Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Simultaneous Submissions and Their Rewards

A conversation at a writer's group brought to memory this article by Michael P. Kardos. While some of the sarcasm is palpable, Kardos does ask an important question: What are the ethics of accepting or refusing to accept simultaneous submissions?

I think this all the more valuable for poets because it seems that in MFA programs, for every one prose writer, there are at least half a dozen eager poets, all competing for those same magazine slots against all the other MFA authors, teachers, etc. I'm going to challenge Kardos, and argue that for poetry--good poetry--it's still only a 1% chance that a good poem makes it into a magazine. This seems to be true from my editorial experiences, but also acknowledges what many of the entries in Poet's Market write.

If I'm doing my math right, it'll look like this:

.99x = .01
log (.99)x = log (.01)
X log (.99) = log (.01)
X log (.99)/log (.99) = log (.01)/log (.99)
log (.99) log (.99)
X = log (.01)/log (.99)
X = 458.2 submissions

I'll round it down to 458, just to be optimistic, but assuming that there's a three month response time, and that most academic magazines only accept submissions within a semester, we're looking at 229 YEARS before a poem would be accepted. If we assume a three month response time, average, and find magazines continually that accept during Summer months, it's only 114 or so years--FOR ONE POEM TO GUARANTEE ACCEPTANCE!

I don't even know if there are this many academic magazines in the world, but the options seem pretty straight forward:

  • Write the best damn poems you can, and pray
  • Ignore academia and go the indie route, which may or may not affect your potential career as a poet
  • Simultaneously submit anyway, and hope you don't shoot yourself in the foot
  • Submit to only those magazines that accept simultaneous submissions, and pray
None of these are really good options, especially considering the indie route tends to be flooded with such a mixed bag of poetry that even the more reputable presses are sneered at.

Anyway, it'd be interesting to hear your thoughts on this idea.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

52 Cleveland Haiku (37)

First day of autumn

Cicadas sing.
On the sidewalk, one red leaf:
evening air turns cool.

--Geoffrey A. Landis

Monday, September 19, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011


Ingenuity is here!

This weekend is the Cleveland Ingenuity Festival, held on the unused streetcar level of the Detroit Superior Bridge. Check it out-- this is an amazing space, part of Cleveland that is not ordinarily open to the public. If you've never been there, you really ought to see it.

Acts and music and video and theatre and art and even electricity! And, yes, there will be poetry, courtesy of Vertigo X and the PoetsHaven.

Friday afternoon: the main Ingenuity website seems to be down at the moment. I assume it will be back up shortly, but for the moment, try the Ingenuity information at the cleveland.com website, the Ingenuity facebook page, or the Poet's Haven facebook event page.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A D'Elyrious Night with Alex Gildzen under the Stars on 9/15

As a young man, Elyria-bred Alex Gildzen was published by d.a. levy. Then his first full chapbook came out in 1969. Since that time, he's had lots of books published, including the recent The Arrow That Is Hollywood Pierces the Soul That Is Me (2011, Otoliths). Also a renowned mail artist and long time special collections librarian at Kent State University, Alex now lives and writes full time in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When I found out he'd be in town this month for his mother's 90th birthday (Happy Day, Helen!), I invited him to read with me on Thursday September 15th 2011 at the Lorain Arts Council's Sweet & Savory Bistro and he happily accepted. So come on out, hear some great Gildzen poetry and let's celebrate! (My wife's and my birthdays are this week as well). Alex is a treasure and one of my personal poetic heroes - and the LAC is a great venue (their Go Figure art show is still going on, too) - so I hope to see you at this very special event.

Lorain Arts Council (gallery & bistro)
737 Broadway
Lorain, Ohio 44052

Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=126196814145433
Gildzen's bio: http://cybermesa.com/~takis/AGBio.htm
His blog: http://arroyochamisa.blogspot.com/

Here's a clip of Alex reading a poem to commemorate the 80th anniversary of our Terminal Tower last year:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

52 Cleveland Haiku (35)


In our memories
skyscrapers still burn:
black smoke
against deep blue sky.

--Geoffrey A. Landis

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Deep Cleveland Poetry Hour continues!

Maybe not the longest-running poetry reading in the Cleveland area, but it's gotta be darn close.
Despite the death of its long-time host location at Borders Books, the Deep Cleveland Poetry Hour reading series is still alive and continuing on its second-Friday readings, hosted by Joshua Gage, now in its new location:

6556 Royalton Road
North Royalton, OH

Next reading is this Friday!
Friday, September 9 · 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

The event will have Youngstown poet Karen Schubert as the featured poet, along with the traditional Deep Cleveland open mike.

Postscript (9/10): for those who missed it, John Burroughs has some pix up at his facebook page.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

52 Cleveland Haiku (34)

Labor Day

Pale lavender flame
in darkness above the flats:
we're still a steel town.

--Geoffrey A. Landis

"The Flame," image by David Ploenzke, used with permission.

A New Book

I don't know if blatant advertising is allowed on this blog - but here is my new book. The Desire Path is a story for anyone who has ever felt like a misfit in the world. It is the story of one mother's sacrificial love and another woman's failure to love unconditionally. It explores the themes of family versus biology, the damage of estrangement, and ultimately forgiveness and reconciliation.

Please visit http://thedesirepath.blogspot.com or read some reviews on Amazon.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bree, Adam Brodsky, Vidrick, Chris Franke at Visible Voice

September 3, 2011  @  7pm Visible Voice Books 1023 Kenilworth (in Cleveland)

Bree of Green Panda Press took time off from poetry to write her memoirs, The Rainbow Sweater & My Mother, which appear in a single volume (August 2011). They are stories of LSD, karma, chronic pain, the poets' life, daughterhood and Buddhism. http://www.rainbowsweater.blogspot.com/

Adam Brodsky aka Latex Menagerie also released a CD in August, 'Lost Days of May' with spoken word accompaniment by Bree, Russ Vidrick and Christopher Franke. Adam is an independent poet, book artist, musician and teacher. Russ Vidrick and Chris Franke can be found at reads across the city including Saturday Afternoon Open Mics at Brandt Gallery in Tremont

Join us for a book and CD launch party, with poetry, prose, music and more!


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau