Success!

I got published!!!

Or rather, I will be published as of July/August by Agenda Poetry (http://www.agendapoetry.co.uk/). I just got an email from the editor accepting two of my poems (Ghost and Ocean) for their online broadsheet for younger poets and artists. Hoorah!

I’m extra-excited about this because Ocean is one of the poems I was pretty much convinced I wouldn’t get published. It’s a 3-page poem and long poems aren’t very popular right now. Also, when I was editing my Senior Project, Carolyn Forché told me she disliked the formatting of the piece as a whole. I disagreed with her and kept my formatting as is, but I’ve been a little nervous about it since then.

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Published in: on May 4, 2008 at 1:34 pm  Comments (12)  

Waiting is Wearisome

It takes SO LONG to hear back from poetry journals!  I sent out poems on March 1st and still haven’t heard from the majority of them.  I wouldn’t mind that so much if they allowed simultaneous submissions but many of the better journals don’t which means I end up waiting for months to hear back about the poems before I’m able to send them anywhere else.  It could take years to get a single poem published at this rate even if it was the best poem in the world since I’m assuming it takes a minimum of 3-5 attempts before one of the journals decides to publish it and each attempt ties the poem up for 4-6 months.  Ugh!  Also, I’m anxious about several journals which have rejected only some of the poems I sent them (and therefore they haven’t rejected the others – at least not yet).  This is how I always felt with violin auditions when I was younger, except that there was always a definitive date when they got back to you so the anxiety was less generalized.  Grrrrrrrrr…

Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 11:28 pm  Comments (5)  

Someday They’ll Be Sorry…

Poetry journals that have rejected me so far:

Poetry

Brilliant Corners

West Branch

The American Poetry Review

Poetry journals I’m still waiting to hear back from:

War, Literature and the Arts

American Literary Review

Poesy

Relief

Image

Artful Dodge

Ascent

Cimarron Review

Fence

I know for a fact that I’ve passed the first review at two of these places because they have online tracking. Also, some of these journals are almost a month late getting back to me, which I’m choosing to take as a good sign. My goal is to send out the next round of applications by the end of next week. I’m very glad I made a spreadsheet to keep track of this.

Note to aspiring poets: MAKE A SPREADSHEET TO TRACK YOUR SUBMISSIONS!  That way you’ll be able to navigate the craziness with minimal pain.

Also, my goal for the remainder of April is to work on one of my fiction projects for at least half an hour every day.  Baby steps…

Published in: on April 24, 2008 at 12:59 am  Leave a Comment  

No, I have not fallen off the face of the planet.

Two things have been going on:

1) I’ve been mailing out poetry submissions all over the place.  So far they’ve gone out to: Brilliant Corners; War, Literature & The Arts; American Literary Review; Poesy; Poetry; American Poetry Review; Relief; Image; The Artful Dodge; Ascent; The Banyan Review; The Cimarron Review; Fence; and West Branch.  Cross your fingers, wish me luck, say a little prayer for me etc.

2) Ren and I have been finishing up Rezra #1: Fit to be Tied.  It’s done now.  The segments are: Featured Article – Urban Food Growing; Vegan Recipe – Pad Thai; Random/Fun – Political Madlibs; Little Known Awesome Things – Rope Sculpture; DIY Sex Toy – Rope Flogger; Erotica – Cruelty Free Flogging?; Comic – The (No Longer) Single Life; and, of course, Horoscopes.  If you want a copy, you can either email us at rezra@live.com or comment to this post.  Make sure to give us your mailing address if we don’t have it so that the zine actually makes it to the right place.

Those are the big things.  I’ll make another post soon to update about other writing-related things.

Published in: on March 5, 2008 at 3:19 pm  Comments (6)  

The Aftermath of the Red Pen Battle

I’ve gotten edited versions of my poems back from two of the three people I gave them to and have been operating steadily since then. This is the status report:

God Song suffered from cliches in the last stanza but they were successfully removed and it is now making a fine recovery.

Ghost suffered minor lacerations to the first stanza but looks like it will pull through.

Sleeping survived the deluge with only a minor scratch. I gave it a band aid.

Ray Bourque had an identity crisis because one of its editors didn’t know who Ray Bourque is and thus was confused about the poem in general. After some reassurance, it’s back on it’s feet and looking swell.

Pain had a word removed and looks to be healing without a scar.

Monday Morning made it through entirely unscathed.

Backyard Blue-Rimmed Pool also made it through unharmed, but encountered some confusion due to its unfamiliar “George Washington” hairstyle.

In the Kitchen was questioned about its poem-y-ness and was found sufficient. It seems to be recovering nicely.

Bereft made it through unharmed although it was clearly upset about the loss if its love.

My Heroin(e) was praised despite moonlighting as a song, but it suffered from an explosion of tears and we’re still determining the course of treatment.

Winds at 75 m.p.h. is having some difficulty due to the public’s general hatred for one of the speakers in the poem. It is staying as is because most of the world does not know the identity of the speaker so hopefully the criticism will not damage its reputation.

5:00 a.m. stayed intact despite a lukewarm reception by one of the editors.

