Purpose: To help poets of all levels work on and improve their skill at writing poetry.
Poets Working is an open membership community intended for people who wish to improve their poetry and for people who simply enjoy reading or writing poetry and wish to share theirs. There is no jury process required for you to join poets_working.
Members whose work is outstanding will be invited to join a 'by invitation only' community created specifically for poets of a more professional level.
Our hope was that, this way, emphasis could be placed on the work of poetry-writing, itself, rather than upon judging people for admission. We are not here to judge; we are here to help each other improve.
When you join, please introduce yourself! Here is a brief survey format to use:
1. Please proofread the work you post here as carefully as you would, if you were submitting it for publication.
2. For works of longer than ten lines, please use LJ cuts. These create a link to the 'comments page' version of your entry, where the entire entry is displayed, They work in this format (in angled brackets, not parentheses):
(lj-cut) Text of Poem (/lj-cut)
Doing this will cause a link that says 'Read more' to appear in your entry on the main community page.
If you want to substitute some other text for 'Read more,' do the following:
(lj-cut text="My Poem Title") Text of Poem (/lj-cut)
If you are including several long poems inside the cut, you might want to create separate LJ-cuts for each poem. When you do this, it's sometimes a good idea to add a label for each one that will be visible on the comments page:
(lj-cut text="First Poems") Title of Poem #1
Text of Poem #1 (/lj-cut>
(lj-cut text="Second Poem") Title of Poem #2
Text of poem #2 (/lj-cut)
3. Please submit the following types of poetry elsewhere:
Sexually explicit poetry
Goth poetry (vampires, etc.)
Graphically violent poetry or poetry that includes cuss words
Poetry about self-mutilation or self-harm
Fannish poetry (anything obviously related to Harry Potter, Star Trek, etc.) If we can't tell that it's fannish, then that is excellent!
Racist or hate-oriented poetry
It should go without saying that plagiarized poetry is absolutely unacceptable.
4. Members of this community should be 16 years of age or older. Critiques will happen here, and we can't predict how considerate everyone will be or how any given person might react to such feedback. We know that age is not a perfect predictor of maturity, but it's the only yardstick we have.
5. The following things will get you banned from this community:
Claiming the work of another poet as your own.
Posting work that violates Rule #3 above after having been warned not to, once.
Entering this community before you are 16 years of age.
Excessive discourtesy in your posts (thus, to the community as a whole) or harrassment of fellow members in email or elsewhere.
6. Copyright: All poets retain the copyright to their original works. Posting your work here does not constitute loss of copyright, as far as this community is concerned. For more detailed information, please consult the US Copyright Office website.
General Critique Guidelines
Please remember that this is a poetry workshop. Poetry editors must be ruthless about what they accept, and blunt and terse in their rejections. We can afford to be more relaxed and considerate.
1. Never, ever treat a fellow member's work with contempt. Even if it is poorly spelled, has terrible rhyme or meter, or is trite and cliche-ridden, at least be courteous when you tell the author so. Even if a work is bad, the author invested time, energy, and emotion into it. If you cannot at least respect that, then either stay silent, or find another community to critique in. This is not a place in which to casually dismiss someone else's poetry with the single word 'fluff,' even if the poem is shallow. You owe them courtesy.
2. If you express an opinion about someone else's work, it is only common courtesy to explain why you feel that way. "Your poem is great!" and "God, how could you write crap like this?" are equally unhelpful, and the latter is rude, as well. When you critique, you should ask yourself, "How can I help this person improve his or her poetry?"