I was on the internet one day looking for a place to share poetry and ran across a poetry contest. The contest was to submit a poem no more than 25 lines in length and on your choice of subject. The prize was $10,000 or the chance to have your poem published.
The thought of possibly winning $10,000 was really nice so I decided to enter a poem. Only a few weeks later a letter arrived in the mail stating I had won the chance to have my poem published.
I was given a copy to proof read and make any neccessary changes and was told to return it as soon as possible. I looked over over the proof copy, accepted it and mailed it off.
Shortly after that I was sent another letter stating I had a chance at buying copies of my published poem at a discounted price. The letter also stated, the more I bought the cheaper they were. I agreed to buy 6 books at a total of almost $350US.
In the summer of 2007 all 6 books arrived in my mail, and I don't think I could have been happier. I thought I had accomplished a goal I originally thought would take many, many years.
About a month or so after I received the books, I got another letter from The International Library of Poetry. This time they wanted to tell me they were so impressed with my unique outlook that they wanted me to come out to Las Vegas for a chance to read my poetry in front of thousands of people.
They also said they were giving away a hand carved crystal statue as a gift to us poets. I wasn't interested in traveling very far so I turned down the offer.
In November of 2007, I received another letter. This one stated that I was to submit another poem for automatic publishing in another book, titled Best Poems of 2008, or something like that. I didn't have to money to buy a book myself and as a result choose not to submit a poem.
In May of 2008 I received another letter inviting me to Las Vegas. Once again it was for the chance to read my poetry in front of thousands of people and to possibly walk away with that crystal statue. (Which they say each year it is the only year they will give away such a statue!)
Sadly I believed all of this to be true, until today, June 10,2008. Today I discovered a bunch of different people who were all told the same thing as I was. They also ordered books, in which their poem was first in line. My poem, "The Light" is not in their books, and their poems are not in my book.
It is not fair for any one person or company to take advantage of people who are just looking to have their poetry heard. The International Library of Poetry needs to go down!!!