Recent Publications

I’m dimly rousing myself after the election to express my gratitude that three poems of mine have been published this fall. My thanks to Christopher Nelson, editor of Green Linden Press, for today’s launch of Issue 2 of Green Linden, which until last spring specialized in poetry reviews and interviews, and is now a full-service poetry biannual. The inclusion of my poem among those by several of my poetry idols gives me a much-appreciated jolt of joy.

And my belated thanks are due to editors Jennifer Givhan and Molly Sutton Kiefer of Tinderbox Poetry Journal, who selected my prose poem “Amanda Bubble Composes a Fifty-Word, Third-Person Contributor Bio for an Anthology on the Theme of Vulnerability” to include in Issue 3.5. And to Caron Andregg and Ruth Foley, editors of Cider Press Review, for including my poem “I Anticipate a Metamorphosis” in Issue 18-4.

I’m grateful for the work and support of all these editors and for the vibrant, lovely journals they produce. Each issue creates a community with the writers and readers–including, I hope, you!–who join in. That community, and the writing itself, are solace and motivation.

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Reporting In, Summer 2016

Hi there! It’s been months since I’ve last posted, and I thought I’d give you an update about what I’ve been doing in my writing. I’ve revised (again) my book-length manuscript of persona poems: weaving in newer, stronger pieces and pulling out weaker ones, as well as re-organizing them into a different sequence. You know, the usual. And sending off sets of poems in the manuscript to journals—lots of journals!

Since November 2015, I’ve been making a concerted effort to send out far more journal submissions, and to do so more systematically, than I have before. To get organized for that effort, I created a big chart of about 30 journals in which I’d love to see my work published. Using data from Duotrope, The Review Review, and NewPages, I assembled information about acceptance rates, reading periods, response times, and editorial preferences. As time went on, I added over 30 more journals to my chart, as well as recorded dates on which I’ve submitted poems and received responses, plus the comments I’ve received from several editors. Inspired by poets who post their submissions stats on Jessica Piazza’s Poetry Has Value blog, here are my numbers, after 9 months of this project, as they currently stand:

  • Sets of (3-5) poems submitted: 60
  • Individual poems submitted: 50
  • Total poems submitted: 296
  • Individual poems accepted for publication: 5 (by 3 journals)
  • Sets of poems rejected: 58
  • Rejection notices with encouraging notes like “these poems came close” or “we encourage you to send us more to consider”: 16
  • Presses to which I submitted my chapbook and full-length and manuscripts: 19 (rejections: 8–but my manuscript was a semifinalist in one contest)
  • Journals to which I’ve submitted two different nonfiction lyric essays:  9 (rejections received: 5)
  • Total rejections received: 71

This project yields only a 1.6% acceptance rate for my poems, but I’m glad I’m making this effort. I’m encouraged by the number of “send us more” rejections; these motivate me to sustain this push, which has resulted in my sending out more work in the past ¾ of a year than I’ve sent out in the past 15 years combined.

I’m motivated also by an article I read recently in LitHub by Kim Liao, who explains “Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year: Flipping Your Perspective on Rejections, and Failing Best.” By aiming for this many rejections, a writer is sure to score some acceptances along the way. Perhaps even more important, this approach helps take the sting out of receiving rejections, and reinforces the truth that rejections are just part of the business of being a writer, not a soul-crushing indictment of the quality of one’s writing. By Kim Liao’s method, I’m 71% of the way to reaching the goal of 100 for the year. (But my year began in mid-November 2015, so I’d better pick up my lackadaisical summer pace if I’m going to make it to 100 by mid-November 2016!)

Another benefit of sending out so many submissions is receiving encouragement from journal editors, even when that encouragement arrives in the context of a rejection notice. To hear from an editor that even though they don’t currently have space for my work, they really enjoyed it, or that my poem made it to their final round of consideration, and that they want to read more from me in the future, is terrifically affirming. To receive this kind of feedback from editors I deeply respect–including those at journals like Black Warrior Review, Copper Nickel, Gulf Coast, Pleiades, Puerto del Sol, and Water~Stone Review–is validation to continue aiming high as I submit my work to literary magazines. Yes, I do plan to broaden my approach to include publications that aren’t quite so keenly competitive, so that I’ll increase my chances for actually getting my work into print. But this “at first, aim high” approach has been very useful as an exercise in level-finding. Now that I know where my work almost gets accepted, I can focus on those journals, and on journals in the next tier down, as I make subsequent rounds of submissions.

So where did those 3 acceptances come from, you may ask?

One is from Tinderbox Poetry Journal, one of the literary magazines to which I submitted a set of poems last December and whose editors replied that one of them came close. So this spring I submitted another set, and they chose my prose poem “Amanda Bubble Composes a Fifty-Word, Third-Person Contributor Bio for an Anthology on the Theme of Vulnerability” to appear in the October 2016 issue.

Another acceptance was from Bellingham Review, whose previous editors included one of my poems in last fall’s online issue and featured me in a blog interview. Subsequently, the new editors have accepted two more poems, “Amanda Bubble Has Moments of Sublimity and Moments of Abjection” and “In Which I Apologize to Amanda Bubble.” These are slated to appear in the spring 2017 print issue.

The third acceptance is from Cider Press Review–another wonderful repeat acceptance. After publishing one of my poems this past winter, the editors accepted two more for this year–and one of them went live the very next day! You can read “Organize Your Home Using This Weird Old Trick” here, in Issue 18.3, and “I Anticipate a Metamorphosis” will appear in a later issue. Thank you to editors Ruth Foley and Caron Andregg for giving these poems such an excellent home!

