Giving A Reading (And Making A Living)

Many thanks to Claire Zulkey at the MBToolbox for getting the go-ahead from Soft Skull Press and republishing Gary Mex Glazner’s very helpful advice on giving a (poetry) reading. Claire has posted this succinct and yet somewhat lengthy information in two segments: one and two.

This information comes from Glazner’s book, How to Make a Living as a Poet, which I read, enjoyed, and reviewed (albeit in a very short, capsule-like review) when it was first published. And I don’t need to ask Soft Skull Press (or anyone else) to republish it! Enjoy!


by Gary Mex Glazner
Soft Skull Press, 2005
ISBN: 1-932360-69-7

Review by Erika Dreifus

Ever considered being a poet-in-residence–for a hotel? Dreamed of finding some magical patron to give you a place to live (rent-free) while you worked on your writing? In his new book, Gary Mex Glazner describes how he and others have managed to accomplish such feats, how they’ve been able to “make a living as a poet.”

Glazner, whose impressive resume includes directing the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project and serving on the board of New Mexico Literary Arts, for which he oversees the Rural Poetry program, has essentially assembled a tripartite handbook in “How to Make a Living as a Poet.” The first section, “The Poetry Entrepreneur: Creative Poetry Programming,” offers detailed examples of ways to earn money as a poet, such as those mentioned above.

The book’s second part features interviews with prominent poets/writers, including Sherman Alexie, Mary Karr, Naomi Shihab Nye, and others. Finally, “Nuts/Bolts/Rants/Manifestos” offers helpful hints on everything from writing a press release to giving a good reading.

Together, the book’s elements offer practical tips to manage the basic business of a poet/writer’s life, plus creative suggestions to increase income while still doing the work one loves. That’s an excellent combination. And according to the very interesting page 147, where the author invites reader response, we won’t have to wait long for the sequel.*

*Available in March 2007, also from Soft Skull Press: How to Make a Life as a Poet

2 thoughts on “Giving A Reading (And Making A Living)

  1. emilydixieson says:

    All the poets cry, “thank you thank you!”

  2. Erika Dreifus says:

    You’re welcome, you’re welcome!

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