Janet Syas Nitsick and I sat down to talk about what we learned from researching poetry. I am not a poetry writer. She isn’t either. Our main focus has been on writing genre fiction. What we found in our research is not conclusive. There’s plenty more out there to learn, but this is basically what we found:
If you are looking to make a living publishing poems (in your own anthology, to small publishers, magazines, or journals), we could find no evidence this is possible. I can find plenty of evidence that authors who write serials, novellas, and novels are either making a good supplemental income or making a living. I’ve even found that freelance writers (doing articles, ghostwriting, essays, posting for others’ blogs) can make a living. I just can’t find it with poetry. The bottom line: if you’re doing poetry, also do something else if you want to make a living writing.
Below I have linked to some discussion forums and critique groups for poets. I haven’t joined any of these. I just found them while searching for groups to help poets, so if you’re interested in poetry, this might help you meet (and befriend) others who share your interest. These people will probably know more than Janet and I can ever dig up.
Scribophile: Scroll down to the yellow part to find the poetry information.
Critique Groups (includes poetry)