Submitting poems to the Word of Poetry contests in the late 80s amused me, so I did it several times. Here’s the Award of Merit Certificate I received on Nov 21, 1987–when my poem “The Spoon Room” won Honorable Mention in the New American Poetry Contest. This rank was shared with hundreds of other poets. But I did receive a nice certificate, suitable for framing.
The company also asked to publish the poem in their New American Poetry Anthology. Judging by the photocopy of the form I kept, I returned the signed form authorizing them to use it. Years ago, I found one of those anthologies in a thrift store. It contained thousands of poems crammed onto hundreds of 8.5 x 11 pages, in no particular order. I could never locate any of my poems in the book.
Here’s “The Spoon Room” text on the authorization form:
World of Poetry’s business model seemed to be rewarding every single poet who submitted work with a personalized certificate or honorable mention, and then selling them encyclopedic anthologies. As a contributor, I was entitled to a discount on the $69.95 price–reducing the cost to $39.95. Poets could pay extra for including a dedication, photograph, or illustration. I didn’t have that kind of money at the time, so I never bought the book. But somewhere, World of Poetry anthologies must be floating around with my work in them.