I'm aware of the adverts on top of the page. Unfortunately they come with the free service that
hosts this website. I've been in contact with them, but it's a random advert banner and they can't do anything about it.
I'm on the lookout for a host that doesn't display these banners. In the mean time, read through this page, and know that
you SHOULDN'T click those adverts. A lot of the people/companies/institutes mentioned there, are the white-collar criminals to which
I'm refering on this website!
This page is dedicated to all the people who are - willingly or unwillingly - involved with poetry.com.
By now this is a topic which has been talked about so much that you are either completely stupid to even wonder if you should get involved
or not, or you have a 20" plate in front of your face, or then you are here just in time to find out that are going to regret to ever have
laid eyes on this page or, for that matter, on the page of poetry.com *grins*
Poetry.com is a vanity press who very happily drains us, wannabe poets, from our money. And probably because the search engines would come
up with too many matches when typing 'poetry scam' as a keyword, they decided to try their luck with a company with a different name:
Noble House Publishers.
Do I have proof for that?
Yes, because I spoke on the phone to a very helpful person at ILP (International Library of Poets, or just simply poetry.com) and he told
me that indeed Noble House Publishers was a part of ILP.
Don't bother checking the Noble House website (it is by the way www.noblehousepublishers.co.uk), there's no information whatsoever that
would give you more knowledge about them. The only thing they have on the website are three addresses, in London, Paris and New York, which
are only mail forwarding addresses. There is no one present at that address, there's not even a known phonenumber there.
Do I have proof for that?
Yes, because I spoke on the phone with the service desk at the Empire State Building in New York and they told me that there's no one there,
that it was only a mail address and that a phone number wasn't known with them.
A more detailed report can be found at www.poetryin-e-motion.com.
In the Journal of Stupidities you will find a slowly growing list of episodes by the name of 'Poetry scam(s)'.
Following you find a copy of the letters from a most likely non-existing Mr Howard Ely or a most likely non-existing Mr Stephen Michaels
and a most likely non-existing Mr Nigel Hillary, from respectively poetry.com and Noble House Publishers. Notice the similarities in their
From poetry.com, with subject line: 'You're featured in "name of their anthology"!'
Dear [Name of poet],
Several weeks ago, we informed you by mail that our editors have certified your poem "name poem" as a semi-finalist in our International
Open Poetry Contest. I'm writing to remind you that your poem will automatically be entered into the final competition held in May 2003.
As a semi-finalist, you now have an excellent chance of winning one of 104 cash or gift prizes--including the $1,000.00 First Prize. You
may even win the $10,000.00 annual Grand Prize! We wish you the best of luck as you compete for these prizes in the coming weeks (click
here for a complete list of prizes).
And that's not all . . .
[Name of poet] . . . Imagine Your Poem
Featured in a Beautiful Coffee-table Edition!
As I mentioned in my letter, and in celebration of the unique talent that you have displayed, we also wish to publish your poem in what
promises to be one of the most highly sought-after collections of poetry we have ever published . . .
an image of that anthology goes here
"name of their anthology"*
Library of Congress ISBN 0-7951-5227-2
*(actual publication title may be different)
"Name of their anthology", scheduled for publication in Summer 2003, will be a classic, coffee-table quality hardbound volume printed on
fine-milled paper specifically selected to last for generations. It will make a handsome addition to any library, a treasured family
keepsake, or a highly valued personal gift. And best of all, this magnificent volume will showcase the poetry of [Name of poet]!
NO OBLIGATION WHATSOEVER
Before going any further, [Name of poet], let me make one thing clear . . . your poem was selected for publication, and as a contest
semi-finalist, based on your unique talent and artistic vision. We believe it will add to the importance and appeal of this edition. In
this regard, you are under no obligation whatsoever to submit any entry fee, any subsidy payment, or to make any purchase of any kind. Of
course, many people do wish to own a copy of the anthology in which their artistry appears. If this is the case, and you have not already
obtained your copy, we welcome your order--and guarantee you will be satisfied. Please see your special discount information if you would
like to acquire a copy of "name of their anthology".
