This excerpt is taken from Collin Kelley’s blog and is a response to a post by Barbra Jane Reeves who is in turn responding to post on Stacy Lynn Brown’s blog regarding her ill treatment after winning a poetry contest sponsored by Cider Press:
Poets need to stop buying into the contest cycle of abuse, let go of the notion that self-publishing makes you less of a poet and that working with a small or micro-press won’t bring you any “prestige.”
I think this is an interesting idea to consider. While I understand the shortcomings of MFA programs in that they sometimes breed this type of behavior, I would like to say that this past July at my low residency program I was encouraged to seek out small presses for my first manuscript. Not only were students encouraged, but the program directors brought in a small publisher and two other creators of online journals to sit on a panel and talk to students about alternate publishing methods. It is important for poets to expand and evolve with the changing market and I hope that MFA programs, agents, and publishers will do the same.