Poets market: Eastern Structures

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/

Celebrate: Poem published!

Snapshot_20160304 (2)Today I’m celebrating an unexpected poetry publication. Many moons ago, I sent off a group of poems to the periodical Scifaikuest, a zine of sci-fi related haiku and other minimalist forms. I’d forgotten about it and assumed I’d been rejected until I got an envelope in the mail with the February edition of Scifaikuest. One of my poems was in it.

More than that, not only did I get a contributor’s copy of the magazine, but they enclosed PAYMENT!!! OK, it was a dollar. But it’s only been the second time I’ve gotten money for a poem of mine.

Check out the web site ‘Sciefaikuest’ for more information on subscribing to the zine, or on how to submit your own poems to Scifaikuest.

This is a blog post in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop. Go to: http://lexacain.blogspot.com/2016/03/celebrate-200k-page-views-giveaways.html   to read the other posts in the blog hop, join the hop yourself, or find your missing pink sock.

Celebrate blog hop


Writing a haiku for Scifaikuest

Step One: subscribe to Scifaikuest and read it faithfully. Or, if you have no money, read their abbreviated online version at their web site.

Step Two: read a few books of traditional haiku. Copy out some of your favorites.

Step Three: Start writing haiku of your own. Write two or three a day. Expect most of them to be bad.

Step Four: Make lists of keywords. One list should be your ordinary list of words. The other should have science fiction related words in it.

Step Five: start writing haiku using the sci-fi keywords (along with some from your other list. Write one every day. Expect most to be bad.

Step Six: After a few months, pick out the very best haiku you have written and revise and rewrite them as needed. Put them aside and then revise again. After this, select a small number of your very best haiku with sci-fi themes for your submission.

Step Seven: Submit. Be sure you have read the current policy of Scifaikuest on submissions, and have followed the instructions exactly.

Step Eight: When rejected, go through the steps again until you are published.