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August 9, 2008
John Wilcock - January 5, 2008

 

  The column of lasting insignificance
     


also posted:



2011
November 26 2011
November 19, 2011
November 12, 2011
November 5, 2011
October 29, 2011
October 22, 2011
October 15, 2011
October 8, 2011
October 1, 2011
September 24, 2011
September 17, 2011
September 10, 2011
September 4, 2011
August 27, 2011
August 20, 2011
August 13, 2011
August 6, 2011
July 30, 2011
July 23, 2011
July 16, 2011
July 9, 2011
July 2, 2011
June 25, 2011
June 18, 2011
June 11, 2011
June 4, 2011
May 28, 2011
May 21, 2011
May 14, 2011
May 7, 2011
April 30, 2011
April 23, 2011
April 16, 2011
April 9, 2011
April 2, 2011
March 26, 2011
March 19, 2011
March 12, 2011
March 5, 2011
February 26, 2011
February 19, 2011
February 12, 2011
February 5, 2011
February 5, 2011
January 29, 2011
January 22, 2011
January 15, 2011
January 6, 2011

2010
December 25, 2010
December 18, 2010
December 11, 2010
December 4, 2010
November 27, 2010
November 20, 2010
November 13, 2010
November 6, 2010
October 30, 2010
October 23, 2010
October 16, 2010
October 9, 2010
October 2, 2010
September 25, 2010
September 18, 2010
September 11, 2010
September 4, 2010
August 28, 2010
August 21, 2010
August 14, 2010
August 7, 2010
July 31, 2010
July 24, 2010
July 17, 2010
July 10, 2010
July 3, 2010
June 26, 2010
June 19, 2010
June 12, 2010
June 5, 2010
May 29, 2010
May 22, 2010
May 15, 2010
May 8, 2010
May 1, 2010
April 24, 2010
April 17, 2010
April 10, 2010
April 3, 2010
March 27, 2010
March 20, 2010
March 13, 2010
March 6, 2010
February 27, 2010
February 20, 2010
February 13, 2010
February 6, 2010
January 30, 2010
January 23, 2010
January 16, 2010
January 9, 2010
January 2, 2010

2009
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 12, 2009
December 5, 2009
November 28, 2009
November 21, 2009
November 14, 2009
November 7, 2009
October 31, 2009
October 24, 2009
October 17, 2009
October 10, 2009
October 3, 2009
September 26, 2009
September 19, 2009
September 12, 2009
September 5, 2009
August 29, 2009
August 22, 2009
August 15, 2009
August 8, 2009
August 1, 2009
July 25, 2009
July 18, 2009
July 11, 2009
July 4, 2009
June 27, 2009
June 20, 2009
June 13, 2009
June 6, 2009
May 30, 2009
May 23, 2009
May 16, 2009
May 9, 2009
May 2, 2009
April 25, 2009
April 18, 2009
April 11, 2009
April 4, 2009
March 28, 2009
March 21, 2009
March 14, 2009
March 7, 2009
February 28, 2009
February 21, 2009
February 14, 2009
February 7, 2009
January 31, 2009
January 24, 2009
January 17, 2009
January 3, 2009

2008
December 27, 2008
December 20, 2008
December 13, 2008
December 6, 2008
November 29, 2008
November 22, 2008
November 15, 2008
November 8, 2008
November 5, 2008
November 1, 2008
October 25, 2008
October 18, 2008
October 11, 2008
October 4, 2008
September 27, 2008
September 20, 2008
September 13, 2008
September 6, 2008
August 30, 2008
August 23, 2008
August 16, 2008
August 9, 2008
August 2, 2008
July 26, 2008
July 19, 2008
July 12, 2008
July 5, 2008
June 28, 2008
June 21, 2008
June 14, 2008
June 7, 2008
May 31, 2008
May 24, 2008
May 17, 2008
May 10, 2008
May 3, 2008
April 26, 2008
April 19, 2008
April 12, 2008
April 5, 2008
March 29, 2008
March 22, 2008
March 15, 2008
March 8, 2008
March 1, 2008
February 23, 2008
February 16, 2008
February 9, 2008
February 2, 2008
January 26, 2008
January 19, 2008
January 12, 2008
January 5, 2008

