“Poetry is not a luxury.”
“It’s difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably
every day for lack of what is found there.”
William Carlos Williams
“A line of poetry is like a breath.”
Mary, the Write Group
A lover of poetry and in many ways, a poet at heart, from time to time I’ve considered pulling out a sheaf of poems I’ve written over the years and submitting them somewhere. But where is somewhere? I’ve have no idea. Looking for a helping hand, I attended a lively Write Group session called “Wading Through the Poetry Publishing World,” led by Tara Moyle, an educator and writing instructor who served as editor for Blackbird Journal, a leading poetry publication.
One fascinating fact Tara shared: 50 years ago, there was one poetry contest sponsored by Yale; today, there are 330! While poetry was once seen as a rarefied profession, today, interest in poetry is surging and the number of journals available, print and online, is constantly expanding.
Tara covered a lot of ground in her very informative talk. For those of you who may be pondering publishing your poetry, here’s an overview:
There are several online sites that offer comprehensive lists of journals, contests, and poetry conferences/programs: NewPages.com and Poets & Writers offer free listings. Another site mentioned: Duotrope.com.
Among the many journals out there, here are some of the best established (listed in order of colorful name): Drunken Boat, Paddlefish, Alligator Juniper, Crab Orchard, Painted Bride Quarterly, Octopus, Mudlark, Diode, Plowshares, Map Literacy, 32 Poems, Vita, Blackbird Journal, Atlanta Review, Missouri Review Connecticut Review, Poetry Review.
When submitting, be sure to read guidelines carefully — they vary widely. Present your work professionally — use standard fonts, nothing too artsy. Keep your submission letter crisp and concise. Beware of fishy contests.
And rhymers, write on!