Posts Tagged ‘BOA Editions

28
May
20

On Rick Bursky’s Let’s Become a Ghost Story

A version of this review (and a better edited version) may appear in a future issue of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics.

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“‘Convulsive beauty’ . . . associates surrealist beauty with the unknown, with desire and with the promise of revelation” – Krzysztof Fijalkowski

Rick Bursky Let's Become a Ghost StoryRick Bursky’s Let’s Become a Ghost Story (BOA Editions, 2020) is a story convulsing in reality. It is a story that begins with poems grounded in surreal, sexual desires and ends in poems exploring death and the afterlife. It’s a story about making stories about relationships, and “Relationships,” according to Bursky in “Like Many Other Technologies, My Dreams Are Now Obsolete,” “are stories / two people write at the same time.” Most of these relationships are with the speaker’s various lovers, but at times, especially in section II, are about relationships with the speaker’s father, sister, women, and war. Let’s Become a Ghost Story, seemingly, is Bursky’s strategy for creating his “ghost story” that irrupts into the real.

One way to confront this repressive hold of reality is to provide surreal images like:

     Lovers have used my tongue as a red carpet.
     It’s been said my elbows glow in the dark,
     and on hot, humid days I sweat fireflies.   
                                               (“The Scaffolding”)
 

Or:

     A woman asked me to swallow a compass
     so I would always find my way back to her.   
                                               (“I Could Have Been an Inventor”)

The latter recalls (perhaps by way of homonym) John Donne’s “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning,” but unlike Donne’s simile of two lovers “As stiff twin compasses,” the surreal presentation works by association that combines the desire to consume, the desire to return to a lover, and the desire to satisfy a lover’s request. And in this we can see two stories. One story is a woman requesting an act, and the other is the accommodating act. Images and experiences like these are not found in the waking world, but as they are read, they blend smoothly into the waking world. The surreal irrupts into the real, is accommodated by the real, and changes what is real.

Another way to confront the repressive hold of reality is by creating moments where the reader is not sure if what is presented is true. For instance, in “Sooner or Later, Everything Comes Out,” Bursky writes, “a single pencil / can draw a line thirty-five miles long.” I didn’t know if that was true or not. It felt like it could or could not be true. I looked it up. It’s true. When one of Bursky’s characters says, “the padlock was invented in ancient Egypt” (“There Were Many Luxuries Involved”), that seemed too early for the invention of the padlock, but I looked it up and it was true. Also true is “The earliest dentist known by name is Hesi-re. He practiced in Egypt, / five thousand years ago.” Because of this, Bursky establishes credibility, and this credibility will allow him to subvert the privilege of conscious reality. An example of the height of conscious reality is Albert Einstein, and so Bursky confronts that reality with another pencil in the prose poem “The Arrogance”:

“If you stand on the beach, reach out and rub the horizon with a pencil eraser, earth and sky become one,” Albert Einstein wrote to his sister, Maja: “catastrophic possibilities, I’d rather not consider walking barefoot in the sand.”

While Einstein did have a younger sister named “Maja” and was concerned with the “catastrophic possibilities” of atomic power, he did not write this passage. It seems real, and it seems real enough, that the speaker tries to erase the horizon, and the reader wonders if he will, but he fails. But instead of recognizing the impossibility of erasing the horizon, he thinks:

Instead of the eraser I should have brought the whip to the beach. I believed if I stood in surf and cracked it the whales would know I was there.

Bursky has created truths, fallacies, and half-truths that all blend into a truthiness. Whatever he writes feels true. The reader can experience these situations in the mind, and if they can be experienced, they must be true. His earlier credibility allows him to undermine what is considered reality. The pencil will appear again in “This Is Another Version of Heroism.” In this poem, his porn star wife gave him a “box / of pencils imprinted with my name.” In this case, a lover gives him a gift with which he can create possibilities and realities. But in this case, he doesn’t use the pencils, as expected. He concludes the story of the pencils:

     I never used the pencils until today
     when I sharpened all of them to down to nubs.
     She would be flattered by this:
     everything was a compliment to her,
     even my name, a pile of shavings in a silver cup.

