Friday, March 25, 2011

Double rainbow

In the po-biz, some days you get the lowering clouds and some days, the double rainbow. The trick is to keep sending them out, no matter how discouraging it can be. I've been circulating a manuscript for over two years now, and as it goes out, it evolves, especially if an editor made comments in the process of rejecting it.

Yesterday I went walking after the storm had abated in the early evening, to find myself arched by an enormous, perfectly formed and brilliant double rainbow. I thought of the way one or two acceptances after a long, difficult season of submitting, can restore your faith in your own writing. That faith (and the concomitant persistence) is the key to improving your work. Nice to get such a picturesque reminder!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Acceptance and Rejection - The Coin

The two-sided coin buys you into the game of publishing, but really it's more like a 17-sided coin, with only one reverse: 17 turn-downs for every acceptance.

With that as my best average, I'm pleased to have had my poem "The Pearl" accepted recently by Indiana University Northwest's Spirits magazine, for their Spring 2011 issue.

And for that lovely news, I paid with the usual 17 rejection notes, some of them very pleasing for a rejection letter. Some were "please try again" letters, some let me know which poem they liked best. I always appreciate a little feedback on a rejection, as it makes me feel they really considered the work, and it made it to an editor with some decision-making power, not just the first round of (student) readers.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New poetry presses - non-contest + Bly/Rumi reading

Find new non-contest poetry presses to submit your manuscript to! Several new entries on my page of poetry book publishers that read outside of contests. It seems as though more presses are accepting unsolicited submissions, though some charge a reading fee. But I think the tide of all-contest-poetry-publishing may be turning back to a more diverse way of finding new books and supporting presses. I don't mind a reading fee, especially if you're promised some feedback (Kore Press does this), and even if not, as long as my fee supports a press that publishes work I admire. And if it doesn't, I should ask myself why I'm submitting there!

A hilarious Robert Bly reading of Rumi on praise and catastrophe. (Thanks, Marian Haddad, for the link.)

For a bit gentler Rumi reading, here's Coleman Barks and music, with a poem, appropriately right now, that takes water as a theme.

Get well soon, Coleman Barks!