Behold, faithful followers, I have returned after more or less a month of hiatus-ness. National Poetry Month in April always spurs me on to the writing of more of my own poems, but this year it has also spurred me on to the first serious, extended submission campaign of my life. I mean, I have submitted here and there, with short-lived conviction. Ten years ago I had a few successes, including an award from the University I was attending, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, but I honestly haven’t submitted much since. Now with a few resources at hand, including a very helpful subscription to Duotrope, I am at it with gusto.
So sorting through and re-organizing my catalog of poetry files, researching my favorite literary magazines, online and in print, and systematically submitting has taken up a lot of my free time in the last month. I’ve even set some goals about how many submissions per week / per month, and I think I may keep you updated a bit here about my successes and rejections.
I remember some time back in the early 2000’s religiously following the blog of a poet who I liked more for her blog posts than for her poems. She so regularly posted about where she had recently sent poems and who sent rejections, and of course those rare and much prized moments when an editor specifically commented on a poem, even if it was rejected for publication “at this time.” I was so in love with her for her bravery, and her determination to be accountable.
Obviously she also posted her successes, and provided links to them if they were online (still a little less common back then), and information about purchase if it was in a print publication, or in her latest chapbook. She is also the poet who got me to thinking about not posting many of my own poems here on the blog. In one of her posts she mentioned that she was running up against more and more submission guidelines which stated that poems published on personal blogs or even workshops would be considered already published. Sadly, I’ve lost track of her, and shamefully, I cannot even recall her name!
And while I know some of you have repeatedly asked for more of my own poems to be posted on the Dad Poet, here’s the deal: I don’t write a poem a day. I admire my many incredible blogger friends, and even a few friends I know in person, who have the gift of doing that, but that’s not me. I write in seasons, sometimes in fits and starts, and while I don’t necessarily revise in the sense of completely re-envisioning the poem (usually), I do cut and edit and refine relentlessly until a poem lets me know that it has had enough of my machinations, or I’ve gone and broken the damn thing by overworking it, and need to backtrack to an earlier, more unpretentious version.
This means that while I probably have a couple hundred submit-able poems, I do not have an inexhaustible supply of them to send out. This is why, despite the beautiful requests of some of you, I do not post many of them here. Yet. Having said that, the Poet page up on the toolbar up there has quite a growing list of poems of mine, including many live and recorded readings, and I know I need to update that list soon. So please feel free to check out some of my own writing there. I appreciate it, and believe me, I cannot wait to start posting some links here to my own words published in other places.
Please do not think that by saying this I mean that publishing a personal poetry blog would be less meaningful or important. I read many of them, and you know who you are. I only mean that it wouldn’t fit ME, or my own personal goals. Perhaps I’m just finally admitting what a narcissists I really am. I’ll post a few of my poems here to get your attention, but I want other people to publish my words. And maybe that’s not so much out of a need for recognition by those editors as it is the knowledge that those journals and e-zines out there can reach a much larger audience than my little blog here on WordPress ever could, and that getting published in those places gives me the chance to write a nice bio when I finally get my own first chapbook published.
I don’t have any delusions about the possibility of ever becoming a household name, but to have something of mine eventually published by a journal that has also published the works of one of my heroes? Yeah, that’s what I want. So I’ve plunged into, as a friend says, the “icy waters” of the submission process. Wish me luck!
- 5 Tips for Submitting your Work for Publication (shamelesswordartistsociety.wordpress.com)
- My Poem was published by Poetry24 (kprudchenko.wordpress.com)
- Anthologised (wanggo.wordpress.com)
- 30 “Of My Ego and the Muse” (dadpoet.wordpress.com)
- Take Your Poet to Work Day (thewillinghamenterprise.com)