I've found this website and could see huge number of poets and poetesses in it. Does anybody know about it? I would like to know more about this website.
On their registration site they mention quite a huge number of members - "Over 500,000 poets get feedback and improve their poetry". I couldn't find any information about how many of them could be considered "active" and how many could be considered "lurker", but in general this seems to be a big community, which means there are lots of possibilities for feedback.
There is no nice way to link to some of the posts on the frontpage, which makes it hard for me to reference the post. This is not really a good thing as you want people on the internet to be able to easily refer to specific works, such as StackExchange for example offers with the "share" button under every question and answer.
After searching a bit for what I wanted to link from the frontpage I found what I was looking for: The Passionate Shepherd To His Love from Christopher Marlowe has 106 comments, which looks like a lot of feedback at first. But looking through the comments I am getting the urge to flag them as "No longer needed"... Comments like "Deep" and "Cooley" won't really help you become a better author and they kind of seem to drown the useful critiques that this site is supposed to deliver. Of course, this is not an aspiring author - this is simply a poem from someone that lived in the 16th century, but for me this is a good indicator that people are not really into discussing poetry and more about simply reading it. You might find fans there, but you won't find a lot of people discussing poetry.
So let's go back to the frontpage - which is not easy, as it's always trying to bring me to the "publish your work" site... - and look at a random poem I can see like this one. Half of the ~10 comments seem to be useful while the other half is simply "I like this" in different variations... Other poems seem to exhibit a similar behaviour and the time when the mentioned one was published was "one month ago". There seems to be a mechanism that randomly picks poems to display them on the frontpage, which might help to get some eyes to view your stuff even after some time, but the amount of feedback in general seems to be more like a comment or two every couple of days. After reading that there are more than 500,000 people active on this site that is focused specifically on giving feedback I would have expected a bit more.
I find it a bit disturbing to read their store, which offers different membership styles. The silver one for example mentions
Lots of extra comments on your poems
I am not sure if I read that correctly or I am simply missing something, but this reads as if you are paying them to comment on your stuff... I am not sure if that's the kind of feedback you are searching for.
The feedback on sitejabber is very differently: some people like it and some are devastated that the owners of the site published their work without their consent. There is not much between "I love this site!" and "Stay away!", but such feedback sites are always a bit difficult. You never know the story of what exactly happened behind the scenes and who is posting there.
PlagiarismToday on the other hand mentions that the mods at least respond fast to plagiarism and other problems. Swiftly acting mods are good - plagiarism from other site members is a bit concerning. This is also shown in Handling Abuse Through the Community The site is mentioned positively in Paying to Plagiarize? They even mention that the different pay levels don't affect moderation in Buying Your Way Out of Trouble?.
But the same site also has The Sad Poetry Plagiarism Story from Canada that mentions the site.
All in all this site doesn't seem to be as great as they make it sound at first. Relatively expensive membership for a site that wants you to publish stuff and comment on other peoples stuff, weird descriptions of extra features in the different membership levels, which also suggests a "second class citizenship" for free users (or even "third class"), not so much feedback, no long and elaborate discussions about poetry, just small comments, which are quite often simple "I like this" comments, no negative feedback option (just a like button) - it sounds a bit like a gratification site that allows you to read lots and lots of poems, but I am not sure if it's a good site to get honest feedback from other people with experience in the field. The feedback you can find on the web is split quite clearly amongst the line of complete lovers and haters - not much in between, though I suspect exactly in between is where you will find yourself. I am not a member of the site and can't give you first-hand experience, but on the other hand I am not biased in any way.
Ultimately it's up to you. The site seems to be relatively big and if all you want is some sort of free feedback from like-minded people it seems to be a good opportunity.
This site doesn't seem to be explicitly listed as a vanity/scam on the Writer's Beware list here: https://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/anthologies/ , but I was thinking of Poetry.com, which died a few years ago.
So most vanity anthology schemes don’t quite qualify as scams. They are deceptive and misleading, however–especially since so many anthologizers portray their anthologies as a real literary credit that writers can be proud of. In reality, the anthologies are available by special order only, with most sold to the contributors themselves or to their friends and families. Because of the poor quality of most of the poems, anthology credits are not respected by publishing professionals...
Regardless of if AllPoetry is legit or not, I recommend reading the SFWA "Bewares", as AC Crispin's blog stays current on these schemes: https://accrispin.blogspot.com/
which covers schemes and scams in real time along with publishing industry news and advice for writers.
These sites often have links to more legit markets and critique groups.
If you are looking for actually useful feedback on your poems, I would suggest something like Scribophile (don't know if there are other sites that do the same thing). On Scribophile, you earn karma points by critiquing other works that have been posted. You generally get some bonuses by giving feedback that the author finds useful. You then use these karma points to post your own work for feedback. This setup encourages good feedback as opposed to just numbers of people saying "cool" or whatever. It's free and there is an upgrade if you want to store more stuff.
The other thing about this is that, because it is a private site (that is, you need a password), journals don't usually consider your work previously published if you post your work there. I don't know if allpoetry has that setup or not.
Anyway, I recommend you check out scribophile.com. I've gotten very useful feedback there. Quality over quantity.
I've been active there the past 12 days and it's starting to feel like the Mummy's Tomb. In thirty hours of participation, I've yet to see someone offer a suggestion, let alone a critique. I found a couple strong poems but no takers for anything more than pleasantries. I showed a wildly gifted party girl where to cut some lines but when I argued that giggle shouldn't be overused, she went berserk. Another guy had two brilliant stanzas in short poem; when I asked if he knew Hart Crane's Voyages, I didn't hear back. His Bio says he ran an online forum for a couple years. When the one other commenter called his work Old School, and I asked then what is New School, the OP asked what does school mean? Only two of the ten critiques I wrote were responded to. And those two didn't survive another question. The critiques in their most exclusive subgroup, dedicated to feedback, look like pages from a treatise: the comments are full page paragraphs without anything that looks like a line from a poem. It hadn't occurred to me before but I'm starting to wonder if this isn't a Potemkin Village or Stepford Wives?
In fairness, they have impressive functionality. $3 for the first month allow you to see most of what's there. My critiques, typically brief line edits, leave people dumbfounded or pissed off. I assume pissed off bcz no one ever answers back. How unusual is that for a forum? I asked the one woman, who's the leading gold medal winner there, if she also writes critiques? No response. I shared a line edit with the one guy who consistently writes at a high level. Nothing. A good poet will at least tell you to fuck off. Carolyn Castle below seemed to scram when it was time for her to be more specific about her experience on the site. That's how it feels to post there. Lots of awards and ribbons but no feedback. So Potemkin Village, as unwieldy and bizarre as that may seem, fits the facts better than active forum.
Update 10/9/20: my comment was more a reflection of my impatience than something amiss with the site. For what I can see there are many people here, almost as if they're living in foxholes and looking for leadership. A few of the most talented people are restrained because of the disparity in experience. Lots of focus on form first and blessed day. Ethos is don't offend but at deeper level place seems to be lacking leadership and nothing else.
Ok to anyone who’s willing to know. Here’s the whole deal with the website in a nutshell. I’ve only been there for few hours and my expectations were far from what I actually saw. You might say few hours aren’t enough to judge but it was enough for me. If you’re actually looking for criticism, from experts or at least people who have a say in poetry, you won’t find it there. I’m just here to tell you that. It’s just “Keep up the good work!”, “Enjoyed your poem a lot!”, “Great work!” etc.
It’s exactly the positive nonsense I was trying to avoid. I think since it’s like trading comments, (there is actually such a thing!) people just say they enjoyed your work to get a comment or two or they just say the positive points of your writing so they’ll be praised in return.
I’m not a mean person but you can publish your work on anywhere you like and get positive feedback from people who’ve no experience in such subject, and poetry is the same as other arts. You get enough followers, make people like you and your work will be praised despite your lack of experience or talent! Congratulations! Now you will never know what your flaws are and you will never improve! Are you happy? I don’t know. But I’m not. It’s a sick way of fishing compliments until you’re actually convinced you’re good.
If you’re actually looking for a way to get better in poetry I just suggest you to stick to your poems and don’t put them on display on such websites where they’re either praised for absolutely nothing or simply ignored. There are books and free articles out there you can use.
But constructive criticism on your own poems? I’m struggling with this too because English isn’t my native language and it’s been frustrating for me.
Everything I write seems like crap to me but somehow these people seem sickeningly sweet to the point it looks fake and built rather than actual passion for poetry. I know my poems aren’t as bad as I think but I know when somebody is just lying to get what they want.
There’s not much of correcting mistakes or suggesting new choosing of words or lines, adding or deleting.
So if you’re a beginner and struggle for improving your work, there’s not a good place to visit. I’m seriously mad at myself for believing their claims and all that.
Callie here. I appreciate your feedback that I had never thought about. I'm a member of All Poetry. I have been all three levels, free, silver, and gold. I usually get silver. Free you can publish your poetry to the site and hopefully someone will comment. The new poems are posted both on your page and in a place that every new poem is posted. If you are silver or gold you can skip making comments on two new poems but I hope most are like me and take the opportunity. The silver let's you add one picture to your poem (or collage). Gold lets you add as many pictures as you wish and to choose your font. As far as getting more comments by pay. I have not found that. AP has free poetry classes and I must admit I get more learning out of those than the comments of others. There are lots of groups to join to bring like minded poets together. The more you comment on the more comments you get. You can also "trade comments". It is exiting to "meet people from all over the world" and you do become closer as you share.
It's time for my therapy soon so I must go, but I hope this helps from a member's point of view! Carolyn Caudle Castle