Saturday, January 30, 2016

New News and Old News and Uncovering the Cover

The first piece of news is that my long overdue poetry book, The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement, is almost here. I've said that several times before, but this time it really is almost here. I received a sample review copy, made a few corrections, and am now awaiting the revised review copy. So we're looking at just a few weeks now. I'm delighted to uncover the cover here! Once again, artist Brian Rumbolo has provided a gorgeous original painting for the cover. He's now done the covers for all four of my poetry books. I have to admit that I love this cover! So stayed tuned for more news on this publication.

Next item: Terrapin Books is fully launched. The poems for The Doll Collection have all been selected. I'm still stunned by the great response to the call for submissions. You can see the list of poets at The Doll Collection page at the website. The book is underway. Formatting is just about done. Credits done. Bios done. Fantastic introduction by poet Nicole Cooley done. Cover in the works but not done.

Next item: The Call for Submissions for Terrapin's first open reading of full-length poetry manuscripts opened on January 25 and will run until February 25. If you have a manuscript, please visit the Guidelines and consider submitting. The submissions thus far are very promising. I am very grateful that poets are entrusting me with their work. I signed onto Submittable, so will be accepting submissions only there. That's much more convenient than taking them by email—for me and for the poets.

Old news: Poetry editor Charlie Bondhus featured one of my poems at The Good Men Project. "The Gift" appeared on December 21 just in time for Christmas, though it's hardly a cheerful poem. (The sole comment, however, is from someone who seems to have found the poem amusing. Maybe I don't get my own poem.)

That's it for now.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Terrapin Books: Progress Report

All the essential parts of Terrapin Books, my new small press for poetry, are now in place, and I’m making good progress on our first book, The Doll Collection, an anthology of poems about dolls. Poet Nicole Cooley is at work on the Introduction to the book. She was a perfect choice for the job as she’s written a number of poems about dolls and is writing a non-fiction book about dolls.

I received close to 400 submissions for the book with many of the poets submitting as many as 5 poems. The quality of the work was gratifyingly high, so making the selections was hard. I had to turn away many fine poems which I would have said yes to if I hadn’t wanted to keep the book to around 100-120 pages. The final count was 87 poems by 87 poets. Some of the poems go back as far as the 1970’s; others were written for the collection.

I hope to have The Doll Collection out in early spring. In the meantime, the list of poets can be seen at the Terrapin website. I think it’s pretty impressive!

I’ll be taking submissions of full-length collections from late January through February. I plan to be on Submittable by then and will be asking a minimal $12 reading fee. I hope to select 2-3 manuscripts from this first open submission period. My goal is to publish 4-6 books in 2016. Manuscripts will be carefully read. Those selected will receive editorial input. All poets will receive review copies, discounted book purchases, and royalty payments.

I hope to publish beautiful books of outstanding poetry. I also want those books to sell well and to get into the hands of many readers. Therefore, I suggest that each poet submitting a manuscript be able to say yes to the following expectations:
       1. has 25-50% of the poems already published in respectable journals
       2. has a dedicated website or is willing to create one prior to the book’s publication
       3. has some involvement in social media
       4. enjoys giving public readings and is willing to seek them out
       5. will take advantage of review opportunities

In other words, there’s an expectation at the press that the poet has been actively involved in getting his/her work “out there” and will be committed to promoting the book.

The selected poets can expect that their books will not be published and then abandoned, that the publisher will be committed to promoting each book and maintaining an ongoing positive relationship with all Terrapin poets.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Yes, Virginia

Each Christmas I like to revisit the following essay from the The Sun. My grandmother read it to me many years ago. I've always remembered it. If you don't already know this piece, I hope you'll enjoy it. I also hope you'll have a Merry Christmas if that's what you're celebrating. And I hope you'll have a wonderful New Year. Thank you for being a Blogalicious reader.

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's The Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial on September 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

Here's Virginia's letter:

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


Here's the reply:

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Birth of a New Poetry Press


I have officially begun a new small press for poetry books—Terrapin Books. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. But I was put off by the various reasons for not doing it. Then I took myself by the neck and said, Just do it. This is your dream and only you can make it happen.

So I asked some questions of other small press publishers and happily received excellent guidance. The first task was to form an LLC. In years past, this would have required an attorney. Today it can be done online, quickly and easily. One job down. The next task was to get an FEIN (Federal Employer’s Identification Number) so I could open a bank account. I’ll also need that if I ever have paid staff. The next task was do obtain a state ID number. Done.

Then I opened a small business account at my bank. Terrapin Books now has official checks and a credit card.

Then came the creation of a website. Check it out. And then a Facebook page. Please give a Like.

I decided that my first book would be an anthology of doll poems. I created a Call for Submissions page at the website and posted notices here and there. Once the submission date arrived, the poems started rolling in. I was thrilled by their number and quality. The window closes on December 15, so if you are thinking of submitting, it’s now or never.

