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What Gets Published These Days? (1 Viewer)

LivingPoetintheFlesh

Senior Member
I've been reading a lot of poetry magazines and I wonder how long and how much thought goes into a poem, I know my poetry needs a lot of work and I always get rejected for my pieces (most of the time) but it seems that the poetry that gets published are so awkward and incomprehensible to read. Like on the Temz Review I was reading a poem by a Nigerian writer and I find that it is so odd because of the use of the word because being used over and over. Also I found another poem to be too much about a question and another question. So my question is (and I hope I already asked) what gets published nowadays?
 

Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
I'd say a huge variety gets published nowadays-- something for most everyone's taste or level of understanding. Different magazines represent different audiences.

(I recently read a Yeats poem I was unable to understand. I thought it must be one of his worst. Turns out, if I had the literary background needed, I would have likely understood much more. It took someone else's careful exploration of the poem to show me what I wasn't privy to in my reading done alone.)

I think a lot of work goes into most published poems--likely take some poets years to complete. They sometimes look like they were dashed off but that's not usually the case. For instance, this morning I was reading how "Fern Hill" took 250 revisions. That's dedication to a poem. I know of two Elizabeth Bishop poems that took 15 and 25 years of work (respectively) before she was satisfied with them and before she allowed them to be published. (Even I have some poems I've worked on for years and years.)

To try to stay current in valued poetry today, I always read the two poems in each issue of The New Yorker every week (a writer I love is included this week-- Anne Carson). Some of their poems they publish affect me strongly and some leave me . . . mostly unmoved. (Elizabeth Bishop, another favorite, used to get her work in The NY, too.) They accept the work of the best of our poets (I think) and I like to explore what they rate as best.

I also subscribe to Poetry magazine and I think it, like the NY, includes some of our top literary writers. Some of the poems are astounding. Others are so-so (but likely terrific to someone else's eyes.)

I think a large part of getting work published is getting to know the market as well as is possible -- finding out where our particular kind of work might fit, what magazines or ezines might welcome it. (My poetry will never fit in the New Yorker or in Poetry. I wouldn't even try. But who knows, I might try it one day just to collect rejection notices from the most memorable of high-status places.:-D)

Best of luck to you with your poetry, LivingPoetInTheFlesh. Best of luck to all of us.
 

LivingPoetintheFlesh

Senior Member
I'd say a huge variety gets published nowadays-- something for most everyone's taste or level of understanding. Different magazines represent different audiences.

(I recently read a Yeats poem I was unable to understand. I thought it must be one of his worst. Turns out, if I had the literary background needed, I would have likely understood much more. It took someone else's careful exploration of the poem to show me what I wasn't privy to in my reading done alone.)

I think a lot of work goes into most published poems--likely take some poets years to complete. They sometimes look like they were dashed off but that's not usually the case. For instance, this morning I was reading how "Fern Hill" took 250 revisions. That's dedication to a poem. I know of two Elizabeth Bishop poems that took 15 and 25 years of work (respectively) before she was satisfied with them and before she allowed them to be published. (Even I have some poems I've worked on for years and years.)

To try to stay current in valued poetry today, I always read the two poems in each issue of The New Yorker every week (a writer I love is included this week-- Anne Carson). Some of their poems they publish affect me strongly and some leave me . . . mostly unmoved. (Elizabeth Bishop, another favorite, used to get her work in The NY, too.) They accept the work of the best of our poets (I think) and I like to explore what they rate as best.

I also subscribe to Poetry magazine and I think it, like the NY, includes some of our top literary writers. Some of the poems are astounding. Others are so-so (but likely terrific to someone else's eyes.)

I think a large part of getting work published is getting to know the market as well as is possible -- finding out where our particular kind of work might fit, what magazines or ezines might welcome it. (My poetry will never fit in the New Yorker or in Poetry. I wouldn't even try. But who knows, I might try it one day just to collect rejection notices from the most memorable of high-status places.:-D)

Best of luck to you with your poetry, LivingPoetInTheFlesh. Best of luck to all of us.

That is fascinating! I never thought that some poets had to spend 15-25 years on a poem, that is crazy! And 250 revisions? I don't know about you but I find that a bit too much for revising. Also Elizabeth Bishop is a favourite poet of mine too. Isn't Anne Carson Canadian? I will try to keep an open mind about valued poetry even though it seems like they are quite hard to understand or just isn't up to perfection.
 

Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
Yes, Anne Carson is Canadian. One of my favorite books (a lengthy essay written in prose poetry style to my way of thinking) is Eros the Bittersweet. I've read that several times and can't seem to exhaust it, it's so full of so much I'm interested in too. I also have her Short Talks and some of those little pieces are highly memorable. I plan on picking up some of her other works because I admire her so much as a writer. (What is it about these Canadian writers? I just recalled that Bishop spent childhood summers in Nova Scotia and I also love the writing of Lorna Crozier.)
 

Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
I love Crozier's Inventing the Hawk. I think you'll like the collection too. I was so fortunate to get Lorna Crozier to be one of our featured and interviewed writers at OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters. I'm particularly fond of her prose poem, "Another Bear Story" from Inventing the Hawk and that one (and others) was included in our ezine. Here it is if you'd like to read it: https://ojalart.com/crozier-flash-v1n1-and-to-blog-1-of-6/ And you can look around on site for more of her pieces-- I'm pretty sure another one she let us publish is also from Inventing the Hawk. She's so talented! (Plus, it was so nice and pleasant working with her.)
 
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LivingPoetintheFlesh

Senior Member
I love Crozier's Inventing the Hawk. I think you'll like the collection too. I was so fortunate to get Lorna Crozier to be one of our featured and interviewed writers at OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters. I'm particular fond of her prose poem, "Another Bear Story" from Inventing the Hawk and that one (and others) was included in our ezine. Here it is if you'd like to read it: https://ojalart.com/crozier-flash-v1n1-and-to-blog-1-of-6/ And you can look around on site for more of her pieces-- I'm pretty sure another one she let us publish is also from Inventing the Hawk. She's so talented! (Plus, it was so nice and pleasant working with her.)

Thanks! I will check out the link.
 

darrellmoneyhon

Senior Member
That is fascinating! I never thought that some poets had to spend 15-25 years on a poem, that is crazy! And 250 revisions? I don't know about you but I find that a bit too much for revising. Also Elizabeth Bishop is a favourite poet of mine too. Isn't Anne Carson Canadian? I will try to keep an open mind about valued poetry even though it seems like they are quite hard to understand or just isn't up to perfection.
"That is fascinating!": I agree, LivingPoetintheFlesh. I'm guessing that I sometimes hit around 20, possibly 25, revisions, including a single word here or there. And on occasion, whole lines or stanzas. At times, the final draft is a lot different than the first or first few. But it is impressive to hear of over 10 times that number of revisions.

The 15-25 year thing though is not quite as impressive, as many poets (especially old ones, like me, who have never done much with their poems) may have old dusty poems they bring out and tune up every few years. I have several of those. I have trouble keeping track of which version I decided to go with.

And that's for an unpublished poet who may never get published. So a lot of refining/revisions would make sense for poems considered good enough to publish.

Darrell (Mountainfaller) Moneyhon
 
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