I am sitting in a hotel room in Washington, DC writing this report. Last night I had to tell my wife that her dreams of being a famous published poet with writing awards and being read by many people was not going to happen like she was led to believe by The International Society of Poets. We are here at the Washington Hilton where The ISP 2005 Summer Convention and Symposium is taking place. Yesterday I watched several hundred people walking around this large hotel with trophy's and awards given to them as special awards. Each one beleiving of course that were to compete for poet of the year. I started to investigate because so many of these people had a look of confusion. The kind of look that people have when they know something is not right but they are fighting themselves not to admit it.
The truth is that The ISP sent letters to all of these people telling them that their Poetry was the best and they would be published in a book of Poems along with other famous poets. After being charged a ridiculous amount of money for the special authors price discount for books that were printed for the public, copies the author bought would arrive all net and official looking. The truth is the only people interested in these crummy over priced books were the writers themselves.
With all due respect to the writers and some were very good, I have never seen anything so misrepresented as the horrible scrathing on a chalk board kind of poetry the ISP was promoting as poet of the year material.
The ISP are simply ripping people off to a very lucrative tune. The Watermark press can produce complete books in very small quantity and has advertised so. The only books printed are the few that these famous poets get themselves for the discounted price of only $60 a piece. Very misrepresented by ISP as the famous Antholigy series books.
After being built up by this ISP ripoff they send personal invitation's for the poet to attend their big convention where the poets work would be recognized and the poet would receive special awards. The look of confusion I saw was everyone not understanding why several hundred people were receiving that same award. I am sure some people's ego's were elevated. However they are being lied to and ripped off
My wife and I have been married for thirty years. She is the most elegant, honest person of integraty I have ever known. Many people will tell you that. She came here very excited about winning this contest and being poet of the year. Mostly she wants to share her poetry with the world. After going out yesterday to pay the $1000.00 fee it would cost the two of us to attend, and intuitively catching these peoples emotions. I started investigating and asking some questions around. This is a pure rip-off as sure as I am sitting here.
I came back to the room trying to figure out how to tell this person that I admire so much that scum bags were lying to her. I sat down and started to read her porfolio of Poems. I am not a poetry person by far. I sat there and read every word of 30 or so poems. I realized after I put the book down that she has a tremendous gift of the written word. The pages in that book were all about life, yours and mine. Anyone could understand the heart felt emotions that you and I have known over our lifetime. Some were funny. Some were seriuos. I cried and laughed and just enjoyed reading the poems. She really has something to share with the world in her poetry. I then had to tell this sweet and elegant lady that her dreams would be dashed by these money seeking parasites that prey on peoples ego's and emotions.
We have always been honest and told things straight up so I told her as gently as I could. After the confused look that I saw in the hotel that day left her face ( this ripped through me like a shrapnel wound)she cried and generally felt betrayed. Her confidance is now shaken. The shame is a talented writer with so much to give could be ruined because of this money scam.
I am going to a legitimate publisher with her portfolio and get her published. I have no dought that once read, anyone that publishes this sort of thing would be honored by this work.
Now while my wife sleeps I am going down to the ISP convention now to demand my money back for the deposit paid. I would like for them to know how much I appreciate them putting me in the predicament last night. By the way they are not set to take credit cards here at the hotel . Hummmmmm, I guess they only accept cash and money orders so they have control of the money and not your credit card company. What a concept!!!!!
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