film poems

May 19, 2021

Magma Poetry is a poetry journal out of the UK. It is published three times a year, with a different editor for each issue. In addition to the poems, articles, etc., available on the journal’s website, Magma Poetry offers a page of film poems. Take a break. Have a look.

For Whose Eyes and Ears

February 20, 2021

This is a guest post
by Jed Myers

In the lore of therapy, it’s said a person’s emotional state will improve with keeping a journal. The benefit holds even if the journal entries are never shared with another soul. Does that mean we need only ever spell things out for ourselves alone? Or does it mean that the act of writing is so fundamentally relational, no actual other is needed for the experience of being heard and understood by another?

Words have evolved for the conveyance of one being’s experience to another. So even when we speak in our imaginations, talk to ourselves, or write our private entries, we are invoking the presence of another, however invisible.

I do wonder, for whose eyes do we place the words of our reflections on the page? In whose ears do we hope our written words will ring? And whose are the minds and hearts we want to stir with what we’ve written?

I’m sure there’s no simple or single answer to any such questions. But I’m also sure — from tuning in to my own process of writing, if by nothing else — that there is an envisioned other, or a collection of others, that we’ve got a representation of in the wings of the act of writing, to whom, in the writing, we’re speaking.

Maybe this goes against a kind of purist’s notion of writing only for oneself. I don’t know. It could be that an implicit other just like oneself, a mirror twin, so to speak, is such a purist’s other. The writing that would emerge in that spirit might be more idiosyncratic, harder for the rest of us to “get,” but it might be in its own way just right — the words chosen and arranged for the dear twin who will understand perfectly.

Then there’s the writing for a different other, or for a gathering (in the mind’s amphitheater) of others of varied sensibilities. Perhaps these are the presences some of us want to touch with our words. These imagined others might stand in for real expectable readers in the world. We can’t be sure how they’ll hear us, as we don’t know just how they think and feel. How will our poems ring with them?

That question’s at my shoulder while I work out my lines. It can serve to press me, word by word, closer to the marrow, where I’ll find more intuitive sureness of common feeling, even across cultures and times.

I like to invite one odd other to the gathering and to be sure that figure’s listening — a guest from some time in the future, when my life’s been over long enough that those who’ve remembered me are gone. I reach for what might make that other grateful to have stumbled onto my words. I’ll write what I need to say — as if in my journal — that will also close the rift of space and time, so that my guest might feel that a hundred years ago is more or less last week. That’s what I feel sometimes reading Sappho or Du Fu — the intimacy of distant solitudes.

. . . . .

Jed Myers lives in Seattle, where, aside from writing, he’s a psychiatrist with a therapy practice and a Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Washington. He’s author of Watching the Perseids (Sacramento Poetry Center Book Award), The Marriage of Space and Time (MoonPath Press), and four chapbooks, including Dark’s Channels (Iron Horse Literary Review Chapbook Award) and Love’s Test (winner, Grayson Books Chapbook Contest). Recognitions include Southern Indiana Review’s Editors’ Award, the Prime Number Magazine Award, The Southeast Review’s Gearhart Prize, and The Tishman Review’s Edna St. Vincent Millay Prize. Poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Rattle, Poetry Northwest, The American Journal of Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, The Greensboro Review, multiple anthologies, including Two-Countries: US Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents (Red Hen Press) and Take a Stand: Art Against Hate (Raven Chronicles Press), and many other publications. Poems are forthcoming in New York Quarterly, Tupelo Quarterly, Cutthroat, Sequestrum, and Galleywinter Poetry Series. Two essays on poetry and medicine have appeared in JAMA. Jed is Poetry Editor for the journal Bracken.

Jed Myers will co-feature with Charles Rafferty in the Poets in Conversation reading series on Saturday, May 22, 2021, 4:00pm Pacific. Details and access information will be posted on this site and on The Poetry Department Calendar page.

Author photo by Alina Rios
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new for our time

April 16, 2020

The ever-busy Rob McLennan (above/ground press, Chaudiere Books, Dusie, Touch the Donkey, etc., etc.) has launched a new online journal: periodicities : a journal of poetry and poetics .

Since the site went live in early March, it already includes more than 70 videos of contemporary poets reading from their work (‘the virtual reading series’). If you have previously unpublished poetry-related reviews, essays, interviews, translations, etc., consider submitting to periodicities.

Go Rob!

O, pen

February 18, 2018

Now and then we like to update you on poetry submission deadlines for Cascadia-based publications.
NOTE 1: This list does not include contests.
NOTE 2: This is not a list of all the literary publications in the region, only those with open or nearly-open submissions. To see more, see the NW lit scene links in the sidebar at right.
NOTE 3: Read the publication and read the guidelines before submitting. Please.

Here’s the latest:

new literary journal

August 16, 2016

The Deaf Poets Society

The Poetry Department doesn’t often cover the emergence of new literary publications; that would be a project in itself. But this one seems to offer a focus that is both unique and widely relevant, so we present it here in the hope that its audience of contributors and readers will grow.

The Deaf Poets Society, founded by writer Sarah Katz, calls itself “an online journal of disability literature & art.” Issue 1 was published this month, with a selection of poetry, prose, art, and “ideas.”

Published six times a year, the journal accepts “submissions of poetry, prose, cross-genre work, reviews/interviews/miscellany, and art” and is “looking for narratives about the experience of disability that complicate or altogether undo the dominant and typically marginalizing rhetoric about disability.”

There’s more of The Deaf Poets Society on Facebook and you can also learn more in this article from the PBS News Hour.

No Thanks

In her Literary Hub article, “Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year,” Kim Liao suggests that for those of us submitting work for publication, it might be time to reset our goals: instead of aiming for acceptances, aim for a specific number of rejections. Citing the wisdom of other writers as well as her own experience (Liao’s goal is 100 rejections a year), she says, “Since I’ve started aiming for rejections, not acceptances, I no longer dread submitting.”

If Kim Liao’s article inspires you to increase your submission rate, you might also want to have a look at the LitHub article by Erika Dreifus, “13 Questions to Ask Before Submitting to a Literary Journal.”
. . . . .
Thanks to Andrew Shattuck McBride for the suggestion!
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what do editors want?

March 23, 2016

Six QuestionsIt’s a question that writer/editor Jim Harrington has been asking for a long time. And while knowing an editor’s preferences, style and idiosyncrasies is no guarantee that your poems will be accepted, it surely can’t hurt.

Harrington interviews editors of literary journals and, every Friday, posts their replies on Six Questions For…. The list of journals is impressive, running far down the right sidebar of the page. Harrington himself writes flash fiction and that genre is well represented.

Of course, the best way to understand an editor’s preferences is to 1) read the publication and 2) read and follow the guidelines. But Jim Harrington’s interviews (and similar interviews on Duotrope, a subscription-based service for writers) provide valuable insights that might just give you the edge you need.

poet, submit

March 7, 2016

Yes we're open

Now and then, we encourage poets to submit their work to Cascadia-based print and online literary journals by posting a list of those that are currently accepting work for publication. This is one of those updates.

It is not a comprehensive list of publications that originate in Cascadia; it is only those that have pending deadlines. Also, it does not include contests, which typically have separate deadlines (i.e., Crab Creek Review, Pacifica Literary Review).

Read the publications before submitting and, of course, follow the guidelines to the letter. All dates are 2016.

. . . . .
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