2007
December 29, 2007
December 22, 2007
December 15, 2007
December 8, 2007
December 1, 2007
November 24, 2007
November 17, 2007
November 10, 2007
November 3, 2007
October 27, 2007
October 20, 2007
October 13, 2007
October 6, 2007
September 29, 2007
September 22, 2007
September 15, 2007
September 8, 2007
September 1, 2007
August 25, 2007
August 18, 2007
August 11, 2007
August 4, 2007
July 28, 2007
July 21, 2007
July 14, 2007
July 7, 2007
June 30, 2007
June 23, 2007
June 16, 2007
June 9, 2007
June 2, 2007
May 19, 2007
May 12, 2007
May 5, 2007
April 28, 2007
April 21, 2007
April 14, 2007
April 7, 2007
March 31, 2007
March 24, 2007
March 17, 2007
March 10, 2007
March 3, 2007
February 24, 2007
February 17, 2007
February 10, 2007
February 3, 2007
January 20, 2007
January 13, 2007
January 6, 2007

2006
December 30, 2006
December 23, 2006
December 16, 2006
December 9, 2006
December 2, 2006
November 25, 2006
November 18, 2006
November 11, 2006
November 4, 2006
October 28, 2006
October 21, 2006
October 14, 2006
October 7, 2006
September 30, 2006
September 23, 2006
September 16, 2006
September 9, 2006
September 2, 2006
August 26, 2006
August 19, 2006
August 12, 2006
August 5, 2006
July 29, 2006
July 22, 2006
July 15, 2006

 

 



August 9, 2008

It’s impossible to guess how many hundreds of thousands of writers and poets are at work in the U.S. at any given time. And the vast majority remain barely read beyond their friends and family. But huge numbers of them get into print, even if their audience is small, and many owe their freshman careers to the Len Fulton’s Directory of Little Magazines and Small Presses whose 740 pages contain almost limitless outlets for their outpourings.

     The vast majority accept poetry and prose, some also fiction plus whatever specialty they choose to define; most do not pay and even those that do, restrict payment to a few dollars or offer instead, free copies containing the author’s published work. Many will send a free sample copy on request, usually along with their guidelines.

They range from the unquestionably scholarly or academic such as

Journal of Narrative Theory, Ypsilanti “publishes essays that address the intersection between narrative, history,  technology, ideology and culture”

Journal of Mind and Behavior, NYC, seeks scholarly works on the psychology, philosophy and sociology of  experimentation and the scientific method….

     through the socially-conscious

Mouth, Topeka, KS “known for its flaming exposes of charity’s high rollers and bureaucracy’s log-jammers, for its consumer testing of deadening drugs and behavior modifiers, for its pride, its anger. Its humor….a crash course for Americans on the disability rights movement”

     to the would-be commercial

Lunar Offensive Publications, Brooklyn, NY, “doing a one-time book of violently erotic/erotically violent  short, short stories, graphics,  poems, short screenplays…no pedophiles, no torture”

Many are highly specialized and clearly offer valuable information for a particular audience

The Bold Strummer of Westport, CT, “publishes books on guitars and related instruments”

Vinegar Connoisseurs International Newsletter, Roslyn, SD “all articles related to vinegar” no payment

Treating Yourself: the Alternative Medicine Journal, Etobicoke, Ont.

Midwifery Today, Eugene, OR “Birth information for midwives, childbirth educators and interested consumers..”

Writers’ Journal, Perham, MN. “Articles on the art of writing-inspirational and informative”

Friends of Peace Pilgrim, Shelton, CT “We are interested in current pilgrims and peace walkers who are traveling for peace and in stories and issues that enhance and inspire our readers…”

Off Our Backs, Washington DC “a radical feminist news journal” publishes 50% of  mss. submitted

Tricycle: the Buddhist Review, NYC,  publishes 10% of articles submitted

Hollywood Creative Directory calls itself “the phone books to Hollywood” and professes to list up-to-date addresses, phone numbers current titles for entertainment professionals. the company co-publishes a production guide with the Hollywood Reporter

     While, others are very specific about who they expect to be readers or contributors

Journal of Music in Ireland from Co. Wicklow

New German Review, Los Angeles, a journal of Germanic studies

Italian Americana, Providence, RI,  “all aspects of the Italian experience in America”

     Publishers and/or editors are usually noted without comment, but there are amusing exceptions: New Orleans’ Nola-Magick Press, “a nonprofit occult publishing house lists, as CEO, a certain Keith Nicholson, who describes himself as “author, bartender and ne’er-do-well”.

Unsurprisingly, there is a welcome for poetry almost everywhere although one shudders to think of how lame some of this must be, considering what a small percentage of poetry makes any sense. I have always been influenced by what Marilyn Monroe said to me on the occasion of our solitary meeting in New York in the 1950s.

     “I like men who are poets” she exclaimed, her eyes wide and her enthusiasm unmistakable. “But it doesn’t mean they have to write poetry. Do you know what I mean?”

