Interesting post a couple of days ago at the Ploughshares blog about benefactors. I have mixed feelings about the idea of patronage, especially the support of a single artist by a single wealthy benefactor. Sure, I ask my own blog readers if anyone would like to buy me a mansion, but I’m kidding, and an important facet of my long-term goals for myself as a writer is financial sustainability. There’s no money to be made in poetry. You’ll never have your “big break” as a poet. And I don’t think anyone would argue with me on this point. So why do some poets complain about the days of yore, the days when writers had patrons, when they could compose sonnets all day without having to worry about the cost of bread? Sure, the world needs art. But if the non-artists of the world are forced to find employment in order to support themselves and their habits and families, shouldn’t artists be held to the same standard? Are we so special that someone should just give us money to do what we love? Or are we responsible for finding our own ways to support our passions?

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