fair contest. After all, it might have the winner already selected.

If you want to enter, a free contest is preferable. You can always refuse to purchase anything if it turns out to be operated like Poetry.com. This is why so many contests sponsored by corporations frequently have the notice that no purchase is necessary. There have simply been too many fraudulent contests in the past involving entry fees.

However, if your poetry or short fiction or essays are truly ready for publishing, your chances are better submitting to legitimate, reputable publications.

10-31-2003, 02:03 AM
And screenplay contests can really add up at $50 a try. Then they recruit you to enter again? How dumb would one have to be to do that? Playing money to play is the surest sign you're knocking on the wrong door and always will be.

10-31-2003, 12:42 PM
I submitted my "poem" burnt toast a few years back!

It's GREAT!:hat

Early morning sun shining
Early morning Birds screaming
Darkness control knob busted
Toast making... toast burning.
A lone tear runs down my face
as I weep, lonely and hung over.
There will be no toast today.
Or for awhile... Or for awhile.

here's the link!

www.poetry.com/Publicatio...N=999&PN=1 (http://www.poetry.com/Publications/display.asp?ID=P2441445&BN=999&PN=1)

10-31-2003, 10:58 PM
Just a friendly word on back-patting. It only works if others are doing in response to your work.

11-23-2003, 10:10 AM
Well, I'm a little ticked because they didnt rip me off,
I write A lot of poetry. I wrote a poem about my father who recently died after a long battle with Cancer.
A friend told me to put some of my work on poetry.com.
The poem about my father was one that I was told I should post. Some months later,I recieved a letter addressed to me that said my poem had been selected to be published in one of their books. I decided I really didn't care about all that anyway,I didnt enter a contest, I just wanted people to see the poem.
so I threw it away.
Well my girlfriend went ahead and sent the money they asked for and ordered the book ( about $100.00 ),To try to do something nice for me.
Well, I got another one of those letters, only this time telling me my poem was selected out of 33 people to be put in the "sound of poetry" CD.
They wanted more money to buy this CD,
Then later they wanted me to send in another poem to be put in another book called
And guess what? They wanted me to send more money to buy this too.
So, I'm a little ticked because they didnt rip me off, They are ripping off my girlfiend, Who was trying to do a good thing for me to help me through a rough time.
She ordered the book in the Spring of 2002, They said we would get it by the Spring of 2003, Well 2003 is Almost over now..
Surprise Surprise, No book.

12-01-2003, 09:22 AM
try out www.eliteskills.com teens can submit their
poetry and writing and get it commented on and rated.
It's a non profit edu thingy, just need your help to
help it grow


Poetry.com are bastards, luckily someone laughed at me
for boasting else I would have bought the book and
sent the $70 (book+page on it's own). I had already
made copies to have as an acolade.

12-07-2003, 05:17 AM
Check out the great poem i wrote trying to expose poetry.com a little. poetry.com/Publications/d...N=999&PN=1 (http://poetry.com/Publications/display.asp?ID=W1378884&BN=999&PN=1)

12-07-2003, 06:08 AM
how're we supposed to find it in that mess of stuff?


12-07-2003, 06:19 AM
I entered a poem that kinda makes poetry.com look bad, here's the link: poetry.com/Publications/d...N=999&PN=1 (http://poetry.com/Publications/display.asp?ID=W1378884&BN=999&PN=1)

12-07-2003, 06:21 AM
That didnt work, here's what it is:Poetry.com, I dedicate this to you,
To the people you've hurt,
And the bad things you do.
To the scam that you run,
And people's money you've wasted,
To the dreams that you've crushed,
With the false hope that they tasted.

To Howard Ely, oh how do you sleep?
Tricking small children,
With a plaque they can keep.
Can you see their small eyes?
All watery with tears,
As reluctant parent's truth
burns their hearts...as it sears.

Oh poets, oh poets,
This sight is our foe,
For you and I both
Know that we are not Poe.

It's under Eric Howard.
To let it accept whatever words you want it to, leave out the words, and then (if you're registered) log in and edit it.

12-08-2003, 10:25 AM
For those wondering whether Poetry.com and Noble House were affiliated, I found it strange that when trying to submit a poem that included the word "scam" both gave the exact same response:

The following error has occurred while trying to register your information:

We're sorry, your submission may contain one or
more words that are inappropriate for submission.
Please go back to adjust your poem.

12-08-2003, 11:01 AM
my wife had a poem published by them back when she was younger. her mom paid last christmas to order the book. it's almost christmas this year, and guess what? no book. should call the bbb...

12-09-2003, 07:41 AM
Found the following link by chance on msn.com:

www.poetry.com/contest/co...ite=A44301 (http://www.poetry.com/contest/contest.asp?Suite=A44301)

What crap - I guess their cheque for advertising hasn't bounced yet to MSN

12-09-2003, 08:46 PM
I submitted a poem on the Peotry.com site about a week ago. Only after I submitted the poem did I suspect a problem. However, the reason I am writing is because my poem has disappeared from the site. For the first few days I was able to find my poem, edit, etc...
Now, I can't even find myself listed as an author. has this happened to anyone else?

12-11-2003, 01:04 AM
Yeah, the exact same thing has happened to me twice. I don't know why that happens. Mine weren't even written against poetry.com

Sunset Creator
12-30-2003, 05:34 AM
Isn't there something all of us can do? I'm asking because I've submitted and they have claimed that I would get these medals and plaques and such and today in the mail I received yet another one of those "Artist Proof" pages and I think someone needs to show them people at poetry.com that they can't get away with scamming people...but how?

01-03-2004, 12:54 AM
I submitted my poem and they gave me false hope. I realized by myself that it was fake... I mean, in the corner of the letter they had a note from the person in charge saying something to the affect that my poem was just brilliant and they would publish it. It was ridiculous! I immidiatly realized it was phony and deleted or threw away all of the things they sent. I did, however, keep the poem I wrote. It wasn't spectacular of course... oh, well. I hope there's some way we can shut them down because many people have been fooled by them!

Sunset Creator
01-05-2004, 09:35 AM
I think it's awful...I'm surprised that they haven't been shut down yet.

James D Macdonald
01-05-2004, 11:16 AM
What they do isn't illegal, and they perform everything they promise.

It's just that they prey on writers' hopes and dreams that makes them icky.

Sunset Creator
01-06-2004, 01:43 AM
Well, not sure If I completely agree...they told me that I won two awards, a metal and a plaque...but never recieved it because I wouldn't pay over $500.00 for their "convention". But I do agree that they are icky :lol

01-06-2004, 05:54 AM
Quite often poetry.com will email middle and high-school English teachers. I know this, because I've received 2 of these emails so far this year, and after the department head spread it around, had to send a department email warning teachers not to recommend this site to their students. Teachers are, of course, always interested in finding ways to help their students get recognition for their work, however not all of them are involved in writing and publishing to such a degree that they know what the scams are. If you know a grade school English teacher, you might ask them if they've ever done this, or simply just warn them about it so they don't pass it on to their students. I've never had a colleague yet who didn't thank me for the info. Many of these submitters are hopeful, ernest, writing teens who also aren't privy to that info. If you know any teenage writers, you might also mention it to them. I had to go through a process of ego re-building with a student last year who came to me in tears after being accepted, then never receiving her awards. (I didn't recommend the site to her.) If you are a teacher you might even post a warning in the classroom, since sometimes they hear about it from their friends. Teenage writers could also request their teachers do the same, to save their peers from some heartbreak. Parents who are writers might also open a dialogue about it with their students' teachers. Narrowing down their submission pool is a good way to go about getting them out of business.

01-14-2004, 12:52 AM
Hey guys,
i'm new here but not new to Poetry.com and their affiliates. What they are doing is shady but most likely not illegal. Because they do what they promise, just not in a professional manner.

Just today, i received two copies of their latest Anthology with my poem in it. My poem was glued into the first page of the book. I kid you not, you can clearly see from the spine that the rest of the book rests against the back of the spine and my poem and the dated information at the front is clearly "inserted" into the book. Unlike many others, money isn't really a problem for me, so tossing $100 away just to see this company is still doing what they were doing 7 years ago is truly amazing. I also ordered the Sounds of Poetry and it's been about 2 months since it was sent and i still haven't received it. I expect, i won't. I think what really tipped me off about them was when i was told they ship 4th class USPS. This might not seem like much to the average person, but this is both the slowest and cheapest way to ship someone's items. Perfect for a company maximizing their profits while delivering an inferior product. Which leads me to something else. $59.99 a book...for this? My own graphics department can produce something 300% better looking for half that price. Shoddy..yes.. Illegal, sadly no.

Either way, i've written them a scathing letter and contacted the BBB in Maryland and asked that they further investigate Poetry.com. I also agree with many others here that say what they are doing is not illegal...but.... there's a fine line between illegal and immoral which is where they are stepping right now. They may deliver the goods, but not what you'd expect for the money you invest.

One other thing i found out. They tout the fact you can BUY these books at any major retailer using their ISBN# inside the book, but i found out that you cannot. Not only have our local Barnes and Noble and Waldenbooks never heard of Poetry.com or the Library of Poetry but the so called legit ISBN#'s point back to Poetry.com. Translation: they aren't legit numbers. Call any of these outlets or Amazon.com and they will find no trace or listing of them being valid.

Now you tell me.. who's pulling who's leg?

Take care and hang in there.

02-03-2004, 10:54 AM
Wow, too bad I didn't see this sooner. Oh well, live and learn. Here is a response I put on another EZ board.

