Saturday, March 11, 2017

the submission wilds

Image may contain: indoor

After over 20 years in this writing (business?  passion?  madness?) sometimes I forget how nice it feels to place a poem or a group of poems in a journal. a very singular and simple pleasure, one I don't experience enough of in all the crazy. .  Sadly, I don't really send out a lot of work to journals anymore--mostly due to time constraints and efforts driven elsewhere and just a general difficulty in deciding where to direct my efforts.  

Also, much of what I write lately is tied tightly into series, which sometimes makes pieces out of context not all that marketable outside the whole of the project. Sometimes the poems are finished and sent out in manuscripts before I ever get a chance to try to place them individually.  Every once in a while I get this panicked feeling that I need to publish more and will send out a couple, but if they are rejected, I don't typically volley them back out in the world like I did in the early days of sending out work. Occasionally, I get solicited, so I usually send work then (which also sometimes gets rejected as well.) In the days before the press took so much of my poetry time and when I was extra hungry for getting my work out there, I would send out poems as soon as they came back to me, and then again and again. . I've never really been able to do simsubs, since I am really bad  at record keeping and one tme unintentionally caused a slightly embarassing snafu (and then I'd only accidently sent out two identical batches.) 

In the early to mid 2000's I would fling rejected poems back out into the wild as quickly as they returned and usually, even if it took a few tries, most stuff eventually found a home somewhere.   By the time the fever almanac was published in 2006, pretty much every poem but one of two had garnered some sort of journal publication beforehand, and it was a similar situation with subsequent books (except for the shared properties..which was entirely unpublished when the book was accepted and quickly came out a few months later. 

A couple weeks ago, I got that panic feeling again and sent off a couple submissions. As I was hauling myself out of bed early today for an unhappy  weekend shift at the library, I was thrilled to see an acceptance from Hobart for some of the "How to Write a Love Poem in a Time of War" series, the first of that series to find a home,  which definitely made the morning much more satisfying and I realized how I missed that satisfaction a little--to even have work out there--even if it gets rejected--to approach opening my e-mail daily with the same excitement I used to approach my mailbox in the lobby of  my old Lincoln Park apartment building (the last place I lived where snail mail subs were a actually a thing) or crossing the grassy field to my parent's mailbox back when I was sending work out in college.)

So I've spent a bit of time when I actually got to work this morning scouring journal opportunities and compiling a list of promising possibilities. (I've found an excellent way to find kindred journals is to look at the bios of dgp authors since most likely, if I like THEIR work, there might be some possibility that the journals are of similar aesthetics tastes to my own and therefore likely to be interested in my own work--some I did not even know existed. )  The result was 8 batches of poems from a couple different projects sent off into the hinterlands, more than I've probably sent off in a year as a whole, so we'll see what happens.  I'm guessing rejections will have just the opposite reaction, but hopefully bad news will always be balanced by good. 

No comments: