Thursday, March 1, 2012

Arsenic Lobster Open Submissions

I have copy-and-pasted the guidelines below, please also use the link to explore their site and aesthetic:

The Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal is seeking eloquent emotion, articulate experiment; the charley horse hearted, heavily quirked, the harrowing.

Honed lyricism, stripped narrative. Be compelled, compulsed, MOVED, to write...

New online issues are released in April, August and December. The annual print edition includes selected works published online during the previous year.

Poetry topics, reviews and criticism, and lobster art/photographs (pdf or jpg attachment only), are also welcome.

All submissions must conform to the following guidelines,
Poems should be timeless, rich in imagery, and edgy. That is, no political rants or Hallmark poetry.
Must be submitted electronically in the body of an email. Please, no attachments.
All works must be previously unpublished.
Each email may include 3-5 poems, any length. Please keep all poems in one email.
Simultaneous submissions are OK, but please let us know if work is accepted elsewhere.
Include a short, lively bio.
Please write your first initial, last name, date and what you are submitting in the SUBJECT LINE.
Example: D. Carson 3/06/07 Poetry.
Please limit your submissions to one per issue.
Send your email to LOBSTER@MAGERE.COM .
We will take submissions from September 1 through April 30.
The number of pieces will vary from issue to issue.
Thank you for your interest in Arsenic Lobster.
The Editors

To learn more go to:

Good luck to all who submit, please drop in again next week…


Kathleen said...

Love these guidelines! And thanks for all you do to share poetry info!

Art Durkee said...

I like this journal, and would be willing to submit. Nonetheless, I am getting really tired of the vagueness so many poetry journals have in their submissions guidelines about what they mean by "previously unpublished." This vagueness has led to a lot of unnecessary BS in recent times, as by "previously unpublished" some journals mean "never seen anywhere, ever," while others allow "previously unpublished" to mean it was fine if the poem was workshopped on an online poetry board, but hasn't appeared in an official poetry journal.

I'm getting really tired of the vagueness, which leads to a person wasting a lot of time and effort putting together a submission, only to get rejected out-of-hand.

So I sent Arsenic Lobster the following email:


In your guidelines, you state:

"All works must be previously unpublished."

Would you be willing to please clarify precisely what that means?

For example, I have workshopped many poems online, on online poetry boards, in the past; although I don't do that anymore, many of those poems would still be findable via a Goggle search, or a search of hte poetry board site. I also have been known to post a poem on my website or personal blog. Would these be eliminated from submission because they are deemed to have been previously published? Even though they have not appeared in any formal poetry journal, either online or in print? (I do keep a database of my own poems that have appeared, and when and where, so I can track this for myself.)

I make this distinction, and ask this question, because it keeps coming up a lot. Please clarify in your submission guidelines what you define as "previously unpublished"?

Thank you for you consideration. Sincerely Yours,


I await their reply with interest.

Art Durkee said...

To follow up, I got a reply email stating that the editor would not view blog posts or workshop poems as previously published. I was pleased at the promptness of the reply.

Just thought I'd let you know.

Poet Hound said...

Wow, thanks so much for the insight! I find it frustrating, too, when it comes to the words "previously unpublished" so I'm thrilled that Arsenic Lobster clarified at your request. This helps everyone who reads this post!