Sunday, February 18, 2007

I was looking at my post from a couple days ago regarding online vs. print submissions. It does sound a bit like I have no love for print journals at all, which is totally not the case. Some of my favorites, and places I still submit to (no matter how many times they reject me):

Cake Train
Backwards City
Bird Dog
The Tiny
Forklift, OH
3rd Bed (before it went defunct)
Sleeping Fish
Pebble Lake Review
More handmade things like hot Whiskey, Cannibal, Foursquare.
Also, the somewhat local ones--ACM, Rhino, CPR.

I think it's more that, outside this list, I haven't been sending submissions out to other places, the bigger, more academic journals like I used to. Instead, I've been sending them to online publications at a greater rate. It seems futile to waste all that energy and postage on places where I doubt newer poets, unestablished poets really get a thorough reading. I'm also resistant to the idea that poets HAVE to land poems in these places to make a career. The gatekeepers want us to think that so they can go on being gatekeepers... Also, once you're fortunate enough to land poems in one of these journals, the potential readership is still much smaller. You might have a fancy credit for your resume, but really, how many people does that poem reach in most scenarios (unless it's picked up by the dailies and available online..)

I suppose it all rests on where a given poet's priorities lie. I'm all about getting my work out in the most efficient way to the broadest possible audience, ideally at as little cost possible. Sort of like radio airplay. Some need those resume credits in order to keep their jobs or win tenure. Some like the idea of rising to the top and getting into the seemingly impossible journal, that feeling of pride and being published among the heavyweights. It's all good. And truly, I don't CARE much that some of my favorite pubs smaller distributions than an online venue would have, since they publish work I totally love, editors I respect, or have pretty covers, or cool design, or a unique approach that make it worth it to publish with them, to send them work.

1 comment:

Rachel C Miller said...

I always felt awkward with submitting to magazines and contest, is what the general populas looking for the same as the judges? I found as my clientele was growing, that a need for writing that reflects a today approach to life is desirable for the people but that mainstream publishers and not promoting it. As the saying goes" people are like cattle you put one in front of the other and they seem to follow. " I hate to believe the majority of people are like that, without their own inner thought process.