on poetry

July 13, 2021

“…get ready a basket first of all, in which to collect all your rejection slips and you must continue until that basket is full or your work is accepted. In other words, you just must continue writing; and once you accept that, then we can talk about what you want to write…”
Wole Soyinka
(b. July 13, 1934)

. . . . .

on poetry

January 9, 2020

“Being rejected is part of the deal as a poet. It’s doesn’t always make it better to know that, but it’s true. You will be rejected more than you are accepted. You will celebrate an acceptance then sadly weep into morning coffee over a rejection that rolls in the next day.”
Kelli Russell Agodon
(b. January 9)

. . . . .
photo by Susan Rich

bounce tonight!

August 12, 2019

poetrynightBoynton Bouncers is here! Tonight! At the Alternative Library in Bellingham. The list of readers so far includes Amber Ashbjornsen, Nancy Canyon, Lynna Fuller, Shannon Laws, Carol McMillan, Rachel Mehl, Deborah Royal, Jim Schmotzer, and J.L. Wright.

You can still sign up by sending an email with your name, phone, and poem title(s) to boyntonpoetrycontest@hotmail.com or you can just show up and read or be part of the audience. Hosted by poetrynight, it’s free.

call for bouncers

July 2, 2019


Have you submitted a poem to the Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest only to be disappointed by rejection? Well, if so, here’s your chance to show your stuff. The contest committee is teaming up with poetrynight to present Boynton Bouncers.

Boynton Bouncers will be held at the Bellingham Alternative Library on Monday, August 12, 2019, at 7:00pm.

  • Rejected-by-Boynton poems from any contest year, 2006-2019, are eligible.
  • Poets must read their own poems; if their work has been turned away in multiple years, they may read more than one poem.
  • Poets can just show up and read, or, to assure a spot in the lineup, send an email with your name, phone, and poem title(s) to boyntonpoetrycontest@hotmail.com.
  • The event is free and the public is invited.

If this is successful, it could become an annual event.

on poetry

October 27, 2017

“I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.”
Sylvia Plath
(October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963)

. . . . .
quote from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

In case you missed the December broadcast on PBS, you can watch/listen/read Jeffrey Brown’s interview with Graywolf Press executive editor Jeff Shotts in which they discuss the press’s 99 percent rejection rate and the difference between publication and poetry. Find it on PBS Newshour.

PBS Newshour

One of the nation’s leading nonprofit literary publishers, Graywolf Press has to say, “Thanks, but no thanks,” about 99 times before it says, “Yes!” to one manuscript. PBS Newshour’s Jeffrey Brown interviewed Graywolf’s executive editor, Jeff Shotts, about that process. You can watch or read their conversation here.

another rejection?

September 30, 2012

handAnyone who submits poems gets rejections. But if ALL you get is rejections, or if you’re getting just too darn many of them, perhaps it’s time to ask “Why?” Thanks to Harriet, the blog of The Poetry Foundation, for alerting us to this helpful article from the Indiana Review, “Five Marks of Oft-Rejected Poems.”

Have a look…and then re-read some of your recently-rejected poems. Time to rewrite?

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