SO WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
As I mentioned, your poem has automatically been advanced to the final competition--so you do not need to take further action on the
contest at this time. However, regarding the publication of your poetry, if you have not already returned your proof with your approval to
publish, you must now proofread your poem, which appears on your Artist's Proof. Please carefully review your poem for typographical errors
and make any necessary changes. The Artist's Proof also verifies that "name of poem" is your original work of art. And [Name of poet], let
me assure you, your poem remains your property--"name of their anthology" is copyrighted as a compilation. This means that you retain the
copyright to your own work of art.
And if you haven't done so already, you must also decide if you would like to have some information about yourself and your poetry included
in this elegant edition. In this way, the media and public can gain a greater awareness of your motivations, the meaning poetry has in your
life, the story behind your poem, or your personal or philosophical point of view. We have set aside a special biographical section in the
anthology for this purpose. And although we must charge a nominal fee for this service, you are under no obligation to include this
information. Your poem can be published without it if you wish. Please see your Artist's Proof for further information.
In the meantime, our design department has already begun working on a distinctive layout for the poetry selected for this anthology. But
remember, if you have not yet done so, you must complete your Artist's Proof and reply to us as soon as possible. And, if you wish to
acquire a copy of "name of their anthology" at the contributor's special pre-publication discount, please complete the appropriate
information, also on the Artist's Proof.
Again, congratulations, [Name of poet]. We feel you have a special talent and we believe your poem will add to the importance and appeal
of this edition. Your contribution to "name of their anthology" is greatly appreciated.
P.S. [Name of poet], you should be genuinely proud of your accomplishment. You have been selected to participate in this very special
edition because of your unique vision. It is our pleasure to publish fine poetry such as yours in this historic volume. And, if you decide
to order "name of their anthology", we are so certain that you will love the quality of the edition and the way your poetry is presented,
we can proudly offer an unconditional guarantee. If for any reason you are dissatisfied, your money will be promptly refunded.
You may also return the Artist's Proof we previously mailed you if you find that more convenient than ordering online. But either way, we
must hear from you within 4 weeks if you wish to be included in this historic poetry edition. If you have already returned your Artist's
Proof by mail, you need take no further action to authorize publication.
And the mail from Noble House Publishers, with the subject title: 'May we publish your poetry in the U.K. ?'
Dear [Name of poet]
As you may know, Noble House is one of the world’s foremost publishers of fiction and nonfiction works by new and established authors. Our
poetry division in the U.K. has had the honour of publishing the poetry of more than 800 poets over the past twelve years.
Recently I had the pleasure of reading the poetry that you have had published in the United States. I congratulate you on this grand
endeavour, and propose to you that your singular talent and vision deserves appropriate recognition in Europe as well.
For this reason, I have posted this letter to request your permission to include one of your favourite poems in "name of their anthology"
- a new poetry edition that is being published in the U.K. by Noble House and slated for worldwide distribution . . . a collection of
poetry that is perhaps unlike any you have ever seen . . . one where each poem is featured on its own page, and one whose quality is
reminiscent of the finest 19th century antique poetry books.
Hearken back, if you will, to the days of Emily Dickinson, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and William Wordsworth . . .
the age of grand bookmaking. Poetry editions were some of the most highly prized volumes because of their intimate attention to detail -
quality typography, fine ivory laid paper, and colourful ornate covers. [Name of poet], for this Edition, we've returned to the traditional
size, style, and quality of these classic 19th century antique poetry books.
Scheduled for release in early Summer 2003, "name of their anthology" will surely become one of your most treasured keepsakes. Your
publication in this edition will establish you as an international author and afford you the respect and admiration attendant to such an
honour. International Copyright notice for your poetic artistry will, of course, be in your name, assuring that you will retain worldwide
rights to your work of art.
Best of all, should you decide to obtain a copy of the edition for your personal library, or as a wonderful personalised gift (you are,
naturally, under no obligation to purchase a copy, notwithstanding the publication of your work in this edition), as you proudly turn its
pages you’ll find it one of the best values on the book market today. At only £28.95 (U.S. $45.55) for a hardbound, 225-page edition
printed in two colours on ivory laid vellum, with a highly detailed, finely crafted, ornate cover, and a single poem to a page, this
Edition promises to exceed your expectations, and will enjoy pride of place in your home. In fact, its quality is guaranteed. If for any
reason you are dissatisfied, your money will be completely refunded in U.S. dollars with proper dispatch.
[Name of poet], you may also wish to consider giving the public some insight about you and your artistry for this poetic showcase . . .
perhaps the meaning behind your poem, or your own philosophical perspective. Because an entire page in the book is devoted to honouring
your poetry, we can feature this additional material about you and your poetry on the recto leaf opposite your poem (you will thus have two
full pages devoted to you and your artistry).
[Name of poet], may we have permission to publish your work in the United Kingdom? Regardless of whether you purchase a copy or not, the
international public deserves to see more of your artistic talent. You may submit your poem and biographical information, and give us
permission all within the confines of the next page. And if you are inclined to order a copy of "name of their anthology", you may also do
so at the same time.
Noble House U.K.
P.S. For poets who may wish to obtain supplementary copies for gift-giving, to display, or for merchandising, special case pack discounts
are available. Please consult the submission and order form for further details.
And then after you've been selected for publishing and you received one of the above emails, another email will follow with the subject
title: 'You are cordially invited', also signed by Steve Michaels at Poetry.com.
This is what it looks like:
Ladies and gentlemen, and fellow poets . . . It's now time to declare the winner of the largest cash prize ever awarded to an
amateur poet . . . Our Poet of the Year for 2003 . . . and Grand Prize winner of $20,000 is . . .
[Name of poet]!
We're familiar with your work, [Name of poet], and you know . .
it could happen just that way!
Dear [Name of poet],
I would like to inform you of your nomination as Poet of the Year for 2003, and to personally invite you to read your poetry at the single
largest gathering of poets in history, where you will be formally inducted as an International Poet of Merit and Honored Member of our
Society for 2003.
Your induction will take place Friday evening, August 15th, in the United States Capital, Washington, D.C., during the 2003 International
Society of Poets Summer 2003 Convention and Symposium.
You will also be honored with two separate and very special awards for your poetic achievement at special ceremonies
throughout the weekend.
First, to honor and commemorate your poetic accomplishments, after you present your poetry in front of fellow poets from around the world,
amidst the applause from the audience, you will be presented with your Outstanding Achievement in Poetry Silver Award Cup. The Award is a
magnificent work of art in itself ($200.00 value), uniquely engraved and mounted on a cherry-wood. This incomparable award is so large and
heavy, you may need an extra suitcase just to carry it home!
And [Name of poet] . . . there's much more . . .
In recognition of your poetry presentation at this prestigious International Symposium, we will also create and present to you a beautiful
and colorful Commemorative Award Medallion to honor your poetic dedication and achievements.
36 POETS WILL SHARE $74,000.00 TOTAL IN PRIZES--INCLUDING
THE SINGLE LARGEST POETRY CASH PRIZE EVER AWARDED--$20,000.00!
And don't forget the most lucrative amateur poetry contest ever! Your contest entry poem can be written in any style, on any subject . . .
and can be up to 40 lines long.
Just think . . . for this poem alone, you will have the opportunity to win one of 36 cash and gift prizes to be awarded at the Symposium
. . . including a Grand Prize of $20,000.00--the largest cash prize ever awarded in an amateur poetry competition. There's also a Second
Prize of $5,000.00, two Third Prizes of all-expenses paid vacations for two, including a Caribbean cruise and a trip to Cancun, Mexico, a
Fourth Prize of $1,000.00, and six other cash prizes of $500.00 each. World-renowned Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.D.Snodgrass and movie
star Mickey Rooney will be with us to congratulate poets and present the Grand Prize.
Your society is also encouraging today's youth to develop and utilize their poetic talents in a positive manner. This year we will award
five $1,000.00 cash scholarships to talented young poets attending the Symposium.
Our editors and professors will also be searching for new poetic talent. Twenty poets will be "discovered" in the contest reading sessions.
These winners will be awarded publishing or recording contracts that will generate international exposure for their poetic artistry.
In all, $74,000.00 in cash and prizes will be awarded at this single event!
LIGHTS . . . CAMERA . . . ACTION!
And that's still just the beginning . . . we've got three very special days planned for you . . . ones you'll never forget!
