5 ways to read more poetry when you just don’t have the time.

1. Subscribe to a poem-a-day email service

It’s hard to ignore when it’s in your face, plus who doesn’t love convenient?

Here are a couple of tried-and-true organizations offering poetry in your inbox:

Don’t want more email? Try #4 below (don’t cheat and skip #2 and #3, though, I totally worked hard on those).


2. Read poetry to your children (dogs, neighbors, whatever)

A research study showed this is one of the ways modern, older (aka middle-aged farts like me) poetry-lovers who don’t read so much poetry anymore actually take the time to incorporate poetry into their lives. That same research also showed that children who were exposed to poetry at an early age are more likely to grow up to love poetry as adults! So get movin’.

Below is is a completely random and definitely incomplete list of poets whose work may be incorporated into your kids’ bedtime routine (or let’s face it, your own). Some pages include links to poems, scroll down if you don’t see them after you click through!


3. Listen to audio poetry while adulting.

Multi-tasking is every modern person’s best friend, right? Or at least us busy types. I’m not one of those people who can listen to music or podcasts while doing any kind of thought-engagement (like work or homework — unlike my son, who enjoyed listening to Skrillex while doing Calculus homework???). But if I’m just doing housework or running errands, that is time just begging to be filled with some spoken word poetry.


4. “Like” an active poetry Page on your favorite social media channel!

Let’s face it, you’re probably on Facebook almost every day like much of humanity and Cambridge Analytica. Why not make use of that time to get notifications about poetry?

mark-zuckerberg-is-super-happy-about-this-line-of-questioning

Here are a few Pages that popped up in a search I just did. Simply “Like” one or more (or find your own) and you’re on your way to more poetry every day!

Note, I vetted these to be sure actual poems or videos of spoken word were included and easily located on the Page. No just-memes for you, I love you too much for that.

Second note, I speak English, so these are English-speaking Pages, but you can do a Pages search on Facebook and find many more on different types of poetry, different themes, in different languages, etc.

If you’re not a fan of Facebook, try following your favorite poets on Twitter or Instagram instead!


5. Put your fave poetry books in the bathroom.

I’m not even kidding. You know what to do, and when.

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#100rejections — The Final Tally, an…A?

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Final accountability check-in for this challenge! But first, what is #100rejections anyway?

I have decided to set the literary goal of accumulating 100 rejections this calendar year to facilitate sustained efforts toward publication. Submitting multiple poems to one market and having them all rejected counts as one rejection. Having any number of poems in the packet accepted means that submission counts as one acceptance.

December, 2017 — 12 New Rejections, 7 New Acceptances, 20 New Submissions

2017 FINAL TALLY — 95 Rejs / 23 Accs / 105 Subs

  • Clementine Unbound, Rejection (personal)***
  • Leaves of Ink, Acceptance
  • DIALOGIST, Rejection
  • Gone Lawn, Acceptance
  • After the Pause, Rejection
  • Dunes Review, Rejection
  • Inflectionist Review, Acceptance
  • The Mantle, Rejection
  • Allegro, Rejection
  • Riddled With Arrows, Acceptance
  • Ink In Thirds, Acceptance
  • Gyroscope Review, Acceptance
  • Rust + Moth, Rejection
  • Valparaiso Review, Rejection
  • West Branch, Rejection
  • Into the Void, Rejection
  • Liminal Stories, Rejection
  • Poetry Breakfast, Rejection
  • Ekphrastic Review, Acceptance

*** A personal rejection, also known as a tiered rejection is sort of like a half-way point between a rejection and an acceptance. It means the editors passed on the work, but otherwise left a positive commentary of some kind in the rejection notice that was unique to you or your work, or added a personal note of appreciation. This is the first one I’ve thought to make note of, and definitely the first one I’ve received in a while. I’m excited about this one because I’d love to be published in this journal, so it feels like one little step closer! Also, they liked one of the poems that I really like, too, so that was just plain nice.

So. I decided on December 21 that I was done submitting. With the holidays coming, several life-stuff things to prepare for, and the likelihood of editorial attention dwindling sharply with the arrival of Christmas break, I called it “done.” At that time, I had collected about 88 rejections, plus still had 13 outstanding submissions. So in one sense, I did make it to 100 (ish, sorta).

That meant I was prepared and willing to accept whatever results came in (or didn’t) at that point, and I was also going to choose to be pleased with the success of my project (regardless of my final tally’s relationship to the number “100”).

When I hit 90 rejections, in my mind I won. I also realized that, with the summer of transition and the exigencies of life and child-rearing consuming my attention mid-year, I had lost 5 full months of literary activity of any kind (no writing, reading, editing, or submitting). That means with the five bonus rejections that came in over the course of the next week or so, I’d gotten 95% of the way to my goal in less than 60% of the time I had originally allotted for the project. I’m good with that. Monthly average was about 2 acceptances per month, and my volume-submitting to the fastest responding markets (according to Duotrope) in November and December definitely paid off with a huge spike in both acceptances and rejections to finish the year with a bang. So I got a 95 out of a 100. That’s an “A” as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

I think next year I will change it up a bit. Maybe I will focus on submitting to pipe dream top-tier markets only, or getting my full collections out there more. I can already feel 2018 percolating. It’s nice. Thanks to those who followed along, I hope you received something of value in the experience, too.

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Stay tuned to this blog for more news and poetry from Samara-land, a lot of the end-of-the-year acceptances will be coming out in the next 2 months!

Happy New Year, everyone.

“Implicate Knitting” (2010)

322 Review is now defunct, but before that, they published this (no archive available):

Implicate Knitting
First appeared in 322 Review (2010)

The warm bamboo needles slide mathematically
within the curves of my practiced fingers:
snick
through
under,
loop back lift.

The pear-green wool links to itself
in the recursive continuum of a single knot
any physicist would recognize—
string theory.
Somehow,
a scarf emerges.

The equations of warmth are indecipherable to me,
like the dozens of people who call me friend
but who wouldn’t know the heavy stitches
that bind me together
if they tore them out personally.
Some of them have tried, seems like.
The names they use for closeness
are scratchy like the wool, and odd—
their friendship, mis-stitched and holey.

On these cold days,
I’m divisible by zero.
I knit, and watch my stash of scarves grow.

#100rejections — November Totals

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Accountability check-in-with-a-vengeance! But first, what is #100rejections anyway?

I have decided to set the literary goal of accumulating 100 rejections this calendar year to facilitate sustained efforts toward publication. Submitting multiple poems to one market and having them all rejected counts as one rejection. Having any number of poems in the packet accepted means that submission counts as one acceptance.

November, 2017 — 14 Rejections,  6 Acceptances, 16 New Submissions
Year to Date, 83 / 17-1 / 85

  • SOFTBLOW, Rejection
  • Amaryllis, Rejection
  • Black River Chapbook Competition, Rejection**
  • American Upheaval, Defunct (after prior Acceptance hence the -1 above — not counting it as a rejection either, though)
  • Cordella Magazine, Rejection**
  • Sustainable Arts Foundation (grant app), Rejection
  • Eunoia Review, Acceptance
  • The Penn Review, Rejection
  • Red Eft Review, Rejection
  • Anti-Heroin Chic, Acceptance
  • The Great American Poetry Show, Rejection
  • THRUSH, Rejection (personal!)***
  • Bomb Magazine, Rejection (personal)
  • New Verse News, Rejection
  • Plum Tree Tavern, Acceptance
  • *82 Review, Rejection
  • Bird’s Thumb, Acceptance
  • Front Porch Review, Acceptance
  • (b)OINK, Rejection
  • River Styx, Rejection
  • Christian Century, Acceptance

** Ghost rejection, hashtag sad-face.

*** A personal rejection, also known as a tiered rejection is sort of like a half-way point between a rejection and an acceptance. It means the editors passed on the work, but otherwise left a positive commentary of some kind in the rejection notice that was unique to you or your work, or added a personal note of appreciation. This is the first one I’ve thought to make note of, and definitely the first one I’ve received in a while. I’m excited about this one because I’d love to be published in this journal, so it feels like one little step closer! Also, they liked one of the poems that I really like, too, so that was just plain nice.

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Tune in after the new year for December tallies and the FINAL COUNT of rejections for 2017, to see if I made my goal. Happy submitting!

 

2 poems — “The Laureate and the Lothario” and “Grand Falls, AZ”

“The Laureate and the Lothario” and “Grand Falls, AZ” are now live in the freshly-minted print edition of The Wildhood Project‘s second volume, your voice in the wilderness.

Thank you so much to Cristina Falcone for including me in this beautiful volume!

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** EDIT, April 2018 **

As of this edit, it appears as though this fledgling market has gone defunct (it happens often, sadly). My poems are therefore reprinted below. Hope you enjoy!


The Laureate and the Lothario
First appeared in Wildhood Project (2017)

I ran into James Dickey once
(in a campground, not the afterlife).
The Congressional Librarians—
academics, all—
put up a rally-in-the-woods,
a well-formed senility
Chronus could really get behind.
            *snortchuckle* frogs and crickets
bowled their raucous caucus
into our ears, yeah,
the reckless blood
was in us all
(deliverance from gall).
Guitar tones and trails wound off into trees,
all the options of darkness and firelight,
songteeth wide, the jawing, the brews—
the glories, oh, the stories!

The dandelion head moon
puffed up white behind
its cloudseed blooms—
yeah, all that midnight jazz
the poets write about,
playing their trills and saxy tones
while the jerry-rigging scholars
rocked and rolled their way
into the holy hag stones’
time-hewn silence:
mossed, pitted, and
certain as sex.


Grand Falls, AZ
First appeared in Wildhood Project (2017)

It sneaks up on you in summer.
Driving, you will think you’re in the wrong place,
that this is not the place for a magnificence of water.
There are the known rocks and gravel,
and the long view will be all ruddy brown and hazy,
a martian landscape of high desert under Arizona sky,
which is not a sky but a verb—
the blue a borrowing of depth,
an IOU to the lungless black behind it.

So there is the gradient:
blue to dust-blue to orange to brown,
a paradox of flatness that curves itself
from sun-hot roof to dust-borne wheels,
and you will turn that one corner
near the oddly Bradburian, solitary bench
with the requisite shelter and garbage can,
and you will turn that corner,
and there it begins.

You thought the earth was a table here,
but it was legs,
and suddenly they open and open,
and you are looking down into a scrappy kind of eden,
tough where it’s green, and
where the strange math of erosion
worked its long division with water
turned cocoa-brown from dust.
It’s flowing easily, playfully—
slow and gentle for falls,
on vacation from the flooding spring—
over rocks flat and large enough for sun-bathing.

There are rocks and all the
familiar elements of surface down here,
tumbled among the exposed monolithic mysteries
in this untoward tecton footprint,
where depth is not itself but a verb—
and it’s a secret of the snowmelt,
that it can do this to the earth
the way the outbreath rim of cosmos
can do it to the sky.

#100rejections — October Totals

I AM OVER THE HUMP from the Summer of Transition (spoiler alert, November activity picks back up as predicted!). I am including this blog post for the sake of continuity and accountability. Until then….

What is #100rejections anyway?

I have decided to set the literary goal of accumulating 100 rejections this calendar year to facilitate sustained efforts toward publication. Submitting multiple poems to one market and having them all rejected counts as one rejection. Having any number of poems in the packet accepted means that submission counts as one acceptance.

Despite several months of literary inactivity, I decided I still wanted to make a run for the full 100 rejections by the end of the year. My tactic for November is to focus my efforts on submissions to the “Top 100 Fastest to Respond” Markets as listed on Duotrope. The tricky balance here is that many of them do not accept simultaneous submissions (given the fast response times, this seems fair to me), so it will be metaphorical game of chicken with the end of the year as I try to collect 31 more rejections in as little as 61 days. It will require regular activity, but I feel up to the challenge!

Side note, as part of my return to literary activity, I cleaned house on several submissions, including a couple of markets that went defunct, which I will not count toward my rejection tally. Crazy news is that one of the markets that went defunct had previously accepted a poem! So it goes.

October, 2017 — 1 Rejection, 1 Acceptance, 0 New Submissions
Year to Date, 69 / 11 / 69

  • AFTERMATH (Radix Media), Acceptance
  • The Harvard Review, Rejection

Tune in next month for November tallies (including another Acceptance!). Happy submitting!

#100rejections — August & September Totals

STILL RECOVERING from the Summer of Transition, so literary activity has come to a screeching halt out of family necessity. In fact, any activity I’ve had in recent months has been from submissions earlier in the year, but hey, it counts. I am including this blog post as a way of creating a through-line until November, when I anticipate ramping back up. Until then….

Accountability check-in! But first, what is #100rejections anyway?

I have decided to set the literary goal of accumulating 100 rejections this calendar year to facilitate sustained efforts toward publication. Submitting multiple poems to one market and having them all rejected counts as one rejection. Having any number of poems in the packet accepted means that submission counts as one acceptance.

August, 2017 — 3 Rejections, 0 Acceptances, 0 New Submissions
Year to Date, 66 / 10 / 69

  • LitMag, Rejection
  • The Paris Review, Rejection*
  • Memorious, Rejection

September, 2017 — 2 Rejections, 0 Acceptances, 0 New Submissions
Year to Date, 68 / 10 / 69

  • Calgary Poetry Contest, Rejection
  • The Southeast Review, Rejection*

*The journals marked with an asterisk (*) satisfy my secondary literary goal of submitting to as many top-tier journals as possible. See my January Totals post for details.

Tune in next month for October tallies (including one Acceptance!). Details on that and my strategy for making a comeback by the end of the year in the next #100rejections post. Happy submitting!