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The International Library of Poetry


The New Zealand Poetry Society's Comments on

The International Library of Poetry

Wellington, 14 September 2002 - Poetry has been in the news recently on TV1's Breakfast show (Tuesday 10 September 2002). Ongoing contests run by The International Library of Poetry (ILP), also operating as, have been under discussion and scrutiny around the world for many years, including contests run under its predecessor name, the National Library of Poetry.

The New Zealand Poetry Society (NZPS) recognizes that while the ILP is a technically legitimate organisation, it clearly operates as a commercial - not a poetic - enterprise. In fact, we have placed this organisation on the "Scamwatch" page of our website ( along with recommendations about evaluating legitimacy of competitions and contests.

We consider the ILP to be a "vanity publisher", because it accepts all entries regardless of poetic quality, and charges a very high price for its compilation of entries. In contrast, the NZPS runs an annual competition that is independently judged by respected poets, and winning entries and other selections (e.g., commended entries) are published in an anthology which is available to the public at a price under NZ$20.

We encourage any poet who wishes to enter into a competition - especially an online one - to do their homework. The ILP has a bad reputation, and unfortunately this can negatively affect reputable and legitimate online and off-line journals, magazines and contests.

For nearly thirty years the NZPS has supported New Zealand poets and poetry in its many forms. Centred in Wellington, the NZPS serves its national membership with a monthly newsletter which details meetings and poetry events around the country, holds a monthly meeting open to all members, and acts as a clearing house for competition information. Each year the Society runs an International Poetry Competition and publishes an anthology of entries from the contest. It also runs an annual Poetry Workshop with an established poet as guest tutor. With the support of Creative New Zealand, the Society organises occasional tours of local and of overseas poets.

The NZPS encourages New Zealand poets and those who want to be published to start locally with regional and national magazines and contests. Details of our annual competition will be available later this year on our website.

The New Zealand Poetry Society regrets that it was not contacted regarding the ILP to offer preventative advice. However, we offer these comments as a public service to both fledgling and established poets. For more information about the NZPS, contact:

Media Contact: Margaret Vos President, New Zealand Poetry Society 04 478 5662 025 388 928

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