Monday, June 23, 2014

Promising New Online Journals

bird online

It seems like just about every time I turn on my computer I receive a notice about another new online journal. Needless to say, since anyone can start an online journal—and often without expense—there's a good deal of disparity in the quality of these journals. Some are quite dreadful; others are very good. So it's important to check out the masthead to note the credentials of the editors and staff. Check out the Archives if there are past issues. Note the poets and poems that have appeared in past issues. Note the format of the journal. Is this one where you'd be proud to have your work displayed?

I've gathered a list of seven fairly new or brand new online journals that seem to be doing a great job. In order to get on my list, the journal had to meet certain criteria:
  • reveals identity of the editors 
  • is visually attractive and easy to read—no black background with white or colored fonts
  • does not use a pdf format
  • does not post poems side by side
  • does not use a single page scroll-down format
  • posts poems by a single poet on a single page or one poem per page
  • has easy and clear navigation through the journal
  • uses social media to promote the journal—ideally should provide Facebook and Twitter links for poems        

Titles are linked to the website. Number of issues per year is indicated after the title. Reading period appears on second line.

Dialogist: Quarterly Poetry & Art—4x
all year

Driftless Review—2x
all year

Four Way Review—2x
November 1 – March 1 for  spring issue; April 1 – October 1 for fall issue

all year

Tinderbox Poetry Journal—4x
all year

Tupelo Quarterly—4x
all year but they close submissions once they fill the upcoming issue or reach 300 submissions. Check their Submittable page to confirm that submissions are open.

Waxwing Magazine—3x
all year

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Group Reading for The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop

Please Join Us

Group Reading for The Crafty Poet: A Portable Workshop

Sunday, June 22 


Bernardsville Public Library
1 Anderson Hill Road
2:00 PM   Free
Contact Madeline English: 908-766-0118
Diane Lockward: dslockward @ gmail dot com

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bringing Poetry to New Places

I love unusual venues for poetry readings. A friend of mine, Sondra Gash, had a beautiful house tucked away on a back road in Lebanon, NJ. During the years that she lived there, Sondra hosted a few poetry salons each year. She did this to support her poet pals and to support CavanKerry Press, the press that published her collection, Silk Elegy. One side of the house was all windows overlooking a babbling brook and lots of trees and vegetation. It was a perfect spot for poetry. Sondra invited poets and other kinds of artists for an afternoon of poetry and conversation. The salons were wonderful. Recently, though, Sondra and her husband made the difficult decision that it was time to sell the house and move to a retirement community.

So Sondra and Ira moved to Winchester Gardens in Maplewood, NJ. One of the enticements to move there was that the Social Director suggested that she could continue her salons there. After a period of getting used to her new digs, Sondra put together the first reading. She invited me and five other poets to gather on Monday, May 19 for an evening reading. I was stunned by the beauty of this senior residential community. The grounds were beautiful with tons of flowers and the buildings were big old stone structures.

Above is the Great Hall where the reading was held. The furniture was rearranged so that the audience could sit in rows. We had approximately fifty residents turn out for the reading. They were engaged and enthusiastic.

With the assistance of the Social Director, Sondra prepared a program brochure. Inside was a photo of each poet and a bio.

This is just before the reading got underway. Left to right are Gail Gerwin, Ed Ryterband, Sondra Gash, Howard Levy, Teresa Carson, and Joan Cusack Handler. I'm standing at the far right. As I was sitting waiting for the audience to arrive, I saw a familiar-looking woman walk in. Much to my surprise that was Rose Spear, a woman I used to teach with at Millburn High School. She was a German teacher; I was an English teacher. I went over and we got reacquainted. It was an unexpected pleasure to meet up with a former colleague. Then the reading got underway, each of us reading for approximately ten minutes. What a pleasure to read in such an exquisite room.

Me reading three poems. Following the last poet, Sondra led a Q&A which was very interesting. I had the impression that some of the seniors would like to try to write some poems of their own. Then cookies were passed around and we engaged in some conversation with those who chose to come up and chat with us.

I'm not ready to move in, but I would definitely like to go back for another poetry reading or to lead a workshop.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

For Mothers Mostly But Not Only
Click Cover to Purchase
My poem "Nesting" appears in this year's issue of the Mom Egg Review. This is my first appearance in the journal and I must say that I'm very pleased. The journal has a lovely cover and is nicely done throughout. I haven't yet had a chance to peruse the entire issue, but I've read enough to know that I have a lot of good reading ahead. Kudos for editor Marjorie Tesser!

This year's issue includes more than 100 contributors. Not surprisingly, women poets far outnumber men poets, but men are welcome to submit as long as they stick to the somehow-related-to-mothers focus of the journal. Since every guy at one point or another had a mother, I'm surprised that more men don't appear within these pages. Perhaps they have felt discouraged by the journal's name. So here's a challenge to the guys: Submit this time around.

Be you woman or be you man, the new submission period just opened. Check out the Guidelines.

The 2015 issue will contain a special portfolio of poems that address the theme of compassionate action. This will be curated by poet Jennifer Jean who describes what she's looking for as follows:

We are interested in poems that explore, from different perspectives, the theme of Compassionate Action.

Mothers, and motherly nurturers, don't only feel for others in pain and strife—they take action. This compassionate action, whether large or small, often occurs at home or in small communities. It can also occur on national or global levels. Sometimes it doesn’t occur at all.

Poems might consider:
What compassionate actions have you witnessed? How have you surprised yourself? What must be overcome to find paths of action, and to bypass inertia? How can we encourage people to take compassionate action in their own lives?

Note that you may submit to either the General Poetry section or the Compassionate Action theme section, but not both. Note, too, that the journal also includes some fiction and creative prose. Book Reviews are posted at the journal's blog.

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