Most people have been asking why I don’t publish a book rather than have a blog, well for now I won’t answer the question. The “rather than have a blog” part of the question made me eager to ask what is wrong about having a blog and as anticipated the answer revolved around lack of security of one’s intellectual property over the internet. This answer reminded me of an interesting topic which was once discussed in the POETRY FORUM column in the Informative Newspaper by Peter Mahase in July 2008. The topic was Poetry Scams (if you don’t know what it means, Google it) below is the extract from that article:
On the last issue of the Informative newspaper, I talked about Poetry Scams, and the response from fellow poets was great and in today’s issue I have a contribution from Lyrical Bacteria real name; Sechaba Keketsi, who gave me a letter whose contents are shared below:
I read with interest your article about poetry scams and could not help but echo the same sentiments with you. As a poet I was quick to remember some of the poets I know who also fell victim to these unfortunate scams. Among some came Mr Leseli Mokhele whose story I captured below!
Mr Mokhele was introduced tone of the sites by a friend (poet) in the years 2000/2001. He like many other victims was attracted by the “highly colored” promises, but his suspicion grew when the promises failed to materialize, moreover, poets shown were the old poets who were famous in the period 1900 – 1930. To justify his suspicion there was a report on one of the leading South African newspapers in which the reporter said he found out that the site was not authentic and by then Mr Mokhele had sent more than twenty poems to this site!
I (Lyrical Bacteria) was introduced to the site by a fellow friend; fortunately I was not quick to send my poems through. At first I was given a site to search but to my surprise, I could not see any famous poets such as Saul Williams, Lebo Mashile, Don Matera, and so on since the site was called the International Association of poets! The next time I tried to search for the site, it was said to be non-existent!
Mr Mokhele’s advice to young poets was that they should always find the authenticity of such sites before sending through their poems!
[IF YOU KNOW OR HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF POETRY SCAMS, FEEL FREE TO TALK ABOUT IT. I COULD HELP WITH POSTING SOME OF THE STORIES ON THIS BLOG]