The problem with writing poetry

“There is no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money, either.” Robert Graves.

I have heard that there are some countries where poets are highly regarded and appreciated, even revered and some even make a living from writing poetry. Australia is not one of those countries. Probably only two or three poets in Australia actually make any decent income from their works.

Publication of poetry is having something of a resurgence in recent years here. More magazines are publishing poetry and individual poets are getting their works into book form. Sadly, most of these books can only be published with government grants and most volumes are bought either by other poets or a few libraries.

I am generally an optimist. One thing I am hopeful about is that one day I will make some money from some of my poems. I have a number of poems written for children. I believe that they would make excellent picture books for young children. This is going to be tough. My lecturer at college advises not to write picture book texts in verse because very few ever get published.

That is just a challenge to me to prove everyone wrong.

Good writing.


2 Responses to “The problem with writing poetry”

  1. Rick Cockrum says:

    Hi Trevor,

    I remember a line in Sweeney Todd where Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett are singing about putting people with different occupations in meat pies. Mrs. Lovett says they can’t use poets because you can’t tell when they’re dead. 🙂

    I think the difficulty making a living through poetry exists in the US, too. But publishers are always looking for good children’s books. The format you’re talking about sounds quite doable to me. I wish you all fortune with it.

  2. Trevor says:

    Thanks for the encouragement Rick. My poetry is so special to me I will continue to write and write, and will continue to submit to magazines from time to time and will get published occasionally as in the past.

    Any money that comes from my poetry will be treated as a special bonus. It is the creation of the poetry that is uppermost in my opinion; it has to be written.