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  •  It also depends on whose work it is. (6+ / 0-)

    Some poets have diligent reps who scour the world looking for any use of their work.

    I used to work in textbook publication, and the route to permission for poetry is weird, weird, weird, and depends on the individual. (I guess that's possibly true for any genre -- not to bad-rap poets -- it's just what I have experienced.)

    My experience ran the gamut from the always amazing, ever-gracious Gwendolyn Brooks, who had to be pressed to take $10 to use a complete version of one of her works, to the obnoxious literary executrix of a minor twentieth-century female poet who wanted unreasonable fees and control over even a few lines of the work. And remember, this was for a textbook.

    I get really nervous when I see people randomly posting complete Emily Dickinson poems, for example. They are old, but -- at least, when I was working with it a few years ago -- still mostly in copyright thanks to republishing and odd laws. It's hard to excerpt a poem, especially a short one, so unless I know for sure that it isn't copyrighted, I don't use it.

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