Poetic Bookstore Blues

Last night, I decided to browse a couple bookstores in my neck of the woods for a good literary journal or poetry collection. For some odd reason, I never seem to learn my lesson about looking for poetry at the big chains. While they have a wonderful selection of about everything else, the poetry section is usually lacking.

While both stores had titles by Maya Angelou, Billy Collins and all the great, late poets, there was little consistency after. For instance, neither store had anything by Bob Hicok (one of my faves). One had no Kooser, the other no Gluck. So yeah, total buzzkill on the poetry collections.

But I figured with racks upon racks of magazines covering everything from farming to home decor that I should at least be able to find a lit journal to get me excited, right? I mean, lit journals are a major section of Writer’s Market, after all.

However, the literary section totally let down. It was small. And though size shouldn’t matter, most of the journals contained no poetry. The ones with poetry did not sweep me off my feet. Sigh.

I shouldn’t be surprised. This happens to me all the time when I visit the chain bookstores–especially around these parts. I just don’t understand why they can’t stock their magazine racks, at least, with copies of the local lit journals like The Journal or The Cincinnati Review. Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, totally not trying to be a downer right before the New Year and all, but this is why nobody buys poetry. Seriously.


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One thought on “Poetic Bookstore Blues

  1. Holly Cross

    Our local bookstores do carry a wider selection of poetry than ones I’ve seen in other parts of the country and they do seem to carry more poetry journals and magazines. The focus is usually on West Virginia writers, but I wish we could have both. I’m afraid this is just one more thing bringing down small press poetry journals. It’s a shame.