**You will be officially inducted as an honorary "International Poet of Merit" for 2003.
**You and your poetic achievements will be honored at two Gala Banquets and Award Ceremonies.
**You will enjoy dazzling entertainment shows created especially for you featuring Hollywood living legend Mickey Rooney, members of the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Drifters, legendary Motown singing group, the Marvelettes, plus other special surprise entertainers. These
special command performances will thrill and delight you. There will also be lots of other entertainment, including Midnight Dance Parties
on both Friday and Saturday nights!
**Hollywood icon and legendary star of the silver screen, Mickey Rooney, will entertain and inspire us throughout the weekend.
**You will learn more about your craft in seminars, reading rooms, rap sessions, and workshops, where you can read and discuss your poetry
in informal settings with other poets from all over the world. Back by popular demand are the ISP rap rooms, our famous sunrise poetry
readings, the ISP Coffee House, the ISP Open Microphone Rooms, and workshops on how to fine-tune your poetic talents.
**You will have the rare opportunity to get up-close and personal with the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.D. Snodgrass, Dr. Herbert Woodward
Martin, Mattie Stepanek, and Dr. Len Roberts, who will also be reading their own work.
**You will participate in a fantastic international poetry competition featuring 35 prizes totaling $66,500.00. A Grand Prize of
$20,000.00, two all-expenses paid vacations for two, including a Caribbean cruise and a trip to Cancun, Mexico, 8 other cash prizes
totaling $9,000.00, 10 poetry recording contracts, 10 book publishing contracts, and 5 Young Poets Scholarship prizes will be awarded at
this single event.
**You and your guests will also be eligible to win one of many door prizes, valued at over $6,000.00.
**You will make friendships that will last a lifetime and will return home with wonderful memories, your Outstanding Achievement in Poetry
Silver Award Cup, your Commemorative Award Medallion, and lots of other special gifts.
DON'T BE LEFT OUT
Don't miss this opportunity. Space is limited, and our Conventions routinely sell out. Plan to join your fellow poets in the United States
Capital, Washington, D.C., August 15-17, 2003 for the poetic event of the year! I am also looking forward to meeting you and celebrating
the power and beauty of poets and poetry!
International Society of Poets
Convention Chairperson back to top
Scam or not?
Is poetry.com a scam?
Well... That depends on how you want to see it. If you want to be so blind and do not want to see that they are only after your money...
There's little I can do here. Maybe at the end of this text I might have convinced you if you read the poem I sent in which was a
semi-finalist poem with artistic vision and unique talent and whatever they wrote.
Are they doing something illegal?
I guess that you can see also from different points of view.
No, they are not promising you that you are going to be a millionaire.
No, they are not promising you that you are going to get a contract.
No, they are not offering you any fees or payments for your poetry.
They DO tell you that you are one of the few who are selected, whereas pretty much anyone who sends in his or her poems will be selected.
So that's a straight on lie.
They DO tell you that your poem is of high quality, even if it sucks big time (I'm not refering to anyone's poem in particular here, just
to that one poem that I sent in which was selected).
Their anthologies might be registered with an ISBN number, but give it a try and try to get it through a normal bookstore. You won't get
it. No bookstore is able to find the ISBN numbers in their computer, at least not one of the biggest ones of the country I tried, and thus
can't order it for you. I received an e-mail from Mr David E. Young (click here to read the
e-mail correspondence I had with him. It's a pop-up window, it has two of his mails, for which I got his permission to post, and my
replies (it's a rather long piece of text, but worth reading!). Note that I'm not going to do that with every e-mail I receive, but this was
an interesting thing.) who says that he was able to get it through Amazon. But as far I know the only way you can get your hands on
poetry.com's anthologies is through their website or through their customer service.
They are not obligating you to purchase the anthology which you are supposed to be published in. If you buy one, it's your own free
voluntary will. It'll cost you a shitload of money, and the book itself sucks big time. The layout sucks, unlike what they write in their
mail. There's nothing distinctive whatsoever about the layout. There's six to 14 poems cramped on one page in an eight points Times New
Roman-like font (for people who don't know what that is: it's the standardest font you can imagine, and eight points is about the size that
a decent person can just read without using binoculars).
Summary: there's NO layout!
