Friday, July 18, 2008

Poetry Tips: Submissions Organization

Some of you who aspire to be published may have already organized a way to keep track of your submissions, and others of you may not have or are just getting started. If you hope to be published I would say it is vitally important to have some semblance of organization in regards to submissions.

The easiest way to keep track of submission is to make a simple tracking chart whether you draw one, create one in Excel, etc. My own was made on Microsoft Word with the following title columns: Poems Submitted, Journal/Press (where the poems were sent to), Date Sent, Rejected with Form Letter, Rejected with Personal Comments, Accepted, Date
Returned. On top of all that, you could also put in a column for Letter/E-mail to determine which publications/presses receive submissions via e-mail or through snail mail.

This is a very simple approach that I’ve taken but it also lets me make sure I don’t have simultaneous submissions going out to particular places, and whether any particular poem has shown promise through editor comments. This also helps me keep track of how often I am sending poems to the same places.

With some organization you can learn how long it takes certain presses or journals to contact you and whether you may even be a good fit for the place depending on how fast the poems came back and the type of rejection received. Acceptances also let you keep track of who likes your kind of poetry and where to submit again in the future.

Then there is your snail mail pile. If you send poems through snail mail often, (and I do so in waves), then you need to have your submission materials close together and easy to find. I have a box of envelopes and stamps tucked in just for submitting. When I receive free return-address labels I also stick those in there so I can quickly put together an envelope to mail things out. I also make sure I have .10 cent stamps sheets for places that accept more than 4-5 poems so that there is plenty of postage to get the poems there and back on the Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope.

Don’t forget that many journals and sites post their submission criteria in very clear terms. Always check their guidelines on-line when available. Usually you can see the kind of work they produce if they provide samples on-line which can be valuable savings in time and money for all involved when submitting.

Finally, I also keep a file on my computer of poems that I feel are ready to be sent out. Once I think a poem has been worked out to satisfaction, I copy and paste it to another file to get it ready for submission when I have the time and interest to send more out.

If any of you out there have other ways of keeping organized, please feel free to share by posting in the comments section. If you are an editor, feel free to explain what you look for in receiving submissions. I know some people send in items hand-written on stained/torn paper in illegible hand-writing or forget to place enough postage on their envelope and this can make it difficult if not confounding for the editor on the receiving end. Be sure all submissions are clean, typed/legible, and have enough postage or at least have the word “Submission” in the e-mail title.

Thank you for dropping in, good luck on your submissions, and please stop by Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bolts of Silk Open Submissions

Juliet Wilson responded to my Open Submissions call:

“Hi there
I noticed you were wanting to know who is accepting submissions. Bolts of Silk, my poetry journal in blog format is always open to submissions, which can be sent to me at Juliet.M.Wilson(AT)googlemail(DOT)com. I take poems of less than 40 lines in all forms and on all topics - despite being Crafty Green Poet, I am more than open to poems that aren't environmental in theme! I try to respond within a week.”

Good luck to all who submit, and please stop by tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Poems Found by Poet Hound
“Dinosaur Iconography” by Evelyn Hampton
“Let us Live and Love” by Gaius Valerius Catellus

Thanks for clicking in, please stop by tomorrow for more Open Submissions…

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wang Ping's Of Flesh and Spirit

Another page turner, Wang Ping’s of flesh & spirit from Coffee House Press is amazing. Published in 1998 and picked up in the library, this volume has poems that vibrate your soul to the core and often have prose paragraphs explaining Ms. Ping’s origin. You learn about the societal nuances of China and their feelings towards women and you can feel Wang Ping’s anger in her works. You also learn of her struggles to find her way in America and the frustrations of tracing the female side of her family tree. For such an amazing poet there is surprisingly little about her featured on the internet. I was disappointed that and Poetry Foundation had nothing on her. I’ll also admit that I am afraid to review this book because it is so powerful that any words I may use will fail to explain the enormity of each poem. However, I will try to give you a taste by reviewing a poem and allowing you to watch her read her work via the you-tube link provided below.

One poem that really struck me is titled “What Are You Still Angry About.” This poem discusses the idea that women are seen as inferior in China, and while Ms. Ping is in America and able to speak her mind and is free to live her life as she pleases she is still angry about her life and ancestry in China in regards to being a female. Some examples of life in China compared to America are in these lines: “I no longer need to break my toes to make lotus feet/or squish my liver and kidneys to slim my waist…Yes, I must feel lucky/that I have vocations other than love or maternity:/I’m a poet, a teach, and working toward a Ph.D.” She goes on to say “How can I explain the anger that prevents me from breathing?/I want to scream/every time I bow to my family tree which hangs in the clan hall.” In this poem, after these lines, there are paragraphs of prose in which she describes the lineage of females since there is no such record kept because of Chinese culture. I could not even begin to take samples of lines from these paragraphs because there is so much said in such little space. From how women are named, how men are preferred, how females are drowned for being female born, there is too much. She finally returns to the typical-looking poem towards the end and her lines are powerful conclusions to the history she has related to her readers. “I must scream, even though I have no voice./Since my birth, silence has been my single weapon./Now it no longer suffices.” This poem ends with resolve and fury, I cannot possibly do it justice.

If you stumble upon this volume of poetry I insist that you pick it up and read it. It will inspire you, anger you, and will keep you locked within its pages. Until you are able to read it for yourself, please click the link to the YouTube video I was able to find, it is well worth watching.
A brief bio of the poet
Wang Ping reads her work on YouTube—definitely watch her read her poems!

Thanks for reading, please stop by tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sonnets at 4am Blog

Greg Rappleye of Michigan discusses poetry and has some intriguing quotes to ponder on his blog. He also provides discussion and insight into poets’ works and careers, so I hope you’ll check out his blog by clicking the link below:

Thanks for dropping in, please stop by tomorrow for another featured poet!