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Poetry Book Review:

How To Make A Living As A Poet

by Gary Mex Glazner

Gary Mex Glazner has done what few other poets seem able to. He makes a living as a poet and has written a book giving concrete examples of how you too can make a living as a poet.

How To Make A Living As A Poet by Gary Mex Glazner is broken down into three sections. Section 1, titled "The Poetry Entrepreneur: Creative Poetry Programming", offers 12 overviews of poetry projects that have earned at least a part-time income for the poets who are behind them. Many of the projects offer a full-time income and Glazner even includes his own very successful Alzheimer's Poetry Project.

Section 2 is a group of interviews with poetry entrepreneurs. Included in interviews are Bob Holman, owner of the world famous Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, Naomi Shihab Nye, who has made a successful career out of reading and writing poetry, and Beau Sia, a successful film producer who has had his poetic productions run on Broadway.

Section 3 of How To Make A Living As A Poet is titled "Nuts/Bolts/Rants/Manifestos" and properly lives up to its name. Glazner offers practical insights into the life as a poet-entrepreneur and presents the reader with real world advice on making a living as a poet.

If being a full-time poet and getting paid for it is your dream then I'd highly recommend "How To Make A Living As A Poet". Published in 2005, the book is as relevant today, four years later, and will likely be just as relevant 10 or 20 years down the road. Many of the ways in which poets have earned an income are quite unique, such as the poetry diner, but others like foundation grants and fellowships are as traditional as a Catholic church service. Nevertheless, Gary Mex Glazner's writing style, his wry sense of humor, and his knowledge of the field will keep you reading.

Not everyone will benefit from How To Make A Living As A Poet. If you see yourself as a hobbyist or have no interest in turning your poetry into a full-time income then it may not be your type of book. But even poets without entrepreneurial aspirations can learn something from the poets that Glazner highlights and their projects. You may even get an idea or two from some of the chapters that can help you in your poetic presentations, whether you write poetry for profit or not.

It's hard to find anything negative to say about How To Make A Living As A Poet, but if I had to then I'd say that the material is particularly deep reading. But it shouldn't be. While it isn't exactly light fare, there is much more depth that could be told about how to make a living as a poet. Glazner only scratches the surface and doesn't delve deeply at all into how to use the Internet as a tool for profiting as a poet. Still, I highly recommend the book as reading for any poet who dreams of making money from his or her passion.

Order your copy of

How To Make A Living As A Poet
by Gary Mex Glazner


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