Friday, April 9, 2010

Poetry Tips: Grouping

Most of us would like to publish a collection of poems someday but have you taken the time to go through your poems and organize them into potential groupings? There could also be some overlap while you organize so you may want to use the same poem twice to see which grouping is stronger for a collection for future publication. For example, you may have poems about love in one group, and another group may focus on a particular period of time which includes some of the love poems you’ve written. Make the time to gather your poems into groups and see which one is strongest to you and make that your first collection to form into a manuscript. Whether it is a chapbook or a full-length book, this will help you narrow down your strongest work.

Good luck to all who try it, please drop in next Monday for another featured site…

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rattle Open Submissions

Quoted directly from the source:

We like poems of any length. Try to send several poems as opposed to a single piece, but no more than five or six at a time. We're looking for poems that move us, pieces that might make us laugh or cry, or teach us something new. Though most of the poems that we publish tend to be free verse, that doesn't mean we don't like traditional forms. We read a lot of poems, and only those that are unique, insightful, and musical stand out. Since our issues include about 80-100 pages of poetry, one of the main things we're looking for is diversity; we have enough room to be eclectic, and we plan on using it. So while most magazines suggest reading their back issues to get a sense of what they like to publish, we'd suggest reading to get a sense of what we're having trouble finding--if you notice a style or subject matter that we don't seem to be publishing, send us that!
Required Information
If possible place this information on each piece submitted:
Name, Mailing Address, Phone Number, Email address
In addition send a short bio of the author. Your bio should tell us who you are and why you love poetry. Our bios section is something that makes issues of RATTLE unique, and many say it's as fun to read as the poetry itself. Bios should be in the first person, and follow the format of this sample:
Erik Campbell: "One afternoon in the summer of 1994 I was driving to work and I heard Garrison Keillor read Stephen Dunn's poem "Tenderness" on The Writer's Almanac. After he finished the poem I pulled my car over and sat for some time. I had to. That is why I write poems. I want to make somebody else late for work." (email address goes here at the end if you'd like it included)
Bios in this form are only needed upon acceptance--it doesn't have to be included with each submission, though we would enjoy it.

Send to:
12411 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604

Or via e-mail:
Paste the required information and your submission into the body of a single email message, or a single text file attachment. If you send more than one email or more than one file, we will only read the first one.
For attachments, acceptible file extensions are: .DOC, .DOCX, .RTF, .TXT. and .PDF. No other file types will be opened.
Please format the subject line of the email with your name and the word "submission" to help us track it, like this:
"John Smith - Submission"
Please note that we always respond to submissions with a confirmation note, though it might take as much as a week for me to get to it. If you haven't received a confirmation after a week, email us again to make sure we got it. We receive hundreds of emails a day, and sometimes submissions get lost in the deluge. That's why it's also important that you properly format the subject line.
Send to:

Good luck to all of you who submit!

Please drop in tomorrow for more Poetry Tips…

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Poems Found by Poet Hound
Taylor McMahon’s “Letter to the Bonnie Prince Billy”
Dorothea Grossman’s “I Allow Myself”

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hosho McCreesh’s Double Feature, Limited Edition collection

Alternating Current’s Propaganda Press has pulled out all the stops for the latest collection of poems by Hosho McCreesh available as a special and limited edition containing an artistic magnet (which is already on my refrigerator), a broadside signed by Mr. McCreesh that unfolds to reveal the poem “That We Each Fill the World With A Brutal Ugliness, One Passed Off as Life...,” and two chapbooks titled 4th Street Vagaries and An Adamant, Unmitigated Hope Even Amidst The Doom… 4th Street Vagaries centers on Albuquerque, New Mexico and focuses on the grittier sides of life. An Adamant, Unmitigated Hope Even Amidst The Doom is more philosophical yet bears solid roots. Below I’ll share a couple of poems from each chapbook:

The poems from 4th Street Vagaries are paired with photos of power lines and the lines themselves are snapshots of life in Albuquerque. This collection could really be one long poem, which it might just be. Below are two poems or excerpts:

an old woman
in a beat-up minivan
does the sign of the cross
as she passes a church

I have seen people do this and thought it an interesting snapshot-poem to feature amongst the other scenes in this collection of those who are homeless or down-trodden, as though this woman may just be praying at the same time for those living the hard life described in Hosho McCreesh’s previous and following poems.

barbed wire
atop a 10ft fence
an empty dirt lot
full of signs
for rent
for rent
for rent.

Wind kicks up
Dust & trash;



the sparrows &
the homeless.

These two poems follow each other and are separated in the chapbook with bold and un-bolded lettering. I think both provide the desolate and desperate scenes of a city and its hardships. The repetition of the sign “for rent” signals the hard times and then the rain scatters what little life and movement may be filling in the pictured surroundings which produces even more feelings of desolation and desperation as a scene empties out. The few words and short lines also lend to the scene as though we narrow our eyes even further upon it, which I think is a great technique.

In the chapbook, An Adamant, Unmitigated Hope Even Amidst the Doom…
As I said earlier, these poems can appear philosophical yet are rooted in the every day experience of human kind:

Call It A Battle Cry, Call It Gutteral, Call It A Harbinger, A Prophecy, A Vision, Call It Begging, Pleading, Call It Last Ditch, Call It The Knelling Of The Rusted Bell of Damnation, Call It Whatever The Hell You Need To Call It To Get Them To Listen…

I grow tired, hoarse –
all this screaming
& still nothing

They march onward,
insisting on misery,
denigrated by choice,
a careful architecture
to all their frustrated sadness.

This sadness hangs around low & bright,
like skittish, dirty, beaten children,
fills these centuries with horror,
fills lives we turn away from out of some
dismal, wanting, & unsatisfied respect.

Sitting atop lavish pyres waiting,
curled up & shivering like shavings
planed from hard black wood,
a hot wind enough to scatter them.

Yes, thus far, the bulk of it
has been wasted, little more than
an earth-sized pile of meat,
so useless to have never even
flavored our greens.

To tear open the mouths,
to pour molten metal
down their throats,
would return a cast
without edge, without definition,
return a crumples, unusable foil.

I have less & less time
for gaping yaps, for hollow maws.
There’s hardly room enough
for the bones of the forgotten &
for the mank of the unavenged,
so I say out with you
if you sense
nothing miraculous
in your very marrow,
nothing volcanic
in your deepest center.

I say, we have centuries & eons & ages of
ruse & trickery to unknot,
centuries & eons & ages
where it has all been
swindled from us,
& what I want
is this:

for all of us
to do more with it,
for all of us to do more
with whatever
we’ve got left.

for all of us
to die


This is probably the longest title I’ve ever seen on a poem, yet it is there to emphasize the following poem’s point. McCreesh has detailed the human existence of misery by unwitting choice, the “open maws” of people who talk instead of act, and calls on humanity to do more with its history and their collective voices to stand for something more than our individual selves and desires. That’s what I come away with when reading this poem. The idea of pouring metal down the throat and coming up with crumpled foil puts me in mind of the notion that words only get you so far, which I think is an extraordinary way to portray an idea if that is what Mr. McCreesh is saying here. The lines may at first be unusual but the message comes clear at the end to act and to die trying in our actions.

& The Laughter,
The Fire, The Cackle,
& The Goddamned Life Itself

It’s an odd kind of torture,
going out among all the faces
I will never know.

I don’t even know
why I do it –

just that it has
something to do with
truly caring about them

while also being
deeply disappointed
in them.

There is a struggle
in searching out
some way to help
while still trying
not to judge.

Each man’s hell
is his own to

So I go out
among all the faces,
& I see all the pains,
the insecurities,
the glaring failures,
the abandoned dreams,
all the compromises,
all the squalor & squander,
all the empty, distracted dying
& I begin to
regret caring,
regret trying,
& the laughter,
the fire, the cackle,
& the goddamned life itself
dampens, settles, fades,
sinks back to

until, eventually
there seems


left to


Hosho McCreesh is either talking about himself and his observations or he could also be speaking from God’s point of view because there is an omnipresent view here. The idea of it being from God’s perspective comes to my mind especially when the stanzas are indented and the lines discuss caring for humanity yet being so disappointed in humanity in general. As we join in the view and see the dissipation of lives in their failed dreams, their regrets, in the following lines of lives that could have been better lived, the poem winds down narrower until “there seems/nothing/left to/say.” We are left with the feelings of humanity’s failed attempts and become omnipresent and aware ourselves in this poem.

If you enjoyed this sample of the two chapbooks, you’ll be surprised to hear how affordable the entire collection of this Limited Edition is (which includes a magnet, broadside, and the two chapbooks 4th Street Vagaries and An Adamant, Unmitigated Hope Even Amidst the Doom… carefully wrapped) from Alternating Current’s Propaganda Press Catalog for only $10.00 (not including shipping and handling) at:

Please also visit Alternating Current to find out more about their poets and their press at:

Thanks always for reading, please drop in tomorrow for more Poems Found by Poet Hound…

Monday, April 5, 2010

Writer's Digest Blog

This blog has great information and this particular link features an interview with poet Pris Campbell, so please check it out at:

Thanks for clicking in, please drop by tomorrow for another featured poet…