I enjoy reading friends poetry and have written 11 Christian poems so far and am in the process of checking out Christian poetry contests. I did submit a poem to Poetry.com and received a letter from them last week saying that I was a semi finalist for their contest this month and that my poem would be published in one of their books this Spring but after reading all the complaints about them right now I am on hold with the bank to put a stop payment to them. I did check with the BBB and did not see anything negative about them and they have been registered with them since 1988. Luckily I only sent them a down payment and not the whole amount. Talonz did warn me to be careful which I do appreciate. I know I have been Blessed with a gift to write and that I will find a legit source for that gift. Okay, just got off the phone with the bank and since I put the transaction via Visa that comes out of my checking account I am out the funds which is $43 right now. The bank told me that I can dispute it once the transaction goes through but their is no guarantee that I will get the money back and to watch my checking account to make sure that they don't take the rest of the funds out for the total sum which I believe would be about another $40. I remember the book statement saying that they would bill me for the rest of the amount so lets hope they send me a Statement first that way I won't be out the rest of the money. Am I mad? Am I upset? Surprisingly enough, No. I feel Blessed as now I can share this knowledge with others including my therapist tomorrow and I know that God will make it up to me through a legit company.

limestone editorial
02-03-2004, 11:16 AM
Some folks I know from another forum did a mass entry at poetry.com yesterday. The two most blatant attempts to "out" it as a scam are "Integrity Check" by Craig K. Elliot (not his real name) & "Caressing Yul Brynner" by Emm Aster Bates (also not his real name). On the second one, read down the first letter of each line...

Incidentally, poetry.com's filters don't allow the word "scam" so the author of the first poem had to rewrite a bit...

02-03-2004, 01:12 PM
Some folks I know from another forum did a mass entry at poetry.com yesterday. The two most blatant attempts to "out" it as a scam are "Integrity Check" by Craig K. Elliot (not his real name) & "Caressing Yul Brynner" by Emm Aster Bates (also not his real name). On the second one, read down the first letter of each line...

Wow. Those are even more blatant than the poem I had a writing class submit several weeks before I gave a short class on avoiding writing scams. To compose our poem, I asked each member of the class to write a line or two of poetry. Then, I combined the lines randomly and submitted. Look for " I Have No Title, and I Must Scream" by Emma Marmastan. (BTW Marmastan is the Old English word for "Marble.")

The resulting poem was... interesting. :eek

Incidentally, poetry.com's filters don't allow the word "scam" so the author of the first poem had to rewrite a bit...

Cowards. :p

Interestingly, I looked up Maryland's BBB entry for Poetry.com. It looked different than I remembered it looking previously. Hope this link works:
Link to BBB entry (http://www.baltimore.bbb.org/nis/newsearch2.asp?ID=1&strBCode=00110000&ComID=0011000000005437&ComName=Poetry%2Ecom)

It says "The Bureau's report on this company is being updated while the Bureau conducts further research or verifies important information. No report is available at this time." I wonder if it means that there have been new complaints, or if it merely means that Poetry.com can't keep up with heavy printing demands? :\

limestone editorial
02-03-2004, 08:28 PM
...and I mean that, of course, in a good way since that's what you were going for. :rollin

I particularly like the They Might Be Giants bits at the end...

I don't know what the deal with the BBB listing could be. I noticed the BBB has poetry.com correctly listed as a vanity/subsidy press, though.

My cousin had a poem published in a poetry.com thingie because her teacher had her send in a poem. Pissed me off, particularly because I couldn't *say* anything - everyone was so proud & my grandmother made a point of showing me because she thought I'd be so excited since I'm a writer - and family dynamic precluded me from saying anything about it being a scam (long story)... Grrr...

02-09-2004, 07:45 AM
i am a lawyer and writer, i have not looked into this in depth but i have read some of the exchanges between p. considine, whom i respect, and whats-his-name, mcinnes, whom i also respect on another level. the truth is, so far as i can see, is that these people have found a way to defraud writers without breaking the law. it is part of what a specialist in the field used to call the "whining consumer" syndrome. they get you to pay for absolute worthless nonsense and you pay for it. and that is what you get. you got what you paid for and it is worthless.

i am in total agreement with the PCH case, they got what they deserved. this case is harder because the poetry.com folks are closer to the edge. fools give away their money every day and all we can do is try to help our fellow writers not to be one. but if they choose to do so, that's their choice. other lawyers may disagree but them's my views.

02-24-2004, 05:08 PM

I'm new to this board. Found it while search for info on poetry.com. Have read all the posts and agree entirely - I have just been invited, as an Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Siver Bowl Award winner :tongue to contribute $169.00 for having my poem read out at the convention!

I have replied asking why I wasn't advised of the award or convention, or even that I had made it to the finals of the competition. Let's see if I get a reply.

One thing I don't understand - isn't the advert for poetry.com at the top of the board a little out of place here?

02-24-2004, 05:30 PM
Just a postscript to the last message:

I replied to Steve Michaels, Convention Awards Chairperson, who signed the email (steve@poetry.com), and the message bounced as undeliverable! Gosh!!

02-25-2004, 12:38 AM
the adverts are text specific. if you mention poetry on this board, you will have ads at the top that will give the most popular adverts for poetry. I had a post on pirates in the take it outside board and the adverts were about pirates.

02-25-2004, 01:36 AM
Thanks emeraldcite,

I guessed that but couldn't resist the temptation to comment on the irony of it. ;)

02-25-2004, 01:45 AM
lol. they do tend to be funny. it's nice to see that the ads don't take into consideration the context of the posts.

02-25-2004, 11:39 AM
I did a name search on my name, my boyfriend's name, some friends's names... amazing how many poems our alter egos have written!

03-02-2004, 01:38 PM
:money I just wanted to let everyone know that I got my money back for the down payment of the book that I never would have received. I called the bank and disputed the charge on my credit card. I was amazed as it only took about a week or so. I Lived, I learned and I got my money back. Yahoo!

03-03-2004, 02:34 AM
"This is the worst bit of drivel
I ever did see.
But for once do you think
that you could pay me?"

Well, I posted it on their sight about two weeks ago, and guess what? It's not there anymore. Well, I didn't make it to the semi-finals! :lol


03-06-2004, 05:41 PM

Never mind, Anne, you got it published here to a much more appreciative audience ;)

A follow-up to my last post - I wrote to the Chairperson, Steve Michaels, and it bounced. I've just had another email from him, reminding me that I have won a silver bowl, medal, etc., and that for the paultry sum of $169.00 my poem can be read before an admiring audience of thousands! Wish I could publish it here - the email, not the poem (it's not bad, actually :b - the poem this time).

03-07-2004, 03:03 AM
d:cry My name is Grace and I have registered or submitted 108 poems to Poetry.com in these past three weeks. I was just looking at some of the links that were for Poetry.com and came across some very up setting news, to me that is.

I pulled up the link for; WritersWeekly.com and was very disturbed by what I had just read. Then I came across this link and read some of the letters.

:grin I had big hopes that I was going places with my poems. One company that I submitted a poem to, wrote me saying that my poem and I made it to the semifinalis and that they wanted to published my poem in their book.(Famous Poets Society).

:\ I thought well, this is great, I finally made it.
So I filled out all the forms and place my payment on one of my credit cards.

:( Then Poetry.com writes me a letter saying the same thing, ok, I am a happy camper now, full of happiness knowing that my poem had made it to the semifinalist again. Lord, thank you I had said with so much excitement. I again, filled out the paperwork and placed it on another credit card.

My reason for this is simple;
I am unemployed, my husband works in Washington DC with his company that travels statewide, so he can earn a living not only for me, but our bills as well, plus he has his living expenses where he is at.

I felt that this was a good way that I might win a prize of some cash money and be able to help my husband out with everything.

I don't know for sure is Poetry.com is a scam for 2004, but from the letters I have read today from this company, I see that it still is.

I wrote an email letter to Poetry.com about all this and have not had a response as of yet.

I am going to call my credit card companies and cancel out those payments as soom as I am done with this letter.

For all those out there that fell for the same thing I did, I am so sorry. We all thought we were going to do something great in our lives, now this, we were taken for granted and made fools off.

I have a sister who told me about Poetry.com, she is on her way to the convention in Florida to recite her poem and hopefully win the $20,000.00 or the trophy cup with her name on it. She does not know all about this, Yet.

Thank you for hearing me out. My heart has been broken into millions of pieces and dreams, who knows now where it is???


Grace Malia
Dixon MO

03-07-2004, 06:09 AM
Grace Malia, I am so very sorry to hear about this happening to you. At least you've found out about these scams in time to cancel your credit card transactions, and the scammers won't get any more chances to inveigle money out of you.

You hopes and dreams are worth infinitely more than Poetry.com and their scams. Those creeps may have borrowed them for a while under false pretenses, but they still belong to you. Don't let the broken pieces get trodden underfoot. Gather them up and hold onto them. They'll grow back together again.

I'm not one of the great scamhunters like Victoria, but I promise you I'll keep doing what I can to get the word out. We're not going to stop Poetry.com anytime soon; they're slimebags, but they operate within the law. All we can do is tell writers like yourself what a bad deal they are.

03-07-2004, 06:56 AM
Complain to the FBI. This is consider Internet Fraud, and since it crosses state lines it falls when the jurisdiction of the FBI.

www.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp (http://www.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp)

Also contact the state attorney general in the state that poetry.com is in, as well as the department of consumer affairs. While it is good to inform others on sites like this (great actually) you also need to field complaints towards relevant government agencies.

Stand up for yourself, and don't just chalk it to, oh, there are scamsters out there! (you've done a lot by posting here I might add, do more and register the complaints.)

03-07-2004, 06:57 AM
Complain to the FBI. This is consider Internet Fraud, and since it crosses state lines it falls when the jurisdiction of the FBI.

www.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp (http://www.ifccfbi.gov/index.asp)

Also contact the state attorney general in the state that poetry.com is in, as well as the department of consumer affairs. While it is good to inform others on sites like this (great actually) you also need to field complaints towards relevant government agencies.

James D Macdonald
03-07-2004, 09:28 AM
Alas, what poetry.com does isn't illegal. Unethical, sure, but they actually perform everything that they promise they'll do.

They don't do what they merely imply ... but that isn't illegal.

James D Macdonald
03-07-2004, 09:34 AM
Tell your sisters, tell your brothers, tell your friends:

Money flows toward the author.

The only place a writer signs a check is on the back.

03-07-2004, 12:21 PM
I hadn't checked up on poetry.com, so I wasn't sure about what they had done, or what they do. Nor did I follow the thread. I just saw the last post.

But my general point stands, if you've been the victim of an illegal sceme, or somone pushes one your way, make the complaints.

03-07-2004, 02:23 PM
I just found this site while doing a poetry search. I also found poetry.com some time ago(months ago)...browsed it and was even thinking of submitting some poems some time in the future. Well not anymore. I am grateful for the warnings and information provided on this site.

03-07-2004, 02:27 PM
Money flows toward the author.

Very well said!

03-07-2004, 09:57 PM
I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience with Poetry.com. Might i suggest you contact Mr Jerry Duncan (jduncan@bbbmd.org) Director of Complaints at the Maryland BBB if you need to recover any money sent to them. And this is for anyone else that's been scammed by Poetry.com. Mr Duncan was instrumental in getting me a full refund.

Best, and good writing!

03-08-2004, 09:55 AM
www.eliteskills.com/writing_scams/writing_scam_list.php (http://www.eliteskills.com/writing_scams/writing_scam_list.php)
Here's a list of scammers.

International Society Of Poets
International Library Of Poetry
National Library Of Poetry
The Poetry Guild
National Society Of Poets
Iliad Press (Cader Publishing)
The American Poets Society www.poetryamerica.com
Noble House Publishers
Publishers Clearing House
Water Mark Press
The Poem Place
Hollywood's Famous Poets Society
Pen Pushers Publications
Poets' Guild

James D Macdonald
03-09-2004, 12:56 AM
Alas! That's nowhere near a complete list.

03-10-2004, 05:01 AM
In addition to the sleazy practice of accepting absolutely anything, regardless of how mediocre it is, my complaint with the ILM (poetry.com) is simply that I order things from them that I never received.

Sometime in 2003, I submitted a poem to them (I forget the original date, I didn't know at the time that I should keeping very detailed records..) entitled "Love's Cold Hand". It was selected for publication (of course, it seems from what I've read now), and I was mailed a "pre-publication discount form" for the anthology in which it was to be published (I assume) sometime in 2003 or early 2004. I purchased this.

Later the poem was selected for a "Sound of Poetry" collection, which I also purchased, along with a plaque mounted version of the poem (a pretty shitty one too - the least they could do was use a computer controlled engraver to actually emboss in on a metal plate!). A few weeks later, the same poem was selected for the "Best Poets of 2003" anthology, which I also purchased. Then I was selected to win a $200 silver bowl (yeah, I bet) if only I would send them $169 because I would not be attending their conference (how sad..) I declined, no onto their scam.

So, to date, I have purchased the following from them:

1) An unknown-titled original 600+ page anthology
2) A "Sound of Poetry" collection
3) The plaque mounted version of the poem
4) The "Best Poets of 2003" anthology

To date, I have received 3 and 4. Item 2, which I paid for by check along with 3 on 7/31/03 (which I have a copy of), I have not received. Nor have I received the original item 1, which I paid for by check at some point in the past (I don't have a copy of that check, and my bank statements are a mess I just cleaned up, and two months are missing, but I'm sure the bank can get me a copy of the check, or at least a record of it's being cashed)

I am definitely going to ask my bank for confirmation of the cashing of the two checks to ILM, and send ILM a letter stating that I would like my money back for both items I have not received (considering it has been over 8 months), along (perhaps) with the little threat that if I don't hear back from them in writting within two weeks, I will contact my local Better Business Bureau (or is there a more threatening agency I can suggest like the office of Consumer Protection listed on stopILP.com).

I just cannot imagine how many people have been duped and swindled by these people.. Especially perhaps little kids, and their oh-so-doting parents with the money..

God, it makes me sick.. Although, noone really knows how much the ILP actually makes (there are estimates), and how much they give out in prizes, setting up the convention, etc.. That would all come out in the discovery phase I imagine.

BTW, the two poems I submitted (first one selected, second one selected "sight unseen"), are not exactly bad poems. I haven't asked any writing professor about these specifically, but I did take a poetry class (long after I started writing poetry), and a teacher of mine read one and said I must be descended from Don Juan (I think he was exaggerating a *bit* there). I also check the database of poetry.com, and I don't show up as an author, and I got back a number of database errors. So not only do they swindle money from people, they don't pay their ASP programmers enough..

Here are the poems: (C) James Witte, 1996-2004

Love's Cold Hand - ca. March 2002
(in the tradition of E. Spencer, but not nearly as good, no ryming,a nd the scansion could be better I think.)

Stayed by Love's cold hand,
Unknowing what to do or say
I gaze cautiously with warm longing,
Turning as ice melts to fire.
We move in different circles,
Of this be not ashamed.
But I take this chance, forsaking all,
That together we might still be.
For Saith Love, “My arms, I have two,
One cold as ice in the deep of Winter's sadness
Stayed by doubt and fear,
The other warm as the embers remaining
After the Heart has burned before.”

Paths of Old
(This is the worse of the two, as it's a combination of two poems that seemed to work together. It definitely needs revision. It was written as a kind of addendum to Loreena Mckennitt's "The Two Trees" [English translation] on her CD "The Mask and Mirror")

Endless questions, my thoughts
Like leaves in a breeze swirling to and fro.
What do I feel and what does it matter
If what I do now affects all tomorrow?

Forgotten tomorrows like threads on a loom,
How I feel, where I go, what do these weave
For my future? A web across the bower between
Two trees, one of hope, the other of restless uncertainly
And the space between flooded with light
Yet my own path dark before me.

The path I thought I'd left behind haunts me still,
Shadows of the past rising again, echoing pain of ages gone.
I yearn for sun beyond the paths I trod
But sun is not in this place, I fear may never be
Until I pass those ways again.

Oh, bring me my forgotten ways,
Memories of childhood though.
My God above, let me be with one again
In whom I saw in times of old
That I could not explain then, but yearn for now
Safe passage through my dark night again.


03-10-2004, 05:32 AM
Writers beware has a list of threatening agencies you can contact.

Contact the resources on this website (they list federal, government, and local authorities). Contact as many as you can.

www.sfwa.org/beware/overview.html (http://www.sfwa.org/beware/overview.html)

03-10-2004, 11:09 AM
Since we can't list all the scammers, here's a suggestion: If you're a poet, and you submit poems to an outfit you're not sure about, put one stinker of a poem into the lot. If they take that one along with the rest, odds are they're scammers.

03-10-2004, 07:29 PM
Of course, that assumes the submitter is submitting excellent poetry aside from the one "stinker"...if all the poems are such, and the submitter doesn't know (or doesn't want to acknowledge) the difference......

And thus, how scams succeed...
(and the same holds true for novels, not just poems)

Big Daddy West

03-15-2004, 10:09 AM
this is an act of courage, and appreciated. there are always more to add.

03-18-2004, 06:06 AM
An investigator with the New York State Consumer Protection Board, a state agency in New York, has posted a note seeking New Yorkers who are poetry.com victims (and victims of related firms).

www.writersweekly.com/php...php?t=1736 (http://www.writersweekly.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1736)

It's about time somebody did something about that company!
>: (


James D Macdonald
03-18-2004, 08:01 AM
An investigator for the New York State Consumer Protection Board is seeking New Yorkers who have been burned by Poetry.com "and related companies from Maryland. "

See the notice here:

<a href="http://www.writersweekly.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1736" target="_new">www.writersweekly.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1736</a>

03-18-2004, 08:06 AM
I think i'll drop him a note.. i live in New York and i was recently burned by Poetry.com


03-25-2004, 10:40 AM
I finally went on the Poetry.com website. I was never there before because I wouldn't submit my work to someone where they automatically get rights to it by my submission for free. Out of curiosity, I clicked on their "get Published" link to see how much they bilk out of people for a less than mediocre service. I was genuinely suprised to see they would want $1300 dollars to send someone 100- 60 books with no ISBN registration, uncopyrighted, and a text only cover. Cover art and illustration could be added with extra fees. For considerably less, a person could produce the same type/quality books on a home printer and hand bind them. Poetry.com could even send your submissions to Kinkos and have them print out the pages and bind them for less than poetry.com charges. I wonder if that's what poetry.com does? They could just send the files to Kinkos.com and then just repack them in a non-kinkos carton for shipment to the aspiring Poets they bilked. A nice, shady way to legally fufill the contracts they offer while allowing any discrepancies to be categorized "an outsourcing issue". With the number of submissions they continue to recieve each day, they could easily shove responsibilty off to whatever printing sources they use. Slimy businessmen they may be, but an investigation may prove that what they did was morally wrong, but still a legal way to swindle money.

04-01-2004, 05:42 AM
Hi guys. When I was a kid I submitted a poem to them and it got published in one of their anthologies. I was gutted when I couldn't go over to Washington for the grand hoo-ha. :p

Last year I submitted another poem it is on their website. I had thought-"Why not?" and foolishly, thought maybe they had changed hands and were legit now.

I wanted to say to anyone who has submitted poetry with them-you're not alone and at least it is a learning experience and you may get published.

It stinks you don't get at least ONE free book.

The worst of it is they prey on young kids and older people aswell...

04-01-2004, 07:40 AM
The manager of my apt building submitted a poem to poetry.com and was really stoked about the letter he got in the mail from them.
He's one of those know-it-all kinda of people so he doesn't really accept the fact that the whole thing is a scam. :headbang
Ah well, what can ya do?


04-06-2004, 07:19 PM
A couple years ago I received something in the mail from poetry.com. I decided to send in one of my poems. I did get a response and was rather excited until I began to see that it was all about the money. I don't advise falling for this and losing your money. It is the same basis as becoming self-published (I did that too!) in that you are essentially paying to see your work in print, not to mention the travel expenses. They must be on the up and up to not have been shut down - however, how much money are you willing to pay to see your words in print? Better to publish a short book that you actually get paid royalties for than to just give away your poem.

I would steer clear of them if possible. :shrug



04-06-2004, 10:02 PM
(Sorry if i spell some stuff wrong i may be a writer but i have a spelling issues) I'm a 15 year-old gurl from VA and i too was scammed by this company when i was 14 i really thought they were a ligament company until i realized they were praising the worst poem i had ever written and they didn't even fix the spelling of one of the words. It really hurt and for a while i quite writing poems although my poetry was one of the too major writing genres that got me into a school for the arts

04-11-2004, 01:01 AM
That is a sad case. As writers, we need critiscism to get better, even if it hurts at the time:smack did you know that you can spell check your postings by clicking "spell check" at the bottom of your screen?:grin

04-12-2004, 10:01 AM
email my friend brooklynfloetry2001@yahoo.com. Her name is Traci and I know she'd like to help your cause@

05-08-2004, 04:50 PM
Ok, I am a college educated student graduated with honours, and I got scammed

When they accepted my poem as "semi-finalist" I suspected the following:
1, They were after the money, and sell books.
2. Publication depend on the ordering.
3. They'd have hardtime marketting the anthologies.
4. Book will sell 600 copies with 600 authors purchasing one each.

I was willing to overlook all the above aspects if the selection process was genuine, I was offered publication in two books and I bought both of them, $140.00...(Vanity really does impair reason)

I did a bit of research and saw that they advanced everybody to semi-finals, it felt like a slap in the face. LOL...so i wrote this poem and submited to it.

Poetic license granted by the power that be,
Certifying my talent is rare, exceptional and free,
Honouring me the chance for the world to see,
The extraordinary talent displayed by me,
I felt the blood raging in my caffeine-intoxicated vein,
I felt my head inflated to the point that I felt faint,
I forgot the sages’ teaching that vanity is a sin,
And threw caution to both the wind and the dustbin,
I looked at the “poets’ proof” again yet again,
Finally a poet - all doubts slain,
Until my niece who is in her second grade,
Showed me her poet’s proof with smiling shade…
It was embarrassing, least to say,
It was humiliating, all the way,
For the price of a bottled wine,
Anyone can get a publication for 49.99.
So I am staring at the stars again,
Mourning for my pride slapped then slain,
Divine punishment fell furiously from the roof,
As my poet’s proof politely went poof!.

05-16-2004, 10:59 AM
I did a background check with the BBB and it states that the company is in good standings with the BBB.

James D Macdonald
05-17-2004, 12:52 AM
If you needed proof that the BBB is worthless as far as checking out publishers and agents, you couldn't ask for a better example.

Poetry.com isn't doing anything actively illegal, but they're slime.

Here's their scam: Anyone at all who submits anything at all is accepted. You're a finalist! Hooray for you!

You're offered a copy of the book that your poem will appear in, at an outrageous price. $49.95+$8 S&H. You'll want to buy one, right? And mom will want one too. So will Miss Krantz, who taught you in fifth grade....

No one else in the world would conceivably want a copy.

If you don't buy a copy, well, all you've lost is whatever value is in the first publication rights for that poem.

But you'll want to buy a copy or two, right? (Why do you think it's called "vanity press"?) They only print up as many as they have orders for, so order early.

But wait! There's more! For small additional fees you can get more and more and fancier and fancier things. Right up to their convention and awards ceremony.

Is submitting your poem there a good idea? No. Are you really "published"? Well, in one sense, yes: Your poem will have been made public. Will anyone read it? No. Will it count as a publishing credit to further your career? No. If you call yourself a "published poet" based on your appearance in a poetry.com anthology you'll get laughed at.

These people are cynically stealing would-be poets' dreams. They may be in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, but their souls are stained black with sin.

05-17-2004, 04:08 AM
Bent, it was probably a spellchecker that spelled 'ligament" for her. A bad case of dyslexia, spellchecker can't tell what word they mean and they can't tell it's guessed wrong.

Betty W01
07-16-2004, 04:06 AM
Just giving this thread a bump, so others can see it.

07-16-2004, 07:50 PM
Ah, spring is in the air and threads about PA and P.com are blooming. I fell for these guys back when I was a teen, but not to the extent of actually sending them any money.

07-17-2004, 01:05 PM
Two days ago, I received an e-mail from these people stating that I had been selected for some prize, yada, yada, frigggin' yada. At the bottom of the mail was a disclaimer offering to remove me from the distribution list.

Now, the odd thing is, I've never submitted anything to these people. Considering that I'm allergic to poetry, (primarily because I really suck at it) and that I've only written two or three poems in my entire life, I really have to wonder:

1. Just exactly what poem am I being "honored" for?
2. How in the hell did I get placed on the distribution list for something I've never submitted?
3. If I am a "winner/honoree," why is it costing me money to claim my award? (Yeah, yeah, that question is purely rhetorical. We all have the answer.)
I've requested a copy of my "winning submission." No reply as of this date.

Perhaps these folks just recognize my latent genius and decided to honor me for something I might write in the future. Or maybe...naw. Surely, they can't be scammers! *snicker*

07-23-2004, 04:12 AM
Just giving this thread a bump, so others can see it.

Just to bump it along...

I was watching TV recently (People's Court again, ahem :o ). Among other things, the plaintiff was actually suing a woman for a poem he had given her. It may have been his only copy of the poem. (Always keep a copy!) This poem was very very important to him. And he proudly mentioned that it was an International Library of Poetry finalist. :eek

What's sad is that he probably thought that being a finalist with those people meant something. This guy probably thought he was an award-winning poet because they had told him so. This is the type of person they prey on. Although he was an annoying plaintiff without much of a case, I still felt sorry for him at that moment. :cry

08-01-2004, 11:00 AM
It was the usual "yadda-yadda" you all have been talking about here.

The strange thing is....

I had never been to the Poetry.com site before today.

It looks like someone went to their site, registered as me (using my home address information) and then posted a poem in my name on their website.

The problem is, this poem is a sick piece of prose.

The poem, credited as being written by me, actually states that I like to do a "sexual crime" with little girls.

They actually sent two different letters with this poem in it. One was a large "window" letter that had the poem exposed for all to read. The second has it on a printed document, not exposed though.

This poem is posted on their website for anyone to see. All they have to do is enter my name and it is displayed.

Anyone have any ideas on this? Is this libel?


James D Macdonald
08-01-2004, 05:34 PM
Hi, Gentle.

I'm not a lawyer. (In my opinion you should be talking with someone who is.)

That being said: What you're talking about is common enough that it has a name: a "Joe Job." That's forging someone else's name on the internet in order to defame that person.

That's libel, and with a subpoena you should be able to find out who really sent in that poem.

Best of luck.

08-01-2004, 09:06 PM
My little issue certainly pales by comparison. Best of luck in having you problem addressed and corrected.

08-14-2004, 11:55 AM
Like everyone, I submitted a poem and was told that it reached the semis. Before long, my poem went to Sound of Poetry. I was excited (naive me). Almost wished they would give us a complimentary copy of our work. I even received an Editor's Choice certificate but they printed over my name that it looked rubish. :bang

08-18-2004, 08:19 AM
After receiving numerous letters from Poetry.com and me throwing them away... I received a hard bound book today titled Tracing The Infinite. I think its funny how my poem is in the front of the book but the pages don't match up. The pages where my poem is is shorter than the other pages. I am not sure why they sent me this book when I canceled the order for it and I got my money back. I never responded back to all the letters that they sent me.

James D Macdonald
08-18-2004, 09:58 AM
More than one person has reported that their poem was the very first one in the copy(ies) of the book that they ordered from Poetry.com. Even in what should have been the same edition, people who compared notes found that their own poem was in their copy (apparently pasted in the front), but not in anyone elses' copies.

I suspect that what happened was that poetry.com printed up a whole bunch of copies of one of their anthologies, and rather than go back to press just Xeroxes your poem and puts it in your book.

08-18-2004, 12:36 PM
That really is "print on demand."

08-20-2004, 09:51 PM
We all know poetry.com is a scam. But my friend Lis compiled a pretty good list of helpful articles, funny letters to poetry.com, poems sent in as a joke that warranted publication by them, etc. Just thought some people might want to see.

www.livejournal.com/commu...26261.html (http://www.livejournal.com/community/inkforblood/26261.html)

08-21-2004, 05:54 AM
Good for her! They're another bunch of heartless vultures preying on people's desperate desire to be 'published'.

It's a shame Dante's not still around. I'm sure he could have created another circle of hell for the likes of them and PA.


08-27-2004, 05:39 AM
I had a lot of aggravation from them. Went to a similar website and found out this company owns other sites like photo.com, etc. and scams everyone. They're only after your money. Fortunately, when they started talking money, I reported them to the BBB. As posted, the BBB says they are not doing anything illegal, only immoral. Poets, BEWARE! Better to publish in the small press publications and at least get free copies of your work.