 

New Poems Up at Bellingham Review and Pontoon

I’m honored to have two poems published this month! “Amanda Bubble Crafts a New Creation Story” appears in Issue 71 of Bellingham Review; my thanks to former Editor-in-Chief Brenda Miller, current Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Paola Antonetta, former Managing Editor Ellie A. Rogers, and current Managing Editor Louis McLaughlin for including my poem. When you visit, please check out the gorgeous essay “He Worked as an Electrician. He Enjoyed Television. (His Obituary Was Plain.)” by Spokane poet Maya Jewell Zeller!

In addition, my poem “What Was Good about Going to Church” has been selected for this year’s issue of Pontoon, the journal of poems by Washington-state poets who submitted chapbook manuscripts to Floating Bridge Press. My thanks to everyone on the editorial committee at FBP! For the first time, Pontoon is now online, allowing wider access to readers. Here’s my poem, and here’s the first page of the Table of Contents (be sure to click through all four pages to read the whole issue). I hope you enjoy!

Chris Jarmick–Two Readings in Bellingham, September 26 & 28

Christopher Jarmick and NOT ALOUD

Christopher Jarmick and NOT ALOUD

Seattle-area poet Christopher Jarmick, who has a new book out with MoonPath Press, will be in Bellingham this Saturday night to read at Village Books, and again on Monday night for PoetryNight.

I know Chris from his excellent work organizing poetry events around Western Washington. He’s a lively and engaging presenter of his own fine poems, which are now gathered into a collection published by the same press as my chapbook.

MoonPath Press Editor and Publisher Lana Hechtman Ayers writes,  “Not Aloud presents some 30 plus years of Christopher J. Jarmick’s marvelous poetry. Jarmick’s thematic territory is expansive– family, relationships, the art of writing, philosophy, his patented poem starters, and much, much more. His language is musical, approachable, and memorable. His refreshing turns of phrases stand clichés on their heads: “The clouds/are not metaphors at all./ They hide the sky,/they get fat,/sometimes they burst,/but not with tears,/Mr. Tambourine Man,/just with rain.” Full of humor, acute observation, and deep emotion, Not Aloud is a collection you’ll want to return to again and again.”

Here are the relevant particulars for these Bellingham readings:

Saturday, September 26, 7:00 p.m.
Village Books
1200 11th St. in Fairhaven
Bellingham, WA

and

PoetryNight
Monday, September 28, 8:00 p.m.
Bellingham Public Library
210 Central Avenue,
Bellingham, WA

Learn more about Chris and his poems at the MoonPath Press page and Facebook page for Not Aloud, as well as the book page on Chris’s blog. (While you’re there, check out the huge list of Western-Washington poetry events Chris publicizes on his home page. Lots of poetry throughout the region!)

I hope to see you at one or both of these readings!

Tahoma Literary Review Reading at Elliott Bay Books July 23, 7:00 p.m.

!cid_0_28876465680_542034058747999009Tahoma Literary Review, edited by Kelly Davio and Joe Ponepinto, will host a reading at Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Company on Thursday, July 23, at 7:00 p.m. to celebrate the journal’s one-year anniversary and launch issue #4. Featured readers will include some of my fave Pacific Northwest poets!

One of my poems appeared in Issue #2 of Tahoma. Favorite poems in the new issue, #4, include one by Ronda Broatch, whose new collection is out from MoonPath Press; and a stunning 20-part poem, “A Geneology of the Word,” by Nickole Brown.

Enjoy!

Tomorrow!

Please join us for…

POETRY in EDMONDS

Jennifer Bullis

Dennis Caswell

David D. Horowitz

Erika Michael

Bethany Reid

 

Thurs., Apr. 16th, 6:30 p.m.

Edmonds Bookshop

111 Fifth Ave. S., Edmonds, Washington

425-775-2789

E-mail: David, rosealleypress@juno.com

URL: http://www.edmondsbookshop.com

http://www.rosealleypress.com

Jennifer Bullis: Impossible Lessons (MoonPath, 2013)

Dennis Caswell: Phlogiston (Floating Bridge, 2012)

David D. Horowitz: Cathedral and Highrise (Rose Alley, 2015)

Erika Michael: art historian, poet, taught at OSU and UPS

Bethany Reid: Sparrow (Big Pencil, 2012)

 

This reading is free and open to the public.

Readings During National Poetry Month

Hello! I get to join two amazing lineups of poets for April readings in the Seattle area. I plan to read some bird and horse poems, some Amanda Bubble poems, some mythological persona poems, and possibly a new prose poem about a goat named Derrick. Please come if you can!

April 6, I’ll be part of a Floating Bridge Press reading at the Fremont Library featuring Dennis Caswell and Michael Schmeltzer. Their manuscripts were among the finalists for last year’s Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, and somehow my manuscript, Amanda Bubble Is Nearly on Fire, was also one of them. Dennis Caswell’s 2012 collection Phlogiston was published by Floating Bridge, and Michael Schmeltzer’s poetry manuscripts have had near brushes with winning a number of highly competitive awards. I’ve had the pleasure of reading with Michael twice this past year, and this month, I’ll get to read twice with Dennis!

…because on April 16, when I read at Edmonds Book Shop, the lineup again includes Dennis, along with Bethany Reid (one of my other favorite poets to read with and author of Sparrow, one of my favorite poetry books of 2012), Erika Michael, and David Horowitz, editor at Rose Alley Press and author of the brand-new collection Cathedral and Highrise. So much poetry to enjoy!

Here are the relevant particulars:

Monday, April 6: Floating Bridge Press reading at the Fremont Library, 731 N. 35th St., Seattle, 6:30 p.m. (here are directions and map)

Thursday, April 16: Poetry in Edmonds at Edmonds Book Shop, 111 5th Avenue South, Edmonds, WA, 6:30 p.m. (here are directions and map link)

Please help me to spread the word, and I hope to see you around during Poetry Month!