Taking part in the blogging tour means trying to keep up with what other poets have been posting, and in the process raising my own writing frequency. Recently I’ve read several writers’ insights about, fears of, and approaches to the process of submitting work for publication. I have also had several in-person and by-email discussions about the perceived or genuine value of publication of one’s work, and some advice on how fervently to pursue publication (and in which venue).
A perennial topic among literary types:
I’ve also read articles urging poets to consider submitting on a “tier” basis. First-tier journals are the long-standing literary magazines such as Poetry, The Paris Review, APR, and the better-known university-affiliated literary journals. The tiers move down from there, and it gets complicated deciding whether a lively, well-visited online site is a “higher tier” than a lesser-known print venue.
A friend advised me not to post drafts or unpublished poems online, as they are then ineligible to appear in most literary venues, online or in print–generally, these journals want first-rights for publication. These concerns once mattered to me; I no longer care.
Why the change?
My outlook has moved on. I’m not seeking an academic appointment or a job teaching creative writing at the college or graduate level. I’m no longer starting out–I’ve had my poems published in literary venues of many types since 1981! If I haven’t made the “top tier,” maybe I never will; I still submit to those journals now and then, but I set no store by their rejections, though I would be happy if I had a poem accepted by–say–Poetry. [I miss the days when I’d get a little slip of paper with the formatted rejection emblazoned with what a friend calls Thurber’s “Evil Pegasus.”]
My intention in this decade of my life is just to keep writing and to get the poems out into the world in whatever form, venue, media, or technological method may exist. I do recognize that many other poets are either just starting out or trying to secure a career in the writing field–or trying to advance in the university–and for those poets, a concern for the cachet of the journal or venue and the extent of its reach for the correct audience matters considerably. I’m not suggesting anyone take a cavalier approach to publishing; it is serious work (those curious about publishing, see the blogger links above).
Tedious work, for me.
Nonetheless, I do occasionally submit to journals, as the listing to the right with links that sometimes but not always work discloses. Most recently, I am glad to report that I have two poems in Antiphon #22. < The link will take you to the journal in .pdf format. This time, I did not provide an audio file; but some of the authors have, and these are always worth a listen.
Yet another new way of filling the world with poems. Psalms. Antiphons. Moving poems. Texts. Podcasts. Anthologies. Journals. Websites. And more.
Thank you for the links! The deeper I get into the world of poetry, the more complicated it seems to be and also the more simple. It’s a more complex world than I expected, but at the same time once you let go and try to find where you and your own works fits (whether that’s simply sharing on a blog, aiming for a career, or something in between) it gets easier. It’s taken me a few years to learn that and I’m still learning that. (And probably forever will be.) I guess it comes down to if you are happy with your work, your art, and you are happy with what you are doing with it….. well, that’s what matters.
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“My intention in this decade of my life is just to keep writing and to get the poems out into the world in whatever form, venue, media, or technological method may exist.”
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I thought you might approve of that! [Note: Dave Bonta is a long-time, forward-thinking advocate of videopoems, podcasts, broadsides, whatever gets the work out. See: https://www.vianegativa.us/ and http://movingpoems.com/category/videopoems/ ]
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