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2005-10-04 - 12:29 p.m.

Whoo HOO!! I finally got one of those HYSTERICAL LETTERS from the POETRY.COM folk!

"Several weeks ago, we informed you by mail that our editors have certified your poem "Picture Perfect" as a semi-finalist in our International Open Poetry Contest. I'm writing to remind you that your poem will automatically be entered into the final competition held in October 2005. As a semi-finalist, you now have an excellent chance of winning one of 104 cash or gift prizes--including the $1,000.00 First Prize. You may even win the $10,000.00 annual Grand Prize! We wish you the best of luck as you compete for these prizes in the coming weeks (click here for a complete list of prizes).

And that's not all . .

. . . Imagine Your Poem
Featured on a Page by Itself in a Beautiful Coffee-table Edition!

As I mentioned in my letter, and in celebration of the unique talent that you have displayed, we also wish to publish your poem in what promises to be one of the most highly sought-after collections of poetry we have ever published . . .

Eternal Portraits*
*(actual publication title may be different)

Eternal Portraits, scheduled for publication in Winter 2006, will be a classic, coffee-table quality hardbound volume printed on fine-milled paper specifically selected to last for generations. It will make a handsome addition to any library, a treasured family keepsake, or a highly valued personal gift. And best of all, this magnificent volume will showcase the poetry of MSAFIRE on an entire page itself!


Before going any further, let me make one thing clear . . . your poem was selected for publication, and as a contest semi-finalist, based on your unique talent and artistic vision. We believe it will add to the importance and appeal of this edition. In this regard, you are under no obligation whatsoever to submit any entry fee, any subsidy payment, or to make any purchase of any kind. Of course, many people do wish to own a copy of the anthology in which their artistry appears. If this is the case, and you have not already ordered or reserved your copy, we welcome your order--and guarantee you will be satisfied. Please see your special discount information if you would like to order a copy of Eternal Portraits.


As I mentioned, your poem has automatically been advanced to the final competition--so you do not need to take further action on the contest at this time. However, regarding the publication of your poetry, if you have not already returned your proof with your approval to publish, you must now proofread your poem, which appears on your Artist's Proof. Please carefully review your poem for typographical errors and make any necessary changes. The Artist's Proof also verifies that "Picture Perfect" is your original work of art. And let me assure you, your poem remains your property--Eternal Portraits is copyrighted as a compilation. This means that you retain the copyright to your own work of art.

And if you haven't done so already, you must also decide if you would like to have some personal information about yourself and your poetry included in this elegant edition. In this way, readers can gain a greater awareness of your motivations, the meaning poetry has in your life, the story behind your poem, or your personal or philosophical point of view. Your biography will be featured on a page by itself, directly opposite your poem--you will thus have two full pages in the book devoted to you and your artistry. And although we must charge a nominal fee for this service, you are under no obligation to include this information. Your poem can be published without it if you wish. Please see your Artist's Proof for further information.

Again, congratulations We feel you have a special talent and we believe your poem will add to the importance and appeal of this edition. Your contribution to Eternal Portraits is greatly appreciated.


Howard Ely
Managing Editor

P.S. you should be genuinely proud of your accomplishment. You have been selected to participate in this very special edition because of your unique vision. It is our pleasure to publish fine poetry such as yours in this historic volume. And, if you decide to order Eternal Portraits, we are so certain that you will love the quality of the edition and the way your poetry is presented, we can proudly offer an unconditional guarantee. If for any reason you are dissatisfied, your money will be promptly refunded.

You may also return the Artist's Proof we previously mailed you if you find that more convenient than ordering online. But either way, we must hear from you within 4 weeks if you wish to be included in this historic poetry edition. If you have already returned your Artist's Proof by mail, you need take no further action to authorize publication.

Proofread your poem and order the hardbound anthology now or go to

Everything you always wanted to know, including what others have to say! or go to

You are receiving this email because you submitted a poem to our contest and agreed to receive relevant emails from us.

Please do not reply to this message. If you no longer wish us to notify you of poetic events that we believe may be of interest to you, please click here, or go to"


A WONDERFUL 2nd grade teacher MRS MCMAHAN at LINCOLN ELEMENTARY Had the wisdom to use this service by submitting her students work! OF course HALF the class are aspising writers! They were just SO THRILLED to WIN A WRITING CONTEST!

I also know of one of the disabled residents at PEOPLE INC where I worked whose whole sense of identiy and self pride is based on his being a published poet! He spends his little bit of discretionary personal income each year on the books.

And I THINK THAT MARVELOUS! I think this site, cheesy as it is, has a wonderful function! I think they really do offer a chance for celebration and esteem building and encouragement to emerging writers! HECK GOOD writers COLLECT the rejection letters! It DOES feel fantastic to get a letter that does what our marriage counselor described as FLOODING. He recommends all couples take a few minutes to INTENTIONALLY FLOOD your partner with COMPLIMENTS to make them realize how wonderful they are! So what harm is it for someone to THINK they are a talented poet when the world of ACADAMIA disagrees? In THEIR world they ARE and it just makes their day with the FLOODING they get by such a letter!

IT made me smile! Even if it is POETRY.COM

AND YES I think I did send them a damn fine poem! The real irony for me is I am SO VERBOSE and need serious Help editing. I LIKE their site as it is a forum that FORCES me to edit dowm my work and the end result really is some of my better writing! They only take 20 lines or less. So that was a real challenge to me!

My favorite writing on this topic has to be DAVE BARRY's poem.

I am searching for it. Here's one take from him at this site:


I regret I can't find the MOST HYSTERICAL POEM read in DAVE BARRY's column in the BUFFALO NEWS about 10 years ago. Poetry.Com has been fodder for his humor for a LONG TIME! What made that so tremendously funny was that I had an employee at PEOPLE INC at the time, a very smart and well educated man who happened to be from NIGERIA and not up on the pop culture here who was so THRILLED when he got his letter! He was then so embarassed when the article by DAVE BARRY exposed the scam and he felt silly ! BUT ALPHONSUS' poem REALLY WAS LOVELY!

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