Peace Corps Writers
  Poets Take Note
by Philip Dacey (Nigeria 1963-65)

For more resources for writers

Peace Corps Volunteers, returned or current, who are turning their experiences into poetry and looking for appropriate publishing outlets, ought to know about WordTech Communications of Cincinnati, publisher of my most recent book. Owned and operated by Kevin Walzer and Lori Jareo, WordTech specializes in poetry, utilizes print-on-demand technology, but — and this is important — is not a vanity press. The publishers are determined to make poetry profitable for all concerned without requiring subsidization by the poets themselves.
     One sign of their seriousness is their ability to attract contemporary American poets who have a significant following already. Their list includes Barry Spacks, Allison Joseph, Frederick Turner, Rhina K. Espaillat, and Nick Carbo.
     Jareo and Walzer are in fact well aware of the automatic association of p.o.d. technology and vanity publishing. They aim explicitly at severing that connection, demonstrating by their own example that the technology of printing is one thing and the publisher-author arrangement is a separate thing. (They don’t even accept reading fees, which is standard for many non-p.o.d publishers; WordTech doesn’t want your money; they want to create a broad, paying audience for excellent poetry.)
     The two together bring to their enterprise much experience: two books of literary criticism, a book of poems, and ten years of magazine writing and editing. Both come from a corporate background; their combination of business and literary skills/interests make their success a good bet.
     Books from WordTech appear under a variety of imprints including David Roberts Books, Word Press, and Turning Point. Different imprints tend to reflect different genres of poetry.
     Given their interest in a wide variety of poetry — lyric, narrative, formal, social, experimental — I recommend WordTech Communications to the poets among you in search of a publisher.
     A caveat: besides having nothing necessarily to do with vanity publishng, the p.o.d. technology should not suggest to anyone that the editors’ criteria are in any way different from the standards at non-p.o.d. outlets. The editors’ experience with, love for, and commitment to quality poetry mean that the submission of a manuscript to them comes with the definite risk of “no, thank you” as a response.
     Good luck to you.
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