He shreds his signifier and destroys the potential to create with language, as classical surrealists were haunted by the idea that language is not speech but is reality. Bursky breaks down reality into an action that creates a symbol in an unconventional way. He transforms from one reality (life) into another (afterlife), which is significant because this poem opens the section “Four” that explores the afterlife and how to create a ghost story – his own ghost story. He speaks from the dead. He speaks the dead into the living. In Let’s Become a Ghost Story, Rick Bursky eventually dissolves conscious antinomies to allow for revelation and for a truer story to emerge. //

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Bursky, Rick. Let’s Become a Ghost Story. BOA Editions, 2020.

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Works Cited

Fijalkowski, Krzysztof. “Convulsive Beauty.” Surrealism: Key Concepts, edited by Krzysztof Fijalkowski and Michael Richardson, Routledge, 2016, pp. 182-192.

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12
Mar
19

On Keetje Kuipers’ All Its Charms

A version of this review (and a better edited version) may appear in a future issue of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics.

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Keetje Kuipers All Its CharmsAll Its Charms (BOA Editions, 2019) is Keetje Kuipers’ third full-length collection of poems. There is much to admire in this book, but what catches most of my attention are the steady, evolving tones paralleling a woman becoming a mother.

The book begins with poems of a speaker confronted with the morality of killing creatures. The opening poem, “Becoming,” recalls William Stafford’s “Traveling Through the Dark,” where Stafford has to decide what to do with the dead pregnant doe with a living fawn inside her. Stafford “thought hard for all of us – my only swerving –, / then pushed her over the edge into the river.” Kuipers’ similar incident is “When I saw that early spring / meadowlark – one-winged, flapping into the road – / I pressed my heal to its chest, to the earth” (9). She, like Stafford, provides mercy. In the following poem, “Landscape with Sage and the Names of My Children,” she held a “dead / buck by his antlers and dragged him through the sage” (10). In the next poem, “The elk my father shot,” she witnesses her father’s respect for an elk he just shot with a bow and arrow, as he is “quiet / so as not to scare away the grazing // ghost he’s made” (11). The tone of these opening poems is one of conflicted compassion. A tone not dissimilar to Stafford’s thinking “hard for all of us.”

After these opening poems, the tone shifts to joy, reverence, and awe. What’s remarkable is how long Kuipers sustains the tone, which is for about half the book. And this tone is inspired by a pregnant mother awaiting her new life and trying to create the joyful atmosphere for her soon-to-arrive child. The tone affects the poems’ attitude and me, as I felt uplifted. In “Migration Instinct,” she compares her earlier life of a late-night partier and a careless spender who maxes out her credit card to her present life. The joyful tone asserts itself in the final lines (which is where it often happens), when she writes of her current situation:

     But I’ve got dishes to wash, tiny sock after sock
     to fold. Sadness is so much work. Angry takes too much 

     time. And there’s my own daughter, mouth to my breast
     as she winks in the lamplight, sucking it all right out me.   (23)

After reminiscing, she is faced with chores, but then is swept away in the adorable cuteness of baby socks, and pendulums back to her youthful, unfulfilling feelings, then swings back to a winking baby enabling her to experience a new type of love. She finds hope and awe, as if she has blossomed into a new and meaningful life.

This delightful tone continues into the second half of the book, too, but on occasion, it is interrupted by the worries a mother (I assume) tends to have. The tonal demarcation isn’t clear cut, but it starts somewhere around the poem “Outside the Refugium.” In this poem, Kuipers watches a magpie eat a dead sparrow and swallow its heart. Then the magpie speaks to her, “Yes, the world has always been this fragile” (37), before the worry of protecting and caring for a child sets in. In the following poem, “Picking Huckleberries as the World Ends,” she worries about how she’ll “shelter” her child. Following that in “Landscape with Children,” she thinks to herself about her child:

                                          Your absence
     is impossible, unimaginable. 

     You can’t ever be gone from me – a prayer
     I hold under my tongue like a dark pill 

     I’m afraid to swallow.   (39)

I start to see what I think is the evolution of a mother. A single mother who had a baby via sperm donation and who is alone in the world with her child amid real and imagined concerns that are presenting themselves to her. Bravely, she learns to negotiate those feelings with a joyful tone, again, such as at the end of “Collaborators”:

                                                          ferries
     we drive our big cars onto because now

     we can go anywhere, ferries that took
     the people from the clear shore of their lives

     to the internment camps on the mainland
     because nothing could be more dangerous

     than living among each other where voices
     unnetted and rising in complaint

     are a flock of birds that can make no better
     song than the one which we sing together.  (52)

She realizes no matter what happens, they will make it, they will survive, and they will make joyful music.

While the tones evolve and oscillate, as they probably should or the book would be too sugary, Kuipers sees the world like a sparrow, whose “head [is] turned to the side / so one black eye can search the stippled sky / in ecstasy,” even as it is being eaten alive by a magpie. She rises out of her past life of soured relationships and experiences, and she finds joy and compassion in her new life as a mother, and therein lies the beauty of the book and all its charms.//

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Kuipers, Keetje. All Its Charms. BOA Editions, 2019.

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19
Jan
13

Christopher Kennedy’s Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death (2007)

Over the next few weeks or months, I will post all my reviews (“Tom’s Celebrations”) that appeared in Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose (formerly Redactions: Poetry & Poetics) up to and including issue 12. After that, my reviews appeared here (The Line Break) before appearing in the journal. This review first appeared in issue 10, which was published circa April 2007.

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Christopher Kennedy's – Encouragement for a Man Falling to His DeathYou could read the poems in Christopher Kennedy’s Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death (BOA Editions) & hear irreverence, and I imagine if I received them individually at Redactions, I would. Or you could read the whole of Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death, and realize that you are just hearing a tone of irreverence that is covering up fear, aloneness (“the germ / of [. . .] loneliness”), and absence (“when every presence became his [his father’s] absence”).

Yes, the speaker’s father was lost, but how he was lost is a mystery between what happened, what happened to someone else, and the memory splicing the two together. In “To the Man who Played the Violin and Fell from a Plank into a Vat of Molten Steel,” we learn of a violinist who fell into a vat of molten steel, but before he fell, he gave the speaker’s father, who was a fiddle player, his violin. Later in the poem, when the speaker reflects on when he was young and missing his father, his mother would comfort him, and then we hear a different story. The way the story is told, perhaps the person who fell in the vat was the speaker’s father, and this is suggested by the the tone and language of speaking.

   And every time the mother would say,
   Your father worked with a man from Portugal
   who played the violin, and one day at work,
   he fell from a plank into a vat of molten steel.

The tone and what precedes and the subject of the sentence imply the father died, and because the way the mother speaks implies it may be the violinist who fell into the vat. There’s an ambiguity here. Perhaps, it was in a house fire where his father died, as is hinted at in “My Father in the Fifth dimension.” Nonetheless, the father died somehow. However the father died, he is dead. And once when the speaker was a child, he tried to mend his dead father’s pants, but as he tries in “My Father’s Work Clothes,” his “hands keep folding, mysteriously, into prayer.”

This is what the speaker has to deal with from that point on – how to deal with his father’s death. As he grew, he must have learned to hide his fear through biting humor and irreverence  Consider the prose-poem, “Broken Saints.” It’s the day of his father’s funeral, and he is waiting for his babysitter to arrive. While he waits, he “bit the heads off plastic statues,” and then “arranged the headless bodies like bowling pins and rolled the heads at them until all the bodies fell down.” When the female babysitter arrives, “she shook her head” at what he had done, then:

She sat me down on the floor, and we began matching heads to bodies, gluing them together. The key, I learned, was eyeing the uneven necklines to see where the curves would mesh. They were never exact; the heads bowed slightly at times in prayer. And no matter how many times I tried, I couldn’t hide their shame.

Already, we can begin to see the complexities of irreverence and the confrontation of death. Kennedy, throughout, becomes “a man of conviction in an era of who gives / a fuck.”//

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Kennedy, Christopher. Encouragement for a Man Falling to His Death. Rochester, NY: BOA Editions, 2007.//

18
Jan
13

Li-Young Lee’s Breaking the Alabaster Jar: Conversations with Li-Young Lee (2006)

Over the next few weeks or months, I will post all my reviews (“Tom’s Celebrations”) that appeared in Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose (formerly Redactions: Poetry & Poetics) up to and including issue 12. After that, my reviews appeared here (The Line Break) before appearing in the journal. This review first appeared in issue 8/9, which was published circa April 2007.

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Li-Young Lee's – Breaking the Alabaster Jar“Hey folks, there is a cosmic consciousness,” said Allen Ginsberg during a SUNY Brockport Writers Forum interview. I think he was right, and now I further agree after reading Li-Young Lee’s Breaking the Alabaster Jar: Conversations with Li-Young Lee (BOA Editions), Ed. Earl G. Ingersoll.

Within the collected interviews, there are many recurring themes: Lee’s father, The Bible, alienation, being an Asian-American poet, & the interconnectedness of the universe – especially through its vibrations, as everything vibrates.

But first let me get to how I trust Lee. In the first interview from 1987 with William Heyen and Stan Rubin, Heyen and Rubin ask Lee some strong questions, which almost seem like an initiation ritual into entering the world of poets, which are questions that only one committed/seduced/given to poetry could answer. Lee answers, but he says something startling. His answer is unexpected to me. It’s an answer that only someone truthful could give. His answer, “I have, in fact, a handful of readers that I think about. . . . Oh, if so-and-so sees this, then they’ll really think I’m a poet. I always have this feeling I want to prove I’m a poet myself to a handful of people” (p 27). Do all us poets, especially young ones, have this secret urge within us? Lee also adds that he writes for soul-awaking, too, but it’s the first answer that sucks me into believing him.

The interviews that follow are all interesting. All have new angles (slants of light), even when he similarly responds to similar answers. And each interview, each question and answer, accrue and inform the following interviews. Each interview has Lee thinking more.

During Tod Marhsall’s interview, my way of thinking about poetry changed. Marshall asks Lee the right question with the right words, and Lee responds. Here’s how it goes:

Marshall: I feel those poems as moving vertically, down the page with a push. The movement in the memoir – we’re pushed along in a similar way, but the pace is much slower.

Lee: Even now, in the poems I’m writing, although they have longer line breaks, I can see now that the sentence is my concern. I like the idea that the line breaks make notation for the mind actually thinking. I like that. But it’s ultimately the sentence that I’m writing. Not the grammatical sentence, the measure.

[. . .]

Marshall: So you don’t see yourself as ultimately despairing that you can’t capture this litany.

Lee: [. . . ] I started to entertain some of the “stuff” that’s in the canon; I forgot for a little bit that that was the horizontal, the cultural, and that wasn’t the richest mode for me. If you look at the earliest poems in Rose, you’ll see the vertical assumption. The assumption that vertical reality was the primary reality and all of this was fading away, just “stuff” spinning off on that more important reality. The change was just in the realization. (p 138-39)

So what I realized after reading this and reading what had preceded is that the horizontal movement is when the poem talks to culture. (I had believed that poems intentionally talk to other poems & poets.) The vertical moment, however, talks to the self and the universe. This changed my thinking of writing. Instead of writing for other poets & poems, I should be writing for the depths of my self while simultaneously shooting up to speak to the universe. If you do that, do it well, do it with honesty, then you’ll catch the vibrations of the universe & your soul, and then necessarily/accidentally, the poems will have horizontal movement and talk to poems and poets naturally. To write is to write lines (“a literary activity”), which is vertically neglectful. But to write vertically (as if creating a conduit between you & the universe) – well, if you make the connection with the universe, then reverberations will happen, and it will vibrate up & down & horizontally.

As for Breaking the Alabaster Jar: Conversations with Li-Young Lee as a whole, the interviews inform through accretion and the thinking poet – though he thinks of himself as a body poet – but that’s another theme you should read about in these interviews.//

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Lee, Li-Young. Breaking the Alabaster Jar: Conversations with Li-Young Lee. Ed. Earl G. Ingersoll. Rochester, NY: BOA Editions, 2006.//

16
Jun
12

Presses with Open Readings for Full-Length Poetry Manuscripts

Below is a list of presses with open readings for full-length poetry manuscripts. Most of the listings have free open readings, but I have included some that charge a Submittable fee or a reading fee, but I do try to limit it to just free open readings. Before the pandemic, I kept it up to day, but during the pandemic I did not. 😟 From now on, I will try to keep this list up to date.

Press with Open Reading for Full-Length Poetry Manuscripts

All the Time Open Readings (Updated 7-21-2022.)

January Open Readings (Checked and updated 1-3-20.)
February Open Readings
  • Astrophil Press (University of South Dakota. Open reading period has changed. No known dates.)
  • BkMk Press (February 1 through June 30. Process begins with a sample of 10 pages of poetry. See guidelines. . . . “BkMk Press is not accepting open submissions at this time. We will make an announcement here when we are able to consider new work” as of 5-25-2022.)
  • Broken Sleep Books (“We particularly wish to encourage more working-class writers, LGBTQ+, and BAME writers to submit.” January 1 through February 28)
  • Canarium Books
  • CavanKerry Press (For Laurel Books, Emerging Voices, and Notable Voices imprint only. $20 reading fee.)
  • Cherry Castle Publishing (February 5 to March 5.)
  • ELJ Publications (February 1 to April 1. $5.)
  • Galileo Press (Ends 3-1-19. An imprint of Free State Review.)
  • Inside the Castle (January 1 to March 1. Closed in 2022.)
  • McSweeney’s Books (“Submissions are currently closed. We don’t have an exact date when they’ll reopen, but we’d suggest checking back in a few months. Thank you for considering McSweeney’s. (3/1/20).” This message still appears on 5-25-2022.)
  • Milk and Cake Press (January 1, 2020, to April 30, 2020.)
  • Panhandler Books
  • Terrapin Books (January 24 to February 28, 2020 and August 1 to August 31. $12.)
March Open Readings
  • Astrophil Press (University of South Dakota. Open reading period has changed. No known dates.)
  • BkMk Press (February 1 through June 30. Process begins with a sample of 10 pages of poetry. See guidelines. . . . “BkMk Press is not accepting open submissions at this time. We will make an announcement here when we are able to consider new work” as of 5-25-2022.)
  • CavanKerry Press (For Laurel Books, Emerging Voices, and Notable Voices imprint only. $20 reading fee.)
  • Cherry Castle Publishing (February 5 to March 5.)
  • Cormorant Books. (“Publishes writers who are both Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.” March 1 – April 15, 2020.)
  • ELJ Publications (February 1 to April 1. $5.)
  • Galileo Press (Ends 3-1-19. An imprint of Free State Review.)
  • Glass Lyre Press (. March 15 to April 31. $15 reading fee. Checked 1-3-20.)
  • Gold Wake Press (Open reading begins March 1. There is no specified end date. Next open reading begins September 1 with no specified end date. Checked 10-10-2022.)
  • Inside the Castle (January 1 to March 1. Closed in 2022.)
  • McSweeney’s Books (“Submissions are currently closed. We don’t have an exact date when they’ll reopen, but we’d suggest checking back in a few months. Thank you for considering McSweeney’s. (3/1/20).” This message still appears on 5-25-2022.)
  • Milk and Cake Press (January 1, 2020, to April 30, 2020.)
  • Panhandler Books
  • Sibling Rivalry Press (March 1 – June 1. . . . “After a decade of disturbance, we’re hitting pause on our annual open-submission period. Watch this space or follow our social media accounts, and we’ll let you know when we open for submissions again.” This message appears on 5-25-2022.)
  • University Press of Kentucky: New Poetry and Prose Series. (Begin with query. March 15 – May 15. “There are presently no open calls for submissions.” Checked 5-25-2022.)
  • The Waywiser Press (“Authors who have published two or more previous collections of poems.” March 1 – July 1.)
April Open Readings (last checked and updated 4-2-18)
  • Astrophil Press (University of South Dakota. Open reading period has changed. No known dates.)
  • Barefoot Muse Press (April 1 – April 30. “Poems should demonstrate an allegiance to meter/form.”)
  • BkMk Press (February 1 through June 30. Process begins with a sample of 10 pages of poetry. See guidelines. . . . “BkMk Press is not accepting open submissions at this time. We will make an announcement here when we are able to consider new work” as of 5-25-2022.)
  • Close-Up Books (April 30 to July 30. “Close-Up Books is currently on hiatus as of February 2021.”)
  • Cormorant Books. (“Publishes writers who are both Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.” March 1 – April 15, 2020.)
  • Glass Lyre Press (. March 15 to April 31. $15 reading fee. Checked 1-3-20.)
  • McSweeney’s Books (“Submissions are currently closed. We don’t have an exact date when they’ll reopen, but we’d suggest checking back in a few months. Thank you for considering McSweeney’s. (3/1/20).” This message still appears on 5-25-2022.)
  • Milk and Cake Press (January 1, 2020, to April 30, 2020.)
  • New Rivers Press
  • Octopus Books
  • Panhandler Books
  • Sibling Rivalry Press (March 1 – June 1. . . . “After a decade of disturbance, we’re hitting pause on our annual open-submission period. Watch this space or follow our social media accounts, and we’ll let you know when we open for submissions again.” This message appears on 5-25-2022.)
  • University Press of Kentucky: New Poetry and Prose Series. (Begin with query. March 15 – May 15. “There are presently no open calls for submissions.” Checked 5-25-2022.)
  • The Waywiser Press (“Authors who have published two or more previous collections of poems.” March 1 – July 1.)
  • Willow Books
  • Woodley Press (“Woodley Press strives to publish books by Kansans or books that focus on Kansas.”)
  • YesYes Books (April 1 – May 15. $22. “There are presently no open calls for submissions” as of 5-25-2022.)
May Open Readings (Checked and updated 5-25-2022)
  • Able Muse Press (May 1 to July 15.)
  • BkMk Press (February 1 through June 30. Process begins with a sample of 10 pages of poetry. See guidelines. . . . “BkMk Press is not accepting open submissions at this time. We will make an announcement here when we are able to consider new work” as of 5-25-2022.)
  • Close-Up Books (April 30 to July 30. “Close-Up Books is currently on hiatus as of February 2021.”)
  • The Elephants ($15. May 1 to June 30.)
  • McSweeney’s Books (“Submissions are currently closed. We don’t have an exact date when they’ll reopen, but we’d suggest checking back in a few months. Thank you for considering McSweeney’s. (3/1/20).” This message still appears on 5-25-2022.)
  • New Rivers Press (“General Submissions are temporarily on hiatus” as of 5-25-2022.)
  • Ninebark Press (“As of March 2020, Ninebark Press is on hiatus.” Checked on 5-25-2022.)
  • Sibling Rivalry Press (March 1 – June 1. . . . “After a decade of disturbance, we’re hitting pause on our annual open-submission period. Watch this space or follow our social media accounts, and we’ll let you know when we open for submissions again.” This message appears on 5-25-2022.)
  • Sundress Publications ($13 reading fee.)
  • Unicorn Press (May 1 to June 30.)
  • University Press of Kentucky: New Poetry and Prose Series. (Begin with query. March 15 – May 15. “There are presently no open calls for submissions.” Checked 5-25-2022.)
  • The Waywiser Press (“Authors who have published two or more previous collections of poems.” March 1 – July 1.)
  • Willow Books
  • YesYes Books (April 1 – May 15. $22. “There are presently no open calls for submissions” as of 5-25-2022.)
June Open Readings (Checked and updated 6-1-2022)
  • Airlie Press (June 1 to July 31. Pacific Northwest poets.)
  • Able Muse Press (May 1 to July 15.)
  • BkMk Press (February 1 through June 30. Process begins with a sample of 10 pages of poetry. See guidelines. . . . “BkMk Press is not accepting open submissions at this time. We will make an announcement here when we are able to consider new work” as of 5-25-2022.)
  • Black Lawrence Press
  • Close-Up Books (April 30 to July 30. “Close-Up Books is currently on hiatus as of February 2021.”)
  • Four Way Books ($30 reading fee. June 1-30.)
  • McSweeney’s Books (“Submissions are currently closed. We don’t have an exact date when they’ll reopen, but we’d suggest checking back in a few months. Thank you for considering McSweeney’s. (3/1/20).” This message is still there on 6-1-2022.)
  • Red Hen Press 
  • River River Press (June 1 – July 31. “Pay-what-you-can reading fee.”)
  • Sibling Rivalry Press (March 1 – June 1. . . . “After a decade of disturbance, we’re hitting pause on our annual open-submission period. Watch this space or follow our social media accounts, and we’ll let you know when we open for submissions again.” This message appears on 5-25-2022.)
  • Sundress Publications (June 1 – August 31. $13 reading fee.)
  • Unicorn Press (May 1 to June 30.)
  • The Waywiser Press (“We regret we cannot consider submissions from authors who have published two or more previous collections of poems.” March 1 – July 1.)
  • Willow Books
July Open Readings (Checked and updated 7-1-2022 through 7-25-2022)
August Open Reading (Checked and updated 8-1-22)
  • Cavan Kerry Press (“‘Pay what you can’ structure, with $10, $18, and $25 options.”)
  • Deerbrook Editions (“Suspended until further notice. . . . The normal reading period is August 1 to October 1.”)
  • The Emma Press (July 18 through August 14)
  • FutureCycle Press (They read July through September.)
  • Gasher Press (Not sure when it opened, but it closes on August 31)
  • Kore Press (Currently closed.)
  • Lummox Press (July 1 to August 31. Begin with query.)
  • Mayapple Press (Currently closed to submissions.)
  • McSweeney’s Books (“Submissions are currently closed. We don’t have an exact date when they’ll reopen, but we’d suggest checking back in a few months. Thank you for considering McSweeney’s. (3/1/20).” This message still appears on 5-25-2022.)
  • Rose Metal Press (“We are not currently accepting manuscripts or manuscript queries. . . . and plan to have a submission period in 2023.”)
  • The Song Cave (“We are not taking submissions at this time.”)
  • Sundress Publications (June 1 – August 31. $13 reading fee.)
  • Terrapin Books (January 24 to February 28 and August 1 to August 31. $12.)
  • Tupelo Press (July 1 to August 31. $30 open reading fee.)
  • University of Pittsburgh Press (August 1 to September 20. Pitt Poetry Series. For poets who have previously published a poetry book.
September Open Readings (Checked and updated 9-11-2022)
