Poets & Writers has been integral to my development as a poet in the larger universe. The print magazine and Web site have been valuable resources in terms of knowing how other poets are navigating this very difficult landscape of writing. While I was completing my MFA at Chicago State University, Poets & Writers helped me to submit my work to literary journals and magazines, and eventually to the press that would publish my first book. Also, through support from P&W's Readings/Workshops program, I have been able to read in places that I might not have normally read.
I've been an avid reader of Poets & Writers Magazine for many years. Packed with information, stories of the writing life, profiles of writers, and contest deadlines, I've always found it a tremendous resource. And in 2007, when I won the California Writers Exchange Award in fiction and P&W sent me on a trip to New York to meet with people in the publishing industry, I learned how extremely well-respected the organization is among agents, publishers, and writers.
Cowboy poetry is not exactly a mainstream media event. The support I receive from Poets & Writers puts me in front of audiences that would probably never be exposed to western verse. For the last 15 years, Poets & Writers has made it possible for me to take my poetry to more places than I could have ever imagined. P&W's continued support adds prestige and credibility to any event, reading, or workshop. The P&W staff makes it as easy on the sponsors as they do on the presenters. I look forward to continuing my relationship with P&W for the next 40 years.
After college, I lived on the west coast of Chile for several years and really missed being part of a community of writers who wrote in the same language. On my visits to the U.S., I'd camp out in bookstores to get my fill of poetry books and literary magazines, especially of Poets & Writers. I loved reading about the authors in it who'd gone through periods as disconnected from the American
There are very few organizations that really care about how the work is reaching other populations and communities.
—Regie Cabico, poet and spoken word performer funded by P&W's Readings/Workshops program
Back then, I didn't have time for Poets & Writers. Fine, I was part of a panel discussion it sponsored, went to get-togethers: awfully smart people, high-minded yet down to earth. But I was serving on the boards of PEN and Mystery Writers of America. Enough. I'd learned that while being a "living American novelist" was exhilirating, being out there depleted my energy for fantasy and work, the two activities that made me a writer in the first place. So sorry, P&W.
My boilerplate advice is, subscribe to Poets & Writers.
—Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections: A Novel (FSG, 2001)
I think Dylan Thomas got it right—that when we’re at our best in this art, we lose sight of all agendas (“ambition,” “bread,” “the strut and trade of charms on the ivory stages”) and go alone into the dark to sing for something that isn’t listening. And yet the final step in the process is to connect with readers—and sometimes (as with Thomas) with listeners too. For a poet like me, whose work is full of sound and narration, “taking it on the road” is a good way to see if I’m connecting—and not just with my literary peers.