Some of the poets included so far: Jeffrey Harrison, Cecilia Woloch, Michael Waters, Nicole Cooley, and Patricia Fargnoli. (I can’t reveal more names as I haven’t yet sent out acceptances and rejections.) Nicole Cooley has agreed to write the Introduction and I could not be more thrilled with that. Nicole has written a number of stunning poems about dolls and is currently writing a non-fiction book about dolls. How perfect is that!

The next project will be some full-length poetry collections. Look for the Call for Submissions early in the new year. By that time I also plan to be using Submittable to make tracking easier for me and the poets submitting.

My intention is to publish fabulous poems by fabulous poets in beautiful books. Working collaboratively with the poets, I hope to get those books into the hands of many readers. How’s that for a lovely dream?

And oh yes, I also now have a rubber stamp with Terrapin Books and the mailing address. That really makes it official.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Poetry of Cooking

Click Cover for Amazon
Click Cover for Amazon
The Poetry of Cooking is a beautiful new cookbook from John Ross. Ross is a long-time chef and a food columnist. He is also a poetry lover. In this wonderful cookbook, he combines his various talents for food and words—and also displays his talent for photography.

The book is organized into chapters going from January to December. Each chapter begins with a poem about food. The twelve poets include Anne-Marie Macari, Marge Piercy, George Bilgere, Jake Adam York, and Li-Young Lee. I’m delighted to have my poem “Linguini” leading off the month of February.

The book is hard cover, 10 x 8, with a laminated wipeable coating, and contains more than 200 mouth-watering recipes and 80 stunning color photos. The text is comfortably readable. Ingredients for each recipe are listed on the left side of the page. The recipes then are enumerated in an easy to follow step-by-step fashion.

Recipes that might tempt you include Summer Lobster Stew, Potato Leek Soup, Bouillabaisse, Shredded Zucchini with Pesto, and Caponata. To his credit, Ross has not neglected desserts. He offers such dishes as Peach-Blueberry-Blackberry Cobbler, Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, Raspberry Trifle, and Black Forest Cherry Cake.

This cookbook would make a perfect holiday gift for anyone who loves poetry and good food and is happy cooking in the kitchen. Happy diners will soon follow.

Black Forest Cherry Cake

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Catching Up

Looks like I’ve been slacking off here. That’s because I have been. However, I’ve been busy elsewhere doing other things.

I’ve just finished the first round of proofreading the galleys for my forthcoming poetry book, The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement. I sent the edits back yesterday morning and hope to get back another set of galleys for one last chance to pass my critical eye over the manuscript. If all goes well, the book should not be too far away.

Then I’ve also been busy all summer working on the sequel to The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop. It’s a ton of work to organize the material of the past three years, material compiled from my Poetry Newsletter and the Poet on the Poem series I run here on this blog. It now looks like the book will be ten sections, each with three Craft Tips, three model poems, three prompts, six sample poems, and one Bonus Prompt. The structure will be similar to the original Crafty but will be a bit expanded. My intention is that this new book will continue the work of the original Crafty but can also stand alone. I have all the material put together except for one last Craft Tip which I expect to receive in a few weeks.

Now I'm working on the bios. Then onwards to the Table of Contents, Index, and Credits. And I’m still revising and editing this new craft book, so a good deal of work remains to be done. Once I have the first draft in pretty good shape, I will put out a call for submissions for the sample poems. Stay tuned for that.

So it hasn’t been all lallygagging around and eating bonbons here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Journals That Publish Poetry Book Reviews

(updated 9/15)

Here is a list of journals, print and online, that publish unsolicited reviews of poetry books. I hope it will encourage you to write and submit reviews. I will periodically update this. If you spot errors, please let me know. You are welcome to suggest possible additions to the list, but keep in mind that I do not post scroll-down or pdf sites.

Feel free to share the link to this list, but please do not copy and reproduce the list at another site or copy and reproduce it in print.

Print Journals that accept unsolicited reviews


American Poetry Journal
query J.P. Laughing Bear

Arts & Letters
query first

Asheville Poetry Review
query editor Keith Flynn

Bateau  (500 word max)
may query
Currently on Hiatus

Bone Bouquet
books published within the last 4 years


Boston Review (microreviews—also appear online)
must query


Carolina Quarterly

The Chatahoochee Review
must query in writing first

Chicago Review

Cold Mountain Review (1000-2000 words)

Colorado Review
Must query first

Cream City Review 
query the book review editor Cara Ogburn

Denver Quarterly

Florida Review  (500 to 1000 words)

The Georgia Review
must query first in writing

Gigantic Sequins

Green Mountains Review
query editor Neil Shepard

Hartskill Review
e-mail query to

Hiram Poetry Review
please query first

The Hudson Review
will not respond to e-mail queries; send the review Jan 1-March 31

Indian River Review—1000 words

Indiana Review

Iowa Review
publishes reviews in the print journal and online journal


Keyhole Magazine—more than 200 words, no max
query editor Peter Cole

Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion

The Literary Review

The Los Angeles Review

Louisiana Literature
query first

Main Street Rag (600 word reviews)
e-mail the review to
do not query first


Mid-American Review (400 word reviews)
query book review editor Mark Baumgartner

The Minnesota Review
may query Janelle Watson

Missouri Review
accepts online submissions for a fee of $3. Also accepts by snail mail, no fee.