     Indeed, I did, as I have always regarded poets (along with artists) as among the most significant people in our society. But goddess help us from most of the drivel they produce. If it were in prose, they would be laughed out of the room for stringing together words without meaning, thoughts without perception. Obviously there are exceptions. Yet even the works of some of the most lauded poets make no sense to me, and I’m at a loss to understand their esteem. In a very tangible way, I just don’t “get” poetry and never have. Of course, I’d be delighted for some poet to explain to me what I’m missing.

     Some kind of answer may lie in the listing of New York’s

Manhattan Review, NYC, whose editor, Philip Fried writes: “A poem is not purely a verbal artifact. It must speak to and for human concerns. I welcome experiments but poetry must ultimately communicate to an audience. It is not an unobserved wave in the vast ocean of language.”

     The Review he says, publishes less than half of one percent of mss. submitted. Pays two free copies.

     In the Directory’s introduction, Virgil Suarez (“novelist turned poet”) claims he was introduced by the maverick essayist Charles Bukowski who “taught me resilience—to be tough-skinned and wary of all the precious fuckers in academia who want to replace real poetry with small-minded, self-centered drivel”.

     Havana-born Suarez, 47, is a novelist who teaches creative writing at  Florida State University and has written half a dozen books. Here’s the middle of his poem A Cuban Dream in Three Parts

I am a child again, trying
to climb a pyramid of green
coconuts in the Chinese bodega
Someone hands me a machete.
When I start to hack them in half,
white doves flutter out to the street.
Every skull keeps a secret.

     There are scores of other poetry magazines including

True Poet Magazine, Michelle True, “a webzine dedicated to publishing the best in poetry”

Pig Iron Press, Youngstown, OH, sponsors the Kenneth Patchen Competition

Lucidity Poetry Journal, Houston, TX “Seeking lucid poems about people and human relationships in understandable English without vulgarity”

The attractively-bound Modern Haiku, Evanston, Il. declares that it  “publishes haiku only, plus elated book reviews and articles “no restriction on length” and also devotes space to haibun whose contemporary version, it says,

tends to focus more on everyday experiences—the journey of the human being living mostly in urban settings as well as ventures into natural settings. Contemporary writers do also continue to write of travel experiences. Some have described haibun as a narrative of an epiphany, but many haibun are simply narratives of special moments in a person's life.

     A few magazines are quite specific in their demands such as the

National Poetry Review, Aptos, CA. “READS UNSOLICITED CONTRIBUTIONS ONLY DURING JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST. CURRENT SUBSCRIBERS MAY SUBMIT OUTSIDE THE READING PERIOD SO LONG AS THEY DO NOT ABUSE THE PRIVILEGE” {caps in the original}

And other magazines, while not actually discouraging contributors (although there are several of those, too) make it clear what they don’t want

Heroes from Hackland, Arkadelphia, AR  “Anything from one line to 1,500 words. We do not like crudities or improper language. We don’t like religious dogma; we look for imagery and coherence”

Philos Press, Lacet, WA publishes “books by ‘friends’ whose work, poetry, prose and visual arts has been overlooked by other presses (contributors) who more than just being ‘friends’ are friends of the written and spoken word…We do not accept unsolicited works”

Creative Guy Publishing, Richmond, B.C. publishes “an annual anthology of speculative fiction novellas. ”query by email only. any unsolicited had copy mss. will be recycled unread” (repeated twice)

Hapa Nui, East Palo Alto, CA “is a place where readers determine through a democratic process what they like and ultimately which work makes it into print

Omega, Howling Dog Press, Berthoud, CO. “We are open to many forms of expression but closed to clones and other crimes against criteria. The war, the imposter in office and proselityzing through propaganda disgust us. Plagiarism will be prosecuted”

One could delve forever through this important directory, reveling in and speculating about such titles as Twenty-Eight Pages Lovingly Bound With Twine from Danville, OH. Or Polar Bear & Company, Solon, ME. which boasts that one of its published authors, Oswald Rivera, “proves that the great American novel can be written in our times”.

     I spent hours musing Len Fulton’s Directory and when I came across the entry for Under the Sun, Cookeville, TN which wrote that it was “devoted exclusively to a form that began with Montaigne and continues, despite neglect, to thrive today”

     I felt compelled to check out Montaigne, about whom I was depressingly ignorant. He was, Wikipedia informed me, the influential 16th century writer who popularized the essay,  and was described as possessing  the “effortless ability to merge serious intellectual speculation with casual anecdotes”. My kinda guy.

                                        [John Wilcock is currently in Europe]

8/2/08

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