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Poetry Bulletin: April 2023
Check-in + Redemption in poetry + LOTS of reading periods and deadlines
Hello poets! I’m here with new possibilities for April. It’s National Poetry Month for some of us, and I know the expectation tends to be vocal/visible admiration of your craft or enthusiastic creation of a poem every single day… but maybe that’s not where you’re at or how you're feeling right now.
Lately I’ve been asking people I love: How’s your heart? I like the question for checking in with our writing too. So, how’s your heart? How are you feeling about your practice now?
If you’re open to it, I thought we might do a little collective poet check-in. Nothing fancy. Just a poll, a way of saying hello:
I’m feeling somewhere between inquisitive and tired, depending on the weather, depending on whether my body is being a kind collaborator. So I write and tinker as long as it feels energizing, and then I try to walk away (as in, literally go for a walk) before I’ve exhausted myself. I’m not a very good self-pacer, so it’s taking some practice. (Anyone else feel like they’re wired to perceive exhaustion as the point when they’re writing? Seems especially true when revising, in my case.)
Sending good thoughts for your writing this month,
Get monthly deadline updates, revision ideas, craft conversations, and more.
Making the Manuscript
This has been such a hard time to write poems, for all of us, I think. And I don’t like redemptive poems. If the redemption comes just by chance, okay, but I don’t like poems that push toward or try for redemption. In one of my poems for this next book, I said, “There are too many poems about light.” There are so many poems—now that I’ve said it, if you haven’t noticed it, you’re going to start—that always end up with light. And it’s like, where did you learn that? That’s something I probably learned from therapy—doing it and having it. Don’t have false resolutions and false redemptions. Poems don’t have to resolve. They don’t have to save the situation. — Diane Seuss, in an interview with Lunch Ticket
- about the way effort, energy, and attention rally around the release of a work of art: “…it means we only attend to the creativity of writers in the moment of producing a commodity. We lose all the nuanced conversations about the birth and gestation of ideas, about sustaining the creative process, about not knowing.”
Jay Gao asks: What was important for you to learn or do as you moved from your first to your second book? Evie Schockley’s answer resonated with me: “It was important to understand that having figured out one book didn’t save me from having to figure out the 2nd book—& to be okay with that. The process can be almost completely different.”
Thanks to Laura Villareal for sharing Joshua Nguyen’s craft chapbook on the journey (think: publicity, emails, readings) after your book is released—you can download the PDF here, and be sure to check out the full series of craft chaps from Sundress Publications.
Big thanks to Raegen Pietrucha for compiling this list of 300+ places that publish book reviews. Similar to the big list of publishers here at the bulletin, I feel like having this list gives us more of a baseline (and appreciation!) for a special part of the poetry ecosystem.
Creative Support: Fellowships, Residencies & More
Apr 14 — Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships, for poets between 21 and 31 years old
Apr 30 — Alaska Literary Awards, for writers of any genre in Alaska
Apr 30 — Undocupoets is reading submissions for an anthology by poets currently and formerly undocumented in the US
Opening May 1 — Granum Foundation Prizes
May 31 — Oak Spring Garden Foundation interdisciplinary residencies, five-week or two-week options available
More residency options for 2023, courtesy of Monica Macansantos at Electric Lit.
Upcoming Manuscript Deadlines
New press: Abode Press is a new nonprofit press out of Texas, founded by. According to this tweet, the press will be seeking "chapbook manuscripts that remind us of home, culture, and identity."
Heads up: The Sowell Emerging Writers Prize will be awarded in poetry this year. They’re interested in books “on themes about and related to the natural world by writers who have published no more than one book in any genre.”
Apr 16— Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry
Apr 17 — Write Bloody
Apr 30 — Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
Apr 30 — Gunpowder Press Barry Spacks Prize
Apr 30 — Iowa Poetry Prize
Apr 30 — Marsh Hawk Poetry Prizes
Apr 30 — Trio House Press Book Awards
Apr 30 — Jacar Press
Apr 30 — Ashland Poetry Press Snyder Prize
Apr 30 — Tupelo Press Berkshire Prize
Apr 30 — Texas Review Press Open Reading Period (FYI: Submissions are capped at 300 and were still open as of April 13.)
Apr 30 — Lamar University Open Reading Period
Apr 30 — Nymeria Publishing
May 1 — GASHER
May 1 — Noemi Press
May 1 — Ghost Peach Prize in Poetry — offers fee waivers
May 1 — Wick Poetry Prize
May 1 — The Backwaters Prize (FYI: At $32, this is one of the most expensive contests to enter on the list and fee waivers are not mentioned.)
May 1 — Coffeehouse Press opens for (very limited) submissions
May 1 — Jack Leg Press opens to queries
May 5 — Veliz Books — offers fee waivers
May 16 — Sally Albiso Poetry Book Award, for poets in Alaska, Oregon, or Washington
Heads up: Nicole Tallman is editing a new book series for ELJ Editions. Submissions will open in May, and you can find some details here.
Heads up: Rose Metal Press has announced an upcoming reading period for hybrid and cross-genre manuscripts, including prose poetry and novels-in-verse.
The bulletin is made by Emily Stoddard. If you have ideas, updates to a publisher’s listing, or want to share a resource, say hello by replying to this note.