New Delta Review

New Letters  (300-800 words if single book review—samples online)
query by letter or try

New Orleans Review
query Book Review Editor Mary McCay

North American Review
must query first

Parnassus Poetry Review

must query Wayne Miller

Poetry Flash
1450 Fourth Street, #4
Berkeley, CA 94710
query Attention: Joyce Jenkins, Editor/Publisher

Prairie Schooner

Puerto del Sol

Redactions: Poetry & Poetics

Red Rock Review

The Saint Ann's Review

Saint Katherine Review
query Editor: Kathleen Norris

The South Carolina Review

The Southeast Review (800-1000 words)
query book review editor Azita Osanloo

Southern Humanities Review (max 1200 words)

The Southampton Review


So To Speak (brief review, maximum of 300 words)

Sugar House Review
may query review editor Michael McLane

Sycamore Review
query first: sycamore(@)

Tarpaulin Sky (query not required)

Texas Review

Third Coast  (500-2000 words)
Prefers reviews of first or second books, small presses
Do not query

Weave Magazine (500-800 words)

Willow Springs

query first

Online Journals that accept unsolicited reviews

The Adirondack Review

Adroit (500-1500 words)
reviews published on their blog

Avatar Review (up to 1500 words)

Big City Lit
Query first

Black Heart Magazine (max 600 words)

Blue Fifth Review  (750-2000 words)
query editor

Blue Lyra Review

Boxcar Poetry Review  (500-1500 words)
reviews of first books only 
query editor Neil Aitken

Breakwater Review


Catch & Release (max 1500 words)

The Centrifugal Eye (500-1500 words)
query editor Eve Anthony Hanninen:

Cider Press Review (500 words)

The Collagist

Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing
query Suzannah Windsor, at
interviews but no book reviews

Connotation Press
May query but not necessary—see online form

The Country Dog Review (interviews also)
must query first:

The Critical Flame
may query

The Frank Martin Review
reviews appear on the blog

Flycatcher Journal
query Chris Martin

Free Verse    (1000-1500 words)
query Jon Thompson

Galatea Resurrects   (no word limit/ no limit on pub date)
query and submit to editor Eileen Tabios:
takes previously published and new

Glint Literary Journal

Gulf Stream Lit Mag (first books only)

Harvard Review
query editor Christina Thompson:

Literary Mama
books reviewed must focus on motherhood
send submission to

The Literateur (700 words)

A women’s journal but men are welcome to submit
query first

Menacing Hedge

The Mom Egg (max. roughly 750 words)
Query first:

The Museum of Americana
Query first:

New England Review (500-1000 words)
digital NER

Offcourse (up to 1000 words)

The Pedestal Magazine
must query first

Poemeleon  (shorter reviews preferred)
queries are preferable to Cati Porter

Poets' Quarterly (500-2000 words)

Prick of the Spindle

Prime Number Magazine (500 words)
Query for longer reviews

The Quivering Pen (1000-2500 words
query: David Abrams

Rain Taxi   (500 words)

Raven Chronicles

Red Paint Hill Poetry Journal

Rougarou (500-800 words)

The Rumpus

Scapegoat Review (800 words max, new books only)

Serving House Review (up to 5000 words)

Shattercolors (1200-8000 words)

Query Book Review Editor Sarah Kennedy (
before sending reviews.

Smartish Pace

query  Letitia Trent at

Swithback (500-2000 words)

Talking Writing (800-2000 words)
use form at the site to query

Terrain: A Journal of the Built and Natural Environments
Max 3000 words

32 Poems
1000+ words

email with "query-review" as the subject line to

reviews of books of formal poetry

Up the Staircase Quarterly

Valparaiso Poetry Review
Edward Byrne, editor
query VPR@Valpo.Edu

Whale Road Review (500 words or less)
send to

Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal

The Writing Disorder

In Addition, if you didn’t find what you need

NewPages also lists and links to publications that specialize in reviews.

NewPages also has an extensive list of online journals, many of which
run reviews. Links are provided.

Poets & Writers online has links to the websites of dozens of journals.

Places that publish pre-publication reviews

The following do not accept unsolicited reviews but assign books for review. Books need to be sent in advance of publication date:

American Book Review
ABR cannot accept reviews after a book is more than six months old, even though it's sometimes much longer before it actually appears in their pages. Send book as early as possible, preferably before the publication date.
American Book Review
School of Arts & Sciences
University of Houston-Victoria
3007 N. Ben Wilson
Victoria, TX 77901

Library Journal
wants pre-publication galleys 3 months in advance of publication date
Book Review Editor
Library Journal
160 Varick Street, 11th Floor
New York, New York 10013

Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly Poetry Reviews
360 Park Avenue South

New York, NY 10010

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