10-23-2004, 09:15 PM
I submitted a poem to them back in like...1997 or something...

yet I see mail in my throw away email address from them saying I'm going into their 2004 book...how very cute.

James D Macdonald
11-18-2004, 08:49 PM
And now, for something completely different! A PublishAmerica/Poetry.com crossover!

A hapless soul on the PublishAmerica boards (http://www.publishamerica.com/cgi-bin/pamessageboard/data/lounge/6455.htm) asks:

It seems to me that everyone who thinks that poetry.com is a scam, is trying to figure out where exactly the scam is. Several authors here have participated in their contest and won prizes that were paid, ordered books that were delivered. Some went to their party's that they really gave. Where in the heck is the scam? I have two of their books sitting on my coffee table for my company to read and they've both been borrowed several times as they were found to have merit, yes, I paid for them and the price was high. But on the other hand one web site charges $28.95 for my 88 page paperback book of poems, and apparently they are getting it from some body. This is America folks, you can charge whatever you damn well please for a book or anything else. A product is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it,period.

Where's the scam? It's in the cover price, my friend. ... yes, I paid for them and the price was high.

...one web site charges $28.95 for my 88 page paperback book of poems, and apparently they are getting it from some body.

The "some body" is you.

It's the exact same deal that PublishAmerica is running. Overpriced books sold to their own authors. Have you ever seen a poetry.com book in a bookstore? Have you ever seen a poetry.com book in the home of someone who didn't have a poem in that very volume?

Sure, it's legal. Not terribly ethical, but legal.

12-02-2004, 01:46 PM
I, too, was one of the many 'scammed' by poetry.com. I've chosen to chalk it up to a learning experience. It's certainly one that I would never want to repeat. I finally was able to make them remove my poems from their website by editing them to reflect my opinions of their company. It didn't take them very long to decide that my content was no longer worthwhile, much to my delight. However, I am still receiving requests to publish my work from time to time. My response is always the same. My trash bin requires a feeding, you know, and has always had a taste for excremental solicitation.

One of the things that tipped me off to the scam was when I began receiving unsolicited emails from a company alleging no affiliation with ILP. However when I went to the poetry.com website, this company was definitely listed in affiliations, a section that they have since removed.

When it comes to the legality of their claims, it is true that for the most part they are sitting just outside of the infringement. However, when I researched the ISBN number that they had listed for a specific copy of their hardcover anthology, I discovered that it was listed for another book entirely unrelated to poetry.com. When I emailed the publisher of the book with the proper ISBN number, they stated that they would review the matter immediately and that they were in no way affiliated with Poetry.com.

I have since noticed that the ISBN numbers are no longer visible on their printed matter.

I truly hope that no one else feels the sting of poetry.com's bite. With a bit of experience, I have found that paying markets are a better source of feedback.


12-05-2004, 07:34 AM
Out of curiosity I did a search of my name...And up popped something! I didn't submit to those jack asses, and I don't know how they got a copy of my work! They have something posted this year, one of my pieces that is being submitted and published elsewhere!

They have my actual name and a "copyright 2004" even though its copyright 1997. They mispelled the friggen title but everything else is intact.

12-05-2004, 07:40 AM

Apparently they're putting it on a full page by itself in their next friggen anthology! They have no right to do this! This is my work which is being published elsewhere! I have had no contact with them and received no payment!

Just sent a letter to my lawyer....

12-05-2004, 08:44 AM
Holy crap! They've stolen the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Frost, and others. they're printing the friggen Raven for chris sakes! How can they get away with this?!?! They're even printing the poems on shirts and mugs!

Do a search for your name on their site...they're stealing anything they can get their hands on!

James D Macdonald
12-05-2004, 09:19 AM
Well, Edgar Poe's works are public domain by now ... anyone can print 'em anywhere.

12-05-2004, 09:25 AM
But my works are not, and I'm sure there are others whose works are not. They have no right to be selling tote bags and the like with my work on it. I have sold first print rights to this piece already. I've not seen a contract or a dime for the work they are using, never once did I get so much as a letter from them. If I didn't do the search I would have never known. Further, I don't want to be associated with them. I don't want them using my name on their site to promote their vanity gig.

12-05-2004, 09:44 AM
I can understand that you'd want your work withdrawn from them. Have you tried actually contacting them, though?

Poe is in the public domain, but I did not think Frost was yet.

James D Macdonald
12-05-2004, 10:33 AM
It's copyright violation, for sure, in your case. Did you register your copyright? If so, statuatory and punitive damages can be yours. If not, you're limited to actual damages.

Chat with an IP lawyer.

12-05-2004, 04:24 PM
I haven't registered the copyrigt on this particular piece, it was to be registered next month when the chapbook came out under a compiliation. I didn't contact them because the only means is by phone or mail, I decided to contact a volunteer lawyer for the arts instead and see what they say first. Since they give me credit its not the copyright itself that's up for dispute, they aknowledge I wrote it they simply aren't paying me and don't have permission. Most people can edit their poems off the site but I can not because, as I said, I never had contact with them and therefore don't have an account. From what I've seen in searching their site, anyone can submit anything by anyone, and it gets printed. There seems to be no security to validate who is submitting what and that they have the lisence to do so.

When I finally got in touch with their people and informed them of their error, they immediately took it off all their projects.

12-08-2004, 06:18 AM
You still need to discover whether it was in any copies that were already sold. If so, it ain't over because they owe you money.

12-08-2004, 12:42 PM
They didn't list it in any previous anthologies, just in an upcomming one. the only profit they may have turned is if a mug or something with the work on it sold. Chances are slim I'd wager that they turned a dime. Even if they did I have no idea how I'd find that out and I'm just glad they didn't argue with me and did what I requested as promptly as they did. If it shows up again there will be war but I'm cooled off now.

03-13-2005, 09:42 AM
I just received a letter from them saying that I am being sued for $48 on the book I ordered over a year ago. I canceled the order over a year ago and was refunded the $35 for deposit fee. I wrote them a note explaining the situation and told them to take my name off their mailing list. I will keep everyone posted as to what happens next.

03-13-2005, 10:27 AM
Heh. Write them back and ask how much their lawyer charges.

03-14-2005, 09:15 PM
I just entered a gag poem:

A bard I do profess to be,
With gusto I write my poetry,
Alas, 'tis shame that my talent,
Is cause for shame and lament,
For none is what I have oh say,
As I put my pen to pad today,
And morrow, t'will bring a twist,
A letter sayeth 'semi finalist',
In deep to pockets I will go,
To acquire a scipture, much below
Any semblance of quality or rhyme,
Will thoust warn me ahead of time?
And so dear world, tis time to go,
For I have much work to follow,
Tis joke I play from the ink well,
Hook line and sinker in you fell.

I wonder if they will figure out it's a gag? I'm basically saying I write crap and they are a bunch of crooks.

03-14-2005, 11:17 PM
You should enter this in the Wergle Flomp contest (http://www.winningwriters.com/contestflomp.htm).

03-15-2005, 01:58 AM
You should enter this in the Wergle Flomp contest (http://www.winningwriters.com/contestflomp.htm).

Thanks...I entered it :)

03-15-2005, 02:11 AM
Wow, Sue, never heard of them suing anyone before! Hope you get that straightened out easily.

11-01-2005, 01:58 AM
I discovered the Poetry.com had one of my pieces. Do not ask me why or how, dont make a difference. I also discovered that to get something OUT and OFF of their web site you need to be incredibly patient.

when i got one of their scam letters "you are entered blah blah" they asked me to put a final approval on my poem and edit it...

you dont let me take it off with a mouse button and confirmation...I erased the entire poem and gave them this one instead (as my edited version)..absolutely horrible .. stupid poem...but hell there are more than one ways to skin a cat...
Lets see if they "love" it so much they will publish it! HAH!

Since you leave this one no choice
and must make up lines full of new words like doise
Poetry.com does not allow for easy removal of a poem
cause all they want to do is show em

I submitted a poem and found out this place was a hoax
from a simple internet search which led me to some serious folks

I will not sit on the phone begging some person
To take my poem off and my temper will worsen
So this is my answer to your web site
which eats poems like the tree and Charlie Brown's kite

Please take my poem off this site
and next time I will not fly a kite
But I will get angry enough to pick up a phone
and call a lawyer who likes to roam
through laws that were created
to keep places like this cremated

Next time put a button up on your pages
to remove a poem and not place it in cages
then I would not have to go through this idiocy
to get my poem removed from this fallacy

11-01-2005, 02:43 AM
There you go. That's the solution to getting your poetry removed from their site. Just enter the editing function and replace it with a short ditty such as:

P.Com is a sham
That rhymes with, uh, scam

Bet you they'll delete it for you later when they see it. ;)

11-01-2005, 03:25 AM
I discovered the Poetry.com had one of my pieces. Do not ask me why or how, dont make a difference. I also discovered that to get something OUT and OFF of their web site you need to be incredibly patient.

Hmmm. They removed my dog's poem (yeah, it was doggerel) within two weeks after I told someone in my writers' group that ILP was a scam, that she wasn't going to win big money, and that ILP would even post work submitted by a dog.

The dog didn't even enter on-line; he mailed his entry in (OK, he had a little help—but he licked the stamp!), was declared a semi-finalist, and was sent info about having his poem recorded and about attending the ILP convention to see his name in lights. He didn't buy the book, but they put his poem on Poetry.com where it stayed for over two years; I think I—er, he—might have emailed them permission. (I know that my horse's poem wasn't put on-line—although she was also a semi-finalist and got the same offers the dog did, she didn't have her own email address.)

My dog now has another email address. I think he might be doggedly working on a poem.

As for the person who probably told on him—guess who published her book. (I'll give you a hint—it starts with the same letter as poetry.)

11-01-2005, 03:50 AM
As for the person who probably told on him—guess who published her book. (I'll give you a hint—it starts with the same letter as poetry.)Heh. Yeah. They're long gone, but there were even threads on their board defending Poetry.com, NLP, etc., etc. :Shrug:

12-06-2005, 01:40 AM
I assume that http://www.poets.com is a scam. I recently checked my dog's email account and found three messages from Poets' Workshop inviting my dog (well, they don't know he's a dog) to join them. Obviously they harvested my dog's name from Poetry.com where he posted his, uh, doggerel last week.

Anyhow, after I checked the Poets' Workshop site (he hasn't decided if he'll register yet), I found this info:

Quick Overview
The Poets’ Workshop is a community of serious poets aspiring to improve their craft by making their work available to review and critique by other poetic artists. Because of its tremendous popularity, The Poets’ Workshop has now become the largest poetic forum ever assembled, with thousands of members actively publishing and critiquing poetic works every hour of every day.

Makes me wonder if they have 16,000 happy authors. Anyhow, further down, I found this:

You will move up the ranks of accomplishment!
You will quickly find yourself moving up the ranks of poetic accomplishment by posting your poetry, receiving multiple reviews and critiques of your posted works, and improving your skills. Your work is then gradually exposed to more and more people--poetic peers who have moved up the ranks just like you. Positive feedback about your work tends to move you up faster. Additionally, although you are never required to judge the poetry of others, there are various motivations for reviewing the works of others in a forthright and helpful manner. And by doing so, you not only have the satisfaction of assisting others in their quest for international recognition, but you are also gaining appropriate recognition and awards as a judge, as well as helping yourself to qualify for additional opportunities for feedback to your poems that will help move you up the ranks of poets as well.

The ranks of poetic accomplishment?

You will receive actual Awards!
And as you move up the ranks of accomplishment, both as a poet and as a judge, you are awarded actual tangible rewards through the use of a point system based on the reviews you receive and write. You will earn certificates, embroidered patches, bronze and solid silver medals, and you will become entitled to progressively higher titles within your community. You can aspire to move through ten different, and increasingly rigorous levels of accomplishment to the coveted "Laureate" level which attests to your international prominence among your peers, and comes with it a solid Silver Medal of Honor attesting to your accomplishment and your popularity within the largest poetry forum ever assembled.

But where will my dog wear his patches and medals? His collar only has so much room. And who pays for all those awards?

I didn't let my dog register for this, uh, workshop. He's really not at a level to critique other poets' poems, regardless of what species they might be.

I wonder how many poet wannabees have been scammed by this outfit that harvests names from Poetry.com? (Or is this a part of Poetry.com?)

PVish (who lends her computer to her elderly mixed retriever; otherwise he never could have been ordained as a minister in the Universal Life Church http://www.ulc.org)

12-06-2005, 04:20 AM
Poetry scams have been around, I believe before Adam and Eve. I sent in a poem to one of those things approximately 40 years ago. Naturally, it was accepted and ended up printed in a rather attractive hardbound book with several hundred others. I bought my copy for $25.00, as I recall, and there was my poem. I kept the book around for several years, finally giving it to a cousin.

And yes, when I was in California in 1964, I applied to the Universal Life Church to be a minister. They sent me a nice certificate and a small wallet-sized card, that I used to prove my ability to conduct fake overnight weddings for military members. I think I may have preached a sermon or two. It was suggested that if you were a minister with certificate to prove it and held a religious ceremony of some type within your home at least once a week, you could claim tax exempt status. Since I was living in a military barracks at the time, I thought it better not to test that theory.

I think writers, along with senile old ladies, are the most preyed upon of all members of our society. If it becomes known that you are a writer, there are always those watching for a way to get into your pocket.

Master Bedroom
12-06-2005, 12:12 PM
Yeah my niece got her Poem in a book with a whole bunch of others, that she then had to purchase for 95 dollars (Australian) to buy. Seems that scam has been around a very long time.

Funny you say that about writers an senile old ladies, cuz not long after I contacted The Screenplay Agency, I got a recorded message form a guy saying that I was randomly selected for a free holiday to Florida, can you believe it! First The Screenplay Agency love my screenplay and want to represent me, then I get a call saying I have won a holiday to Florida, just out of a random selection, Man the worm sure is turning for me!

If the Mormons turn up on my doorstep, this day would just…would just... be perfect!

12-06-2005, 03:20 PM
hmmmm. My only question is why does your dog have an email account? Well, I suppose I have another question...does your dog know that you have their password and that you go into their account and read their own private emails? Well, I guess I have yet another question...is your dog a good poet?

12-06-2005, 03:58 PM
Makes me wonder if they have 16,000 happy authors. Anyhow, further down, I found this:

:scared:::::bad image, bad image....make it go away...PA & Poetry. com in a merger...:scared:::::

Celia Cyanide
12-06-2005, 11:11 PM
hmmmm. My only question is why does your dog have an email account? Well, I suppose I have another question...does your dog know that you have their password and that you go into their account and read their own private emails?

Don't be silly. Of course the dog knows. He obviously gave PVish the password so she could check his messages for him. He has more important thing to do that read email all day. Sheesh! ;)

12-07-2005, 12:18 AM
hmmmm. My only question is why does your dog have an email account? At our house we have several throw-away accounts, used when sites insist on an email to let you use them, then proceed to spam the holy s--t out of you.

But since we don't have a dog, several of our toys have email accounts that we all freely use. This includes a plastic skeletal hand, the captain of a Lego pirate ship, and assorted stuffed animals.

None of them are any good with meter, though.

Maryn, who isn't, either

12-07-2005, 03:21 AM
Originally Posted by KTC
hmmmm. My only question is why does your dog have an email account?
And why not? Should one be denied online access because one is not human?

Don't be silly. Of course the dog knows. He obviously gave PVish the password so she could check his messages for him. He has more important thing to do that read email all day. Sheesh! ;)

Why, that's exactly what happened! Since Jack freelances as a security guard in the backyard, he rarely has time to check his email. In fact, he's so otherwise occupied that he's only a few chapters into his novel that perhaps a certain publisher will give the, uh, chance it deserves. . . . I have noticed that some other authors published by that publisher have published poems on poetry.com.

I like Maryn's idea of getting email addys for toys. Perhaps some of my furniture will have to go online. Or possibly a few of my vehicles. . . .

Alas, my dog is not a good poet. He's best when writing doggerel. However, he was named a semi-finalist in the ILP a few years ago. Having no money, he couldn't buy the book or go to the ILP convention in Washington, DC. His semi-finalist poem was removed from the ILP site a few months ago, so naturally he had to repost more poems. He hasn't yet received anything telling him he is a semi-finalist again, though.

Master Bedroom
12-07-2005, 05:40 AM
Hmmm… setting up an e-mail account for my dog for miscellaneous use, I like it… I may also try and get him an application for government benefits, now that I am on this tendril of thought?

Hey what would a dog write anyway…

Crapping on the lawn, flies buzzing, very irritating,
I snap my jaws, catch one, yummy!

I am sure there could be a market for it?

12-07-2005, 04:00 PM
Crapping on the lawn, flies buzzing, very irritating,
I snap my jaws, catch one, yummy!
I wipe tears from my eyes at this beautiful sentiment. Have you thought about a greeting card, MB?

James D. Macdonald
12-07-2005, 04:04 PM
For all our poet friends: Where do you find the poetry that you yourself read?

Send your works there.

12-08-2005, 12:59 AM
At our house we have several throw-away accounts . . . several of our toys have email accounts that we all freely use. This includes a plastic skeletal hand. . . .

Oh, wow! That hand has got to try its hand (itself?) at submitting some poetry to Poetry.com. And it really should put the finger on PA by submitting a book—you know they'll accept its handiwork and give it the chance it deserves!

Meanwhile, back to dogs and poetry.com:
If anyone wants to jerk the ILP around, see humorist Dave Barry's blog for Sunday, July 13, 2003, in which he suggested that people adopt the name Freemont and post a poem to poetry.com that contains the end line, "The dog ate mother's toes."
http://davebarry.blogspot.com/2003_07_01_davebarry_archive.html#1058116012284837 17
A lot of Freemonts came forth and put their best foot, er, toes, forward.

Then, proving that poetry.com has a sense of humor (unlike a certain other publisher that takes tones), came back with this.

Maryn, perchance is your plastic hand named Freemont? If not, does it want to change it's name?

12-08-2005, 04:09 AM
The hand is quite happy being Senor Grabber--but perhaps his first name is Freemont, no? He has never said. He is so very formal, the good senor. Yet beneath that Latin lover exterior, there lurks dark secret--his dog ate mother's toes.

Maryn, who has a postcard from Dave Barry somewhere on this desk (how cool that he bothers, huh?)

12-19-2005, 04:20 AM
I am happy to announce that my dog Jack recently received notice from the ILP that "after carefully reading and discussing your poem, our Selection Committee has certified your poem as a semi-finalist in our International Open Poetry Contest."

I was not surprised. Jack was not impressed. He was told that "In celebration of the unique talent you have displayed, we also wish to publish your poem on its own page in what promises to be one of the most highly regarded collections of poetry we have ever published . . ."

The ellipsis points are theirs, not mine. I assume that the words left out are "but we haven't published anything highly regarded yet and this volume won't be either" or somesuch. Anyhow, for a mere $49.95 plus $8 shipping, Jack could own Eternal Portraits. And, if he wants a special slipcase, that's only another $19.95 (or $29.95 with his name on it). Adding his bio info on a page by itself is only $25, a "nominal type-setting fee." If he wants to order a full case of books, he can do so for only $369.95!

