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The Microeconomics of Poetry

Thinking of going back to school to get that MFA? If it’s the life of a poet you’re yearning to live, you might want to reconsider.

A couple of highlights:

  • One of the best-selling poetry books of 2011 earned its author less than $4,400.
  • The Paris Review—a publication whose acceptance rate is likely around 0.1%—pays $75 per poem.
  • Over the past decade, the number of poetry MFAs awarded has doubled. Coincidentally, it’s also twice the number of actual jobs available to people with MFAs in poetry.

There are easier ways to make a buck.



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