M. Scott Douglass, Editor of Main Street Rag, still notes on his website that although he publishes books and chapbooks and a periodical journal, he won’t repair bibles. Perhaps that qualification is necessary in Charlotte, NC, where he’s been in the lit bidniz since 1996 or 7. Mr. Douglass took two pandemic inspired poems for future issue, “Fever” and “Quarantine.”
It’s gratifying when a literary editor “gets” your work. Brian Daldorf of Coal City Review has accepted four previous poems for as many different issues, and now has selected “Circulars” for the next issue of his Lawrence, Kansas-based publication. Although I’ve got long-standing connections with Lawrence, I’ve never met Brian, though I’d like to. I like that Brian is “old school,” in that he continues to carry on his lit bidiz by US postal mail, eschewing the electronic Submittable mode that most other editors use. The “Circulars” in the poem were one page butcher shop sales flyers that I used to deliver when I was a boy in Oceanside, New York.
My book with Main Street Rag Press was awarded the 2023 National Federation of Press Women’s 2nd Place in the Creative Verse Book Award. The book was forwarded to the national contest after having won 1st place in the New Mexico Press Women’s contest. Needless to say, one needn’t be a professional journalist or a woman to enlist in the Press Women organization to become eligible to submit to the contest which has 60-some categories of judging.
Don McIver kindly invited me to read at the Chatter program at 10:30 am on June 17th. As is customary, I will be presenting poems between the two musical numbers. Giovanni Bottesini’s Gran Duo for clarinet, double bass, and piano and Dmitri Shostakovich’s String Quartet no. 15 in E-flat minor, op. 144 will be performed by James Shields, clarinet; Emily Cole and David Felberg, violins; Laura Steiner, viola; James Holland, cello; Toby Vigneau, bass; and Luke Gullickson, piano.
I received my contributor’s copy to Crosswinds, IX-2023. This is the contest edition, where senior editor David Dragone and the other editors feature not only the winners of their annual contest, but the other finalists and a generous number of other contest entrants. My poem, “Relations,” was among the also-rans, as were poems by other poets I’m happy to be in the company with, such as Elton Glaser, Andrea Hollander, and Mark Rubin.
The editor of my last book, Breaking Down Familiar, M. Scott Douglass, has accepted two more poems for his magazine, Main Street Rag. One could be called “an imaginary ekphrastic” in that the work of art it addresses, an installation of a fabricated larger-than-life reproduction of the Apache warrior Mangas Coloradas’ skull, is purely imaginary. The second poem is in pantoum form with a non-sensical, actual quote from Donald Trump for an epigraph. Both poems are darkly political, which is a type of poem I think Scott leans toward in his magazine.
My contributor’s copy of Pudding Magazine’s 71st issue came in the mail this week. My poem in it, “Hipbones of the Patriarchs,” goes back many, many revisions and about 25 years since I first drafted it. The partnership of my poetry with Pudding House publications goes back even farther. By my count, I have now published 10 poems in 9 issues of Pudding beginning in 1995. Besides those individual poems, Pudding House published two of my chapbooks, The Fast of Thoth in 2002 and Mr. Ubiquity in 1997. The current editor, Connie Willett Everett, identified issue 71 as the last one; she’s closing shop. She inherited Pudding House from Jennifer Bosveld, who founded Pudding House in Ohio in the 1970s. Connie moved the operation to Florida about fifteen years ago. Thanks to these hard-working editors who kept this publishing enterprise flourishing for so many years.
Wisconsin Review, out of the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, accepted a lampoon of a poem about MAGA maniacs called, “The Closer,” as in a baseball relief pitcher. The last time Wisconsin Review published my poetry, it was two poems in the 13th volume in 1979! Today they are up to 51 volumes. I have to comment also on the appropriately literary name of the current editor, Quill Graham.
For the third time, a book of mine has taken first place in the New Mexico Press Women’s Communication Contest in the category of Creative Verse-Book of Poetry. The 2023 winner, Breaking Down Familiar, will now be forwarded by the NM chapter to compete in the National Press Women Contest in the same category. Previous books of mine to be so honored are The Water Leveling With Us and Coltrane’s God.
COLA magazine has nothing to do with the popular pop (does anybody say “pop” for “soft drink” anymore?). It’s the literary journal of the University of South Carolina, and “Cola” is a nickname for that state’s capital city, Columbia. The journal’s Senior Editor, Samantha Liming, accepted my rather bleak poem about the breeding of mad cow disease, called “Mad Cow Ghazal.” And I see my friend Lauren Camp has also been published in COLA.
Crosswinds editor David Dragone and staff run a contest every year for a single poem. As often happens with these kinds of contests, first the editors identify contestants’ poems that they want to publish, and then they forward those poems to the final judge to decide finalists for the various prizes. So this is the second time a poem of mine has made it to the first tier of the Crosswinds contest (this year’s judging isn’t complete), meaning it will be published regardless of whether it makes it to one be one of the prizewinners. The poem “Relations” ponders inherited fate and one’s relations to the ancestors, which I suppose poets always have and always will write about.