And you know what the funny thing is? If you don't purchase the anthology, or otherwise pay a lot of money for plaques or for example the
conventions you won't be published in it. If you don't pay something, the publishing of your poem will be postponed to the next
anthology, and the next, and the next, until you decide to purchase something.
How am I so sure? Well, the thing is, that when I told one of my friends about my first poem that was selected for publishing he also
submitted one. And 'coincidentally'... he got all the same letters and e-mails, like the ones copied above here, and that poem was also
selected to be published in the same anthology. He didn't buy it, but I did and I checked for both our names, but only my name and poem was
published in there. Not his. And if you check now on the poetry.com website and look at his poem that was supposed to be published in the
same anthology as mine was, it's now featured in the next anthology to be released, which is the one my poem "Poor Victims" is going to be
published in (IF I buy it, that is...).
Oh, I was still going to give you that poem "Poor Victims" of mine that was selected to be published because of it's unique vision and
artistic skills, or whatever:
walking with open eyes
into a spider's web
of deceit and lies.
by the name of ILP
A flattering letter
send in a fancy envelope
brings the new poet
temporarily new hope.
Dear fellow poets,
don't fall for
ILP shall deceive us no more!
Oh! And just to give you an image of how your poem is crammed up on a page, I've put a page here that I scanned from one of their
anthologies. I took the names and titles of the poems away, not to offend (or compliment) anyone with their presence on this page. If
anyone recognises his or her poem and still thinks it's a problem, notify me, please.
Anyway... Have a good look at it and think twice if this is the way you want to have your poetry published.
And after reading this I let you decide for yourself whether you think this is a scam or not.
The anthology that I bought (yes, I know, I had the same 20" thick plate in front of my face) cost me $ 59.95 (excluding p+p).
My estimate is (excuse me for not counting them by hand) that there are around 1,500 poems in there. Since you won't get published if you
don't buy the book, all those 1,500 poets have bought the anthology (assuming that they won't print two poems of the same poet in there).
That would mean 1,500 x $ 59,95 = $ 89,925 for the poems. There are 325 biographies of poets in the back (I DID count them by hand), for
which the poet had to pay $ 25 extra. That's 325 x $ 25 = $ 8,125.
Together for this anthology that would be $ 89,925 + $ 8,125 = $ 98,050.
I first thought that they'd publish some six anthologies per year, but even I was dumbstruck that that amount should be multiplied by ten.
I took the time to count the released anthologies that they have on the poetry.com website and in the year 2002, the year which the
anthology that I bought was published, they released a total of 52 anthologies. In 1998, which was probably a very profitable year for them
the number of released anthologies rocketed up to 78.
So if we take the average of that, 65, and use that as the amount of released anthologies per year, you can calculate the following:
65 x $ 98,050 = $ 6,373,250 income per year only for those anthologies. That is over SIX MILLION DOLLARS! *dingdingdingding*
And then I didn't even count all the other shit that they are offering. The awards, which cost like $ 175 - $ 250 each and the plaques on
which you can have your poem printed and the audio recordings you can get from your poem and the offers for the symposia that you can
visit as an outstanding poet.
And in this matter I'm only talking about the poetry part that they have. Imagine what their turn over is if you take into consideration
that they also do 'business' in for example photography!
My dear fellow poets, this is BOOOOOOOOMING business.
And we don't see a penny of it. Not ONE SINGLE penny. We only PAY to see their pockets get filled!
Doesn't sound too fair, does it?
I took the liberty of splitting this up in literary links and statistics links. I personally define statistics links as links to pages that
have primarily other (poetry) links and links that are supposed to increase the traffic to a site. If you feel that your link needs to be
here, or if you want to show that you support this site with a link or banner (we'll exchange links, for the courtesy), then please let me
You can drop me an e-mail at email@example.com.
I do give myself the right, though, to refuse any site that doesn't meet my criteria. This is obviously a totally subjective thing, so I'm
not even going to start to put any criteria here, but I'll send you a mail back with my reasons for refusing.
Oh, one thing, though: since this website is also a warning for the 'younger' poets, don't waste your time if your link goes to a website
that contains information that is not acceptable for that category.
(All the links open in a new window.)