One of the most significant moments of my writing life happened in 1989. After having written poetry intensely for about a year, I finally dared submit my poems to a couple of markets— I had purchased Writer’s Digest’s ‘Poets Market’— and one of them, Struggle: A Magazine of Proletarian Revolutionary Literature, accepted some poems. (I was in my Youthful Marxist Phase at the time.)
I wrote a lot more poems that had ranty Marxist topics and I got published a few more times in Struggle. And I think that I learned a lesson about getting poetry published— try to find a poetry ‘zine you are in synch with and submit regularly.
Currently I discovered a new poetic market in a Facebook group about sijo poetry. It’s called Eastern Structures, and publishes 3 poetic forms: ghazals, sijo and haiku. The editor of Eastern Structures, R. W. Watkins, was seeking out some submissions of sijo for his next edition. The web page of Eastern Structures is: https://sites.google.com/site/nocturnalirispublications/eastern-structures
The ghazal form is explained on the website. ES publishes only 5-7-5 syllable haiku (& senryu)— they are quite firm about that. But they don’t insist on a season word in the haiku, or the strict division between haiku and senryu in the subject matter.
In the Sijo Poetry Facebook group, (https://www.facebook.com/groups/21083466365/), I asked the editor if he had any preferences for sijo in the matter of the number of lines. All the sijo in Eastern Structures #2 were written in 3 long lines, instead of breaking each long line into 2 half lines, leaving what looked like a six line poem.
R. W. Watkins replied: ” I prefer the original three-line version. The six-line version has a tendency to become a six-line thing in itself. I wrote an article on this subject almost two decades ago. Certain people hated me for it; it was an ‘inconvenient truth’.”
So— if you are a sijo poet, I would suggest you submit your sijo to Eastern Structures as poems of 3 long lines. If you have written sijo of 6 lines where the two line-pairs don’t work well as one line, the editor will probably reject it.
If you are new to submitting your poems to a market, here are some tips useful for submitting anywhere:
- buy a sample copy or two of the ‘zine and read what has been accepted.
- review descriptions of ghazals, sijo or haiku and see if your poems qualify as these forms.
- write many, many ghazals, sijo or haiku before submitting, so you can pick the best of many.
- after completing the first draft, let each poem ‘age’ a month or two before working on the final version.
- if you think a market is a good fit for your work, don’t take rejection badly. Many poetic markets get hundreds more submissions than they can use. Submit your best new work at a future date.
Have you ever submitted your poems or prose to a publisher? How did it work out for you? Are you still submitting?
Other Post of Interest:
Celebrate: Poem Published! https://myantimatterlife.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/celebrate-poem-published/