Is There Money In Poetry

What Is the Value of Poetry?

Most of us are familiar with the term “poetry,” but not many of us have tackled the question of what it truly is, let alone what its financial value is. Poetry is a literary form of expression that is derived from the poet’s thoughts, emotions and experiences. The most common forms including odes, lyrics, sonnets and epics are distinguished by the use of rhyme, meter and structural patterns, as these help to maintain the focus of the poet and then, ultimately, the reader.
Despite the lack of a common definition of poetry, it is generally accepted that the focus and concentration of language and form is an essential factor to discover its true value. Poetry and its writers are often unfairly eclipsed by prose, plays and stories as a more profitable form of literature, yet this is not always the case. In fact, poetry can be an extremely profitable market for those who are able to hone their craft.

Is There Money in Poetry?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. While traditionally, most poets wrote and published their work out of pure passion and to share their own stories, it is now becoming a source of income in many cases. Though it can be difficult to make a living off of poetry alone, there are many ways to create a sustainable source of income while also engaging in a fulfilling and creative expression of one’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences.
Poeties have the ability to sell their work online or enter poetry competitions, festivals and slams for cash prizes. There are also jobs for poets that involve writing for specific charities or events, which could bring in a steady income. Furthermore, publishing a book or anthology of poetry, even independently, can be a great way to make money, as well as working as a freelance editor and even teaching creative writing classes.

Writing and Publishing

For writers that want to make money off their work, the most traditional approach to do this is by publishing a book or anthology of their own poetry. For poets who want to use a more traditional approach, submitting manuscripts to literary magazines, competitions or contests can be an effective way to earn money in the long run. Winning or being shortlisted for one of these awards can also bring attention to a poet’s work, leading to further opportunities.
Alternatively, poets can also look into their local writing and artistic organizations to see if they offer any additional monetary awards or grants. These types of awards can be found on the websites of many organizations and foundations, including ones specifically designed to support artist of all kinds.

Online Selling

Perhaps the biggest breakthrough in the way poets can make money is by selling their work online. This is a relatively new yet popular way for many poets to make an income from their work, as it doesn’t require a degree in creative writing or a specific publishing house.
Poets can make money through their own website, by selling prints of their poems or by charging for commissions. Etsy is another popular platform for independent artists and creators to list and sell their work. This could be an excellent way for poets to make a living through poetry, as well as engage with potential customers and fans from around the world.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking engagements are another great resource for poets looking to make money. Most universities and other educational institutions are often open to bringing in guest lecturers or speakers on a variety of topics. Additionally, some poets can be offered the chance to speak at schools, libraries, bookstores, festivals and other events. Even private organizations have been known to hire spoken word artists for their events.


Another way for poets to make money on the side is through teaching creative writing courses. Not only will this provide an additional source of income, but it could also increase their network of like-minded individuals and potential employers. Additionally, some universities or community-based programs also look to hire poets to instruct or mentor students in the art of verse.

Freelance Writing and Editing

Poets also have the option to make money through freelance writing and editing opportunities. These types of jobs can be found online or through networking and could involve anything from copywriting to proofreading. Freelance writing jobs can also open the doors to further opportunities, such as ghostwriting or collaborating on poetry projects.

Competitions and Festivals

Poetry competitions and festivals are another potential way to make money from poetry. Many of these competitions offer cash prizes for the winning entries and some may also offer additional awards such as publication or even travel grants. Some of these competitions require a certain calibre of poets, so it’s worth doing some research to ensure you meet the criteria.


Though poetry is not a traditional source of income, there are several ways in which poets can make money from their work. Whether a poet is interested in publishing a book of their work or taking up a freelance writing opportunity, there are plenty of options available. It might take some time and dedication to continue to hone one’s craft and establish a sustainable source of income, however, it could also bring in a great deal of satisfaction of making money while doing something they feel passionate about.

Minnie Walters is a passionate writer and lover of poetry. She has a deep knowledge and appreciation for the work of famous poets such as William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, and many more. She hopes you will also fall in love with poetry!

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