De La Luna was both praised and scorned for its abrupt ending. We can’t decide whether or not this case merits the use of growth hormones.

I Walked In On You Cutting stayed intact despite mixed reviews.

Coke was criticized for a growth of blankets in the last line (possibly due to drug use). We are currently debating removal procedures.

The Orange Place was praised for it’s literary references although it ate a radioactive metaphor which had the unfortunate side effect of turning the first line luminescent. We are working out safe methods to expel this glowing problem.

The Test survived despite having an STD. Go figure.

Shedding caused minor confusion due to an unidentifiable brick-brown sludge. We are trying to decipher the cause and identity of this strange liquid.

The Peleliu Priest survived despite the unfortunate placement of a plaster saint and the fact that nobody knows what Peleliu is or why it matters.

Ocean was accused of being cheesy but fortunately the editors are fond of cheese. Upon closer inspection, a strange “they” was found waving damsel’s handkerchiefs in the second stanza of section III. The identity of this “they” is still being questioned. If you have any information, please turn it over to the pronoun police (but BE CAREFUL – those pronoun police can be dangerously overzealous).

Breaking Up Poem was both lauded and scorned for its strange imagery. We’re still determining the course of treatment for this weird little poem.

J’avais vu le loup was universally praised, though it was so angsty one of the editors was forced to check it into a hospital for a more thorough evaluation of its mental health.

April Night was called “cute” and then sent back to primary school because it needs to grow up a bit before it can call itself a poem.

Poem for a Suicide was sent to the hospital with J’avais vu le loup, where it is also being evaluated due to mental health concerns. The two poems are roommates who spend their time crying on each other’s shoulders and competing over who has the more miserable life.

Is This Love? was praised but on closer inspection the editors found an infestation of centipedes that needs to be exterminated. We’ve called in pest control and they assure us they will handle this matter.

R.I.P. Argus emerged with barely a scratch despite being a death poem for a goldfish.

To My Beloved was blasted and lauded for its strangely organic subject matter. Apparently it’s so healthy only the vegans want to read it.

If We Lived in Your Toy Boat was praised by one editor but the other editor accused it of being too cutesy. We’re currently working on beautification process to maintain cuteness while eliminating some of the sugary overkill.

Aurora Borealis emerged with an identity crisis after being criticized for it’s big words and general nerdiness. It wants a makeover but we’re trying to convince it to love itself despite its dorky exterior because one day it could grow up to be an astronomer.

Late Night Bus Ride was sent back to primary school with April Night.

Coffee Sins suffered a crippling blow to the last line. We are amputating and deciding whether or not to attempt reconstructive surgery.

If… was accused of being unfinished, but it maintains that its unfinished state is a primary facet of its identity (see the title for proof).

Airplane was universally praised and it flew through the battle without so much as a bead of sweat on its forehead.

Notre Dame Cathedral decided it needed to change a phrase but otherwise it came through unharmed.

Commuting was dissed because of its length. I told it – who needs length? It’s the motion in the ocean (er… commuter rail) that counts!

Blue Requiem was doing alright and looking cool until the last line betrayed its awkwardness. It’s currently enrolled in finishing school and its mannerisms are cleaning up beautifully.

Toothpaste Graffiti suffered near-crippling blows to every stanza. It’s currently in intensive care and we are trying to decide whether to operate or take it off life support.

Speak Stiltedly and Wear a Paisley Tie was told that its makeover needs some serious work and it should change its tie – perhaps to a plaid tie rather than a paisley one.

Published in: on February 22, 2008 at 8:43 pm  Comments (6)  

“Your Twelve-Inch Ruler” – or not.

In the past, I’ve attempted to write BDSM-themed poems. I was looking around online for journals where I could submit my poetry when I remembered that The Scarlet Leather, NELA’s quarterly newsletter, features poetry. I decided immediately that this opportunity had my name written all over it and I was being called by the universe to start writing BDSM poetry.

Ever the helpful partner, Ren did an internet search and came up with some (incredibly crappy) BDSM poetry to help inspire me. My muse saw the poems and ran screaming from the room – honestly, I’m just happy he didn’t keel over and die of horror. Anyway, to reassure myself that the entire genre isn’t doomed, I did a search for “good BDSM poetry.” I thought that if I read some stuff that was actually inspiring I might be able to coax my muse back. Well, here’s what I found – a (satirical) guide to writing BDSM poetry: You, too, can Write BDSM Poetry!

Published in: on February 18, 2008 at 12:48 am  Comments (5)  

Revision, revision! Revision!

If you know the song my post title is spoofing you win! Hint: it’s from a musical.

Anyway, how’s everyone doing?

I took a week-long hiatus from noveling so I could revise my poems and now they’re in the hands of three of my most trusted and intelligent friends (thanks guys). Hopefully once I get them back and patch up the red-pen-induced wounds the poems will have transformed into better versions of their former selves.

During my revision week, I’ve also been looking into places to send the finished versions. The process is more than a little daunting because each place has different submission guidelines and it seems like most of them take a long time to get back to you. So, to aid me in my mission, I’ve started compiling a list of places I want to send my poems. Maybe I’ll post it here…

Published in: on February 17, 2008 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment