I love poetry. I spend way too much money on it. I have at least 500 dollars worth of poetry in my room right now (about 50 books, some were free, some were $30, this is an average of $10 a book, plus about 20 chapbooks which I'm not even figuring (what can I say, I'm a poet and not good at math)) and at least another 50-100 books of poetry in storage. So this whole BlazeVOX, nobody buys poetry thing, doesn't really fly with me. Anyone who's ever got an MFA in poetry has spent a few hundred dollars on it. Anyone I consider a "poet" has spent about a thousand dollars on poetry. Most of my professors obviously spent well over $2000 on poetry. I spend a shit ton on it with very little regret for my purchases. There's a lot of good poetry out there for sale. There are some people making really beautiful books out there. Buy some of it. Here's my faves right now:
Making beautiful handmade books, Small Fires Press is run by Friedrich Kerkseick, a University of Alabama Book Arts MFA alumni. They sound really expensive, but when you consider that every page is letter pressed and even the paper is made by hand, it's a great purchase. You own a piece of art, not overpriced shit. Think about this: if you had to make the paper you were printing a poem on, would you even print your own poem?
Just pick one. They'll all make you squirm for one reason or another.
I read this book right before I moved to Portland and Goddamnit, I fucking miss this book. It's one of the ones in storage. Pick this up. It's ten years before it's time and somehow managed to win a prize.
They feel really good in your hands. Like really good. Letter pressed covers. Unique designs. Sleep's Powers and A Plate Of Chicken are highly recommended by me.
Do I even need to tell you why? For one, they don't charge for submissions...