Additionally, he'll soon receive a "formal invitation" to attend the "International Society of Poets Summer Convention and Symposium, to be held at the legendary Riveria Hotel and Casina in Las Vegas, NV, July 20-23, 2006."

Yeah, like a big hairy dog wants to go to a hot state in the summer!

Notice the weasely phrase "unique talent." Nowhere did they day his poem was good. And the use of "certified." What the heck does "certified your poem as a semi-finalist" actually mean. (It means, "Yeah, we got your poem. Now let's see if we can get your money!")

Well, I guess I'll have to hold his paw while he signs the "Artist's Proof" so his poem can be published. But he's not signing any checks!

Anybody thinking these poetry scams are real and that the scumbags who run these contests actually think you have talent--well, think again. And don't send them any money!

12-19-2005, 04:25 AM
I dare ya to take Jack to the convention, so when folks ask what your poem was, ya can say, "oh, mine didn't win, his did". :roll:

12-19-2005, 04:29 AM
My dog also has an email account, but since she's a bad writer she hasn't submitted any poetry. She sometimes logs in to Messenger and chats with my friends. :)

12-19-2005, 07:21 AM
My dog also has an email account, but since she's a bad writer she hasn't submitted any poetry. She sometimes logs in to Messenger and chats with my friends. :)

If your dog is a bad writer, all the more reason to submit poetry to a scam outfit. Or perhaps a scam novel to another scam publisher. Scammers should be scammed themselves and if it takes a dog to do it, so be it.

I dare ya to take Jack to the convention, so when folks ask what your poem was, ya can say, "oh, mine didn't win, his did".

I'm not paying planefare, hotel bills, and over-priced admission to a dubious poetry convention for the satisfaction of saying that. (Had I money to fling about for my dog's literary efforts, I would rather use it for Jack to attend the class to get his "Certificate of Writing Leadership" from the Piedmont Writers Institute so he could conduct poetry classes.)

12-19-2005, 08:27 PM
I'm not paying planefare, hotel bills, and over-priced admission to a dubious poetry convention for the satisfaction of saying that. Oh, woe, to stifle Jack's fame as a poet with sensible priorities. :cry:

12-19-2005, 08:51 PM
I'm very impressed with Jack--both my parrots stink at writing poetry. Please give Jack our congrats. Can we have his autograph? :D

12-26-2005, 05:02 AM
Guess what! Jack now qualifies to enter a real (ie, non-scam) poetry contest that offers real ($$$) prizes:

The Wergle Fromp Poetry Contest (http://www.winningwriters.com/contests/wergle/we_guidelines.php)

The site is hilarious, especially the winners from this past year. The second place entry (http://www.winningwriters.com/contests/wergle/2005/we05_mashburn.php) is magnificent!

12-26-2005, 11:30 PM
I was talking to this nice old woman one afternoon, for whatever reason, and it casually became known that I was a writer. (An aside: the reason this becomes known a lot is my friend, who without any particular reason, will announce to people proudly, "He's a writer.)

"Oh, my granddaugter is a writer!" This old misty-eyed woman tells me happily. "I should introduce you, you would get along so well, she's such a nice and pretty girl, so thin."

I smiled, indicated that I and my wife would not mind meeting her, and then asked if she'd been published.

"Oh, she's a wonderful poet! She's just gotten a poem published again this year! She's a finalist of some sort."

Worried, I pressed for details. Eventually, I established that yes, her granddaughter was a proud finalist on poetry.com. It broke my heart. I didn't tell her, I couldn't stomach it.

The rest of the conversation was her telling me how well her daughter and I would get along, were we to go on dates... :)

01-06-2006, 10:45 PM
I just checked my dog's email. Now he's been invited to join the International Society of Poets! Steven J. Michaels of <SMichaels@poetrylink.com> sent him this email:

Dear Jack,

After reading and discussing your poetry, the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Library of Poetry has nominated you for membership in the most exciting poetry organization in the world--the International Society of Poets!

The Board of Trustees unanimously agrees to award you with a free Associate Membership in our society. As Chairman, I want to personally discuss with you the benefits of Official Membership, as space is limited and filling up quickly. Jack, I know that after hearing what we're all about, you will join us as a member of our society--the International Society of Poets! You must act quickly if you want to join as an Official Member. We only accept a limited number of members each year, and space is running out!
. . . and there's more, but you get the idea.

The other levels of membership can get pricey. Read more about this garbage in their on-line brochure:

How many people actually fall for this crap? (I know one dog who won't.)
Amazing that PA hasn't thought of an "International Society of Traditionally Published Authors" (at greatly inflated membership prices, of course).

01-06-2006, 11:14 PM
Hmm, the most "exciting" poetry organization? What about, like, prestige? Joining "exciting" groups leads to waking up in back alleys. :tongue

01-07-2006, 01:23 AM
The ellipsis points are theirs, not mine. I assume that the words left out are "but we haven't published anything highly regarded yet and this volume won't be either" or somesuch. Anyhow, for a mere $49.95 plus $8 shipping, Jack could own Eternal Portraits. And, if he wants a special slipcase, that's only another $19.95 (or $29.95 with his name on it). Adding his bio info on a page by itself is only $25, a "nominal type-setting fee." If he wants to order a full case of books, he can do so for only $369.95!

ETERNAL PORTRAITS???????? :Headbang:

Those dirty, rotten, sorry, s*****b******!!!!!!!!! :rant: Arrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! I swear I HATE those people. I mean, I REALLY despise them. Sense of humor??? Oh sure, they've got one all right. Those low-down scum-sucking b*******!!!

Eternal Portraits was going to be the name of the book that my poem was supposed to have been published in, back in 2003 - 2004. ISBN 0-7951-5227-2. Apparently, they didn't have enough people fall for it then, so now they've resurrected the name. Even though I still have the rights to my poem, that is hardly the point. These people should be shot. Or skinned and dipped into vats of salty water while hanging upside down by their toes.

I didn't know any better, I fell for it, and I've learned from it. However, it still just burns my biscuits to know that those "people" are getting away with this. It breaks my heart to know that even KIDS are falling into this one!!! I just.........:rant: :Headbang: They seriously need to be shut down, or at the very least, they need to be forced to openly admit, in bold print and in a very prominent place, that they are what amounts to a vanity press and that you WILL NOT receive any prizes of any kind.......well, that is, unless you actually shell out the money to go to the symposium. (Which I have since read some more horror stories about.......)

*deep sigh*

Okay, I've gotten that out of my system now. Sorry for that rant, but I am so SICK of them.

I have to admit, though, it is hilarious that they sent that to your DOG!!!!

01-07-2006, 01:27 AM
I dare ya to take Jack to the convention, so when folks ask what your poem was, ya can say, "oh, mine didn't win, his did". :roll:

:roll: That would be too funny......and yet so sad at the same time!! LOL!!

01-07-2006, 01:32 AM
Oh, and it's going to be really cool when they send him the notice that says that his poem is soooo exceptional that they're going to have a professional reader record it to a CD!! Supposedly limited to only the top 50 poems, and available for only $30.00!!! What a steal!!

01-07-2006, 01:58 AM
Oh, and it's going to be really cool when they send him the notice that says that his poem is soooo exceptional that they're going to have a professional reader record it to a CD!! Supposedly limited to only the top 50 poems, and available for only $30.00!!! What a steal!!

He was offered that as one of his options and declined. He'd really prefer to bark out the poem himself.

01-07-2006, 02:02 AM
ROFL!!! Very smart dog you have there!!

01-07-2006, 02:08 AM
I probably shouldn't do this... a search on that ISBN took me to this poor fellow's page. Let's play count the scam publishers. :e2cry:


ETA: But hey, it's not like he lists it in his academic credentials....


ETA2: After clicking through a few pages of Google results, I finally understand how these "poetry" publishers stay in business. :Headbang:

01-07-2006, 02:51 AM
He was offered that as one of his options and declined. He'd really prefer to bark out the poem himself.

What a smart dog! That way he can be sure all the inflections are correct.

01-07-2006, 03:42 AM
ROFL!!! Very smart dog you have there!!

Actually, he has problems with his rrruuuuffff drafts.

01-07-2006, 07:09 AM
I probably shouldn't do this... a search on that ISBN took me to this poor fellow's page. Let's play count the scam publishers. :e2cry:


ETA: But hey, it's not like he lists it in his academic credentials....


ETA2: After clicking through a few pages of Google results, I finally understand how these "poetry" publishers stay in business. :Headbang:

I don't understand why he put the Eternal Portraits one up there.....it was never published. I checked their site, it doesn't show it as being published. I even called them about a week or two ago, and the lady on the phone verified that.

Oh, that poor man. Not only a Poetry.com victim, but a PA victim as well???? *sigh* I'm going outside for a very heartfelt scream.........maybe the neighbors won't call the police......

01-07-2006, 07:52 AM
Actually, this does sound like it operates in much the same manner as a lot of legit writing sites and forums that I'm aware of, whereby you review peer work and earn various rewards (some monetary; some not) for doing so, as well as receiving credit to post your own work. It doesn't sound like they're offering astronomical cash prizes in exchange for an entry fee. And unless they're soliciting an unusually large sum of money to join the site, it's probably legit.

However, the fact that they would solicit via email (a dog's account at that) does seem suspicious. Most of these sites which are legit do not actively solicit; you have to find them.

01-07-2006, 08:08 AM
:Huh: Did you read the whole thread?

01-07-2006, 08:53 AM
:Huh: Did you read the whole thread?

I assume this is for me? Actually, no, to be quite honest, I only read the information given in the original post. I've since gone back and reread the other posts. My bad. Sorry.

Donna Pudick
01-10-2006, 03:13 AM
This whole thread is very funny. I know exactly two people who've ever made money writing poetry. A local guy here wrote a poem called "Ingredients." He listed the ingredients on a ketchup bottle (one line for each ingredient) and submitted it to a national poetry contest. Naturally, he was informed that he was a finalist. The scammers actually tried to justify their choice when confronted by the "poet."

I'm truly offended, however, that NONE of you gave any credit to the poetry of CATS. My felines are crying in their tuna juice! Bandito Frito Bandito hasn't left his leaf pile all day. Big Sarah is off her feed, and One Brown Toe's pulling her fur out. They are wonderful poets--many cats are.

A sample of their work is available on request.


01-26-2006, 04:14 AM
The scamkeeps getting better. Jack recently received an email that contained this info:

Dear Jack,

As one of the largest publishers of poetry in the world, we have created new and exciting merchandise for every poet to use and enjoy throughout the year. Many of our products come with the Poetry.com logo so you can proudly display your affiliation with the International Library of Poetry, and we believe our products have been made with the highest quality and craftsmanship. Since we are so confident you will enjoy our merchandise, we wanted to give you one last opportunity to purchase some of our unique products that are available at a discounted price.

The beautiful, burgundy 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 Limited Edition 2006 Poetry Desk Diary has been exclusively created for our poets from all around the world. The meticulous design and unprecedented detail is highlighted throughout, and the official logo of The International Library of Poetry is prominently displayed on the front cover in 24-karat gold embossing. The Limited Edition 2006 Poetry Desk Diary has an elegant, durable cover with protective gold corners, which makes this desk diary stylish, sophisticated, and functional. The inside has gilded pages throughout, with a weekly date grid that prominently displays both traditional and international holidays. There are two elegant satin ribbons so you can bookmark important dates and reminders. The desk diary provides an abundance of reference pages, including international maps, expense report tables, address and phone grids, metric tables, world time tables, and much more. If you wish to receive your Limited Edition 2006 Poetry Desk Diary (just $19.95 for the non-personalized edition and $5.00 extra for personalization, plus shipping and handling) simply click here.

The International Library of Poetry Pen is one of the most important tools for every poet and compliments the Limited Edition 2006 Poetry Desk Diary. This classically designed, solid brass pen has an elegantly polished black barrel, and a highly detailed silver chrome cap that features bright gold intrinsic accents. On the cap, you will find the official logo of The International Library of Poetry laser-engraved, and the pen comes with a black ink refill. This smooth, tapered writing instrument is pleasing to the eye from every angle, and it comes in a stylish black box with The International Library of Poetry logo imprinted in gold stamped foil. This well-designed pen writes smoothly, and it is a striking presentation piece for all to see and admire. To order The International Library of Poetry Pen, just $20.50, plus shipping and handling, simply click here.

And for a special, unique gift for yourself, another avid poet, or a collector, The International Poets Collectors Society has created an exclusive 1940s framed Collectors' Edition of the United States Postal Service Famous American Series Poets Set to commemorate some of our country's greatest writers. Such a prestigious collectors' piece is a must-have for any poet or stamp collector. The meticulous design and unprecedented detail of this unique item is clearly evident, and the International Poets Collectors Society's official logo is prominently displayed at the top of this gorgeous presentation piece.

The framed set includes the five United States commemorative postage stamps of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, James Whitcomb Riley, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Walt Whitman in mint condition. Each stamp displays the poet in an inner and outer Georgian designed frame, and their name is elegantly printed on the stamp along with the original United States postage. The stamps are encased in a protective mount, attached to fine elegant parchment paper featuring biographical information for each poet, and enclosed in a classic maple wood frame. Each collectors' piece comes with its own numbered Certificate of Authenticity attesting to its Limited Edition status. While supplies last, this unique framed set is only $19.95, plus shipping and handling. Click here to order.

Everyone at the International Library of Poetry is excited to bring these special offers to you, and we believe that you will enjoy any of these products. To take advantage of the discounted prices listed above, click here to order. We are so certain about our merchandise that we are offering a 100% money-back guarantee. If you are not delighted with these products, simply return it to us within 90 days and your money will be promptly refunded.

We look forward to receiving your order. Have a safe and happy new year!


Howard Ely
Managing Editor
The International Library of Poetry

To take advantage of this special offer, click here or go to

Let's see, which does an elderly dog need least—an over-priced desk calendar, pen, or framed stamps? Sheesh! Do people really fall for this? If they do, why have other scam companies (like Publish America) not started a line of over-priced "new and exciting merchandise"?

12-21-2006, 04:01 PM
Can somebody answer me a question on this one? What is Poetry.com's latest MO? I thought you could submit a poem and they publish it in a coffee table book that you rush to buy for approx. $50? I don't see anything like that at the site. It seems all about free to enter contests now and paying an incredible sum to have them print your book? I'm trying to discover their latest angle, and I can't seem to be able to? Have they done away with the submit a poem and have it published in an anthology scheme?

12-21-2006, 04:06 PM
Here you go Kevin:

Gee Mom...Guess What? I Am Going To Be Famous! (http://teddygross.blogspot.com/2006/12/gee-momguess-what-i-am-going-to-be.html)

12-21-2006, 04:10 PM
Thanks Much, Teddy. I will have a looksy. I guess they have to change with the times, just like everybody else, eh?

01-26-2007, 10:00 PM
<sniff> I'm so happy! My poem, Ode To A Cat, has just been accepted for publication by poetry.com. I feel like such a real writer now. And they must truly think I'm talented, because there's NO OBLIGATION WHATSOEVER to buy the book, Immortal Verses. And, it's been automatically advanced to the final competition.

Anyone know if I need to sign and return the Artist's Proof in order to fulfill the requirements for the Wergle Flomp contest? I didn't see anything in the rules, but I wanted to be sure. Also, if I posted it here, would that disqualify me from WF? I want everyone to share in my obvious poetic genius. After all, this is probably the first poem I've ever written in my life, but I have true talent. Poetry.com said so.

01-27-2007, 02:42 AM
<sniff> I'm so happy! My poem, Ode To A Cat, has just been accepted for publication by poetry.com. I feel like such a real writer now. And they must truly think I'm talented, because there's NO OBLIGATION WHATSOEVER to buy the book, Immortal Verses. And, it's been automatically advanced to the final competition.

Anyone know if I need to sign and return the Artist's Proof in order to fulfill the requirements for the Wergle Flomp contest? I didn't see anything in the rules, but I wanted to be sure. Also, if I posted it here, would that disqualify me from WF? I want everyone to share in my obvious poetic genius. After all, this is probably the first poem I've ever written in my life, but I have true talent. Poetry.com said so.

My dog initialed his proof just to make things official, but it didn't submit it to Wergle Flump. It's still on the poetry.com site, though. However, if you ever decide to submit a collection of, ahem, poetry to PA so it can "get the recognition it deserves," PA will inform you that nothing "previously published" (not even on the Internet) can be included in your PA book and you'll have to "replace it with other material."

Let me congratulate you on becoming a semi-finalist at Poetry.com. They haven't told you yet?! Don't worry, they will. Odds are good your poem will be an Editor's Choice, too.

01-27-2007, 03:26 AM
A full collection of poetry? Bite your tongue! It probably took me ten full minutes to expel Ode To A Cat. I couldn't possibly handle an entire collection of it.

I'm too lazy to send in the proof. The $0.39 stamp could be put to better use, too, like mailing empty candy wrappers to credit card companies.

Here's Ode To A Cat in all its glory. I expect to be named US Poet Laureate any day now.

Ode To A Cat

A cat's heart
Is in her chest
Where it belongs

Her tail is on her butt
Swishing, flicking
Never still

And what about her fur?
It covers her entire body
Her skin does, too

'Cause otherwise that
Would be yucky

01-27-2007, 05:46 AM
[QUOTE=DeadlyAccurate]A full collection of poetry? Bite your tongue! It probably took me ten full minutes to expel Ode To A Cat. I couldn't possibly handle an entire collection of it.

Your poem touched my heart, moved my bowels, and caused my liver to quiver. It is (Really!) much better than the average poem on poetry.com.

I'm not quite ready to divulge the secret behind my dog's opus yet, but he did know some short cuts. You could get a full collection of mammalian poetry quickly by plagiarizing your cat poem and substituting other mammal species for cat. To wit:

Ode To A Wombat

A wombat's heart
Is in her chest
Where it belongs

Her tail is on her butt
Swishing, flicking
Never still

And what about her fur?
It covers her entire body
Her skin does, too

'Cause otherwise that
Would be yucky

See how easy that was? In no time at all, you could have a whole collection of poems to send off to a certain publisher to get the treatment they deserve and/or to bombard poetry.com. Or both.

01-27-2007, 06:28 AM
Your dog is a genius. No wonder he was a semi-finalist in the competition.

01-27-2007, 06:56 AM
"Here's to the breezes
that blows through the trees-es.
Sends little girls' dresses
Up over their knees-es.
Catches social

William Snakespit
Ode to Spring

I found a whole collection of these last week in a garage sale. I'm pretty sure this William guy is dead. If I sent them to poetry.com, think they'd nail me for plaag...plaigersi...plasigsteri...stealing them?

Needy in Cincinnati

04-16-2007, 05:47 AM
Does anyone know if Poetry.com monitors this place? I submitted a sting poem to them today and I'd like to share but I don't want to jeopardize my chance to get an acceptance letter for this thing.

James D. Macdonald
04-16-2007, 05:50 AM
Who knows what they do?

What will it hurt you to wait a week for your acceptance before posting it?

04-16-2007, 07:10 AM
Who knows what they do?

What will it hurt you to wait a week for your acceptance before posting it? You're right, of course...I'm just impatient :tongue