  • Bat Cat Press (“We welcome the submission of complete manuscripts throughout the year. We read in the fall (September-December) and typically send out accept/decline letters in December and January.” . . . They plan to reopen “in the 2022/2023 school year.” )
  • Black Ocean (They are currently accepting “submissions of poetry by BIPOC authors.” September 9 to October 15.)
  • Deerbrook Editions (“Suspended until further notice. . . . The normal reading period is August 1 to October 1.”)
  • FutureCycle Press (They read July through September.)
  • Kore Press (Currently closed.)
  • McSweeney’s Books (“Submissions are currently closed. We don’t have an exact date when they’ll reopen, but we’d suggest checking back in a few months. Thank you for considering McSweeney’s. (3/1/20).” This message still appears on 9-11-2022.)
  • Sidebrow Books (Currently closed. “Sign up for our mailing list to be notified of our next reading period.”)
  • Tarpaulin Sky Press (“Will open soon. Please join out mailing list to be notified.”)
  • University of Pittsburgh Press (August 1 to September 20. Pitt Poetry Series. For poets who have previously published a poetry book.)
October Open Readings (Checked and updated 10-20-2022)
  • Bat Cat Press (“We welcome the submission of complete manuscripts throughout the year. We read in the fall (September-December) and typically send out accept/decline letters in December and January.” . . . They plan to reopen “in the 2022/2023 school year.” )
  • Black Ocean (They are currently accepting “submissions of poetry by BIPOC authors.” September 9 to October 15.)
  • Carnegie Mellon University Press (They plan to reopen in October 2023.)
  • co-im-press (“Likes works in translation that are strange, transgressive, visceral-mystical, or “unpublishable” through traditional means.”)
  • Counterpath (Begin with a query and a short sample.)
  • Deerbrook Editions (“Suspended until further notice. . . . The normal reading period is August 1 to October 1.”)
  • El Balazo Press
  • Gold Wake Press (Open reading begins March 1. There is no specified end date. Next open reading begins September 1 with no specified end date. Checked 10-10-2022.)
  • Jacar Press: The New Voices Series ($15)
  • Kore Press (Currently closed.)
  • McSweeney’s Books (“Submissions are currently closed. We don’t have an exact date when they’ll reopen, but we’d suggest checking back in a few months. Thank you for considering McSweeney’s. (3/1/20).” This message still appears on 10-10-2022.)
  • Milkweed Editions (“Milkweed Editions is not currently open to unsolicited submissions. We will make an announcement via our newsletter and update this page if plans change.”)
  • Sidebrow Books (Currently closed. “Sign up for our mailing list to be notified of our next reading period.”)
  • Tavern Books: The Wrolstad Contemporary Series ($15 reading fee. “The Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series is only open to female poets aged 40 years or younger. Entrants must be US citizens.” October 1 to January 15.)
November Open Readings (Checked and updated 11-14-18)
  • Bat Cat Press “We welcome the submission of complete manuscripts throughout the year. We read in the fall (September-December) and typically send out accept/decline letters in December and January.” . . . They plan to reopen “in the 2022/2023 school year.” )
  • Black Lawrence Press
  • Copper Canyon Press (Our open reading period is currently closed. We will reopen for submissions in Fall 2023.)
  • McSweeney’s Books (“Submissions are currently closed. We don’t have an exact date when they’ll reopen, but we’d suggest checking back in a few months. Thank you for considering McSweeney’s. (3/1/20).” This message still appears on 5-25-2022.)
  • Tavern Books: The Wrolstad Contemporary Series ($15 reading fee. “The Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series is only open to female poets aged 40 years or younger. Entrants must be US citizens.” October 1 to January 15.)
  • WordTech Communications (Includes the following imprints Cherry Grove Collections, CW Books, David Robert Books, Turning Point, Word Press, and WordTech Editions.)
December Open Readings
  • Bat Cat Press (“We welcome the submission of complete manuscripts throughout the year. We read in the fall (September-December) and typically send out accept/decline letters in December and January.” . . . They plan to reopen “in the 2022/2023 school year.” )
  • Brick Road Poetry Press (75-100 pages. December 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020.)
  • Future Poem Books (December 1 through January 15.)
  • Green Lantern Press (December 1 through January 30.)
  • Tavern Books: The Wrolstad Contemporary Series ($25 reading fee. “The Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series is only open to female poets aged 40 years or younger. Entrants must be US citizens.” October 1 to January 15.)
  • Tinderbox Editions (December 1-7 fee-free open reading period. December 1 – January 30 $22 donation period.)
  • WordTech Communications (Includes the following imprints Cherry Grove Collections, CW Books, David Robert Books, Turning Point, Word Press, and WordTech Editions. Closes December 15.)

//

More to come.

//

Ultimate Update: October 10, 2022

  • Removed from October:
    • boost house
    • Orison Books

Penultimate Update: September 11, 2022

  • Added University of Pittsburgh Press to August
  • Removed from September, October, and November: Arktori Books

Antepenultimate update: August 1 2022:

  • Added to All the Open Readings: co•im•press
  • Removed from August:
    • Arktori Books
    • Spork Press
    • Spring Gun Press
    • Willow Books

Preantepenultimate update: 7-1-2022 through 7-25-2022:

  • Added to All the Time Open Readings:
    • Arteidolia Press
    • Blue Figure Press
    • Grieveland
    • Moon Tide Press
    • Wood & Water Press
    • Querencia Press
  • Added to July:
    • Bad Betty Press
    • Belle Point Press
    • The Emma Press
    • Gasher Press
  • Added to August:
    • Sundress Publications
    • Tupelo Press
    • The Emma Press
    • Gasher Press
  • Added to October Open Readings:
    • Jacar Press: The New Voices series
    • Terrapin Books
  • Removed
    • Harpoon Books from July, August, September, October, November, and December
    • Lynx House Press from July
    • Short Flight/Long Drive Books from July
// 
199 presses that print paperback and/or hardcover poetry books.
//



The Cave (Winner of The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013.)

The Cave

Material Matters

Poems for an Empty Church

Poems for an Empty Church

The Oldest Stone in the World

The Oldest Stone in the Wolrd

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Henri, Sophie, & The Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound: Poems Blasted from the Vortex

Pre-Dew Poems

Pre-Dew Poems

Negative Time

Negative Time

After Malagueña

After Malagueña

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