Publishing Poetry

I submitted a couple of piece to the Canadian Federation of Poets anthology drive a while back. They are attempting to put together a number of anthologies on different topics. I received a rejection email and then a callback on just one of the three poems I submitted.

The anthology is titled The Poetry of Marriage. I am not sure why they liked my poem. It doesn’t portray marriage as a rom-com or take a Disney princess view. I am totally in favor of marriage. I think those who eschew the legalities are nitpicking and taking a huge risk with the future well-being of their partner should anything ever happen*. It strikes me as funny that of the three poems I submitted, I should end up in the marriage anthology.

I don’t know when the anthology is coming out. I have to send a reply with my consent and vital data back and they will let me know. 

If I liked poetry more I would be jumping up and down, but I am at the core of my soul so not a poet. I don’t read it and have a hard time listening to others read their poetry aloud**. I only taught it under duress in fact and any school year that I could skip the whole things was a coup. However, I can write poetry and at different points in my life I have written only poetry. I had close to a dozen pieces published under my maiden name in fact. 

But as Rob reminded me, a publishing credit is a publishing credit. So there.


*And I am aware that some common-law relationships are entered into with the full battery of legal documents necessary to ensure that neither party will be hurt in the event of a tragedy but that’s just not the norm. Most couples believe that bad things happen to other people if they’ve bothered to give it any thought at all.

**Mostly because poetry is the realm of the wanna-be writer. People enamoured of writing but not talented, flock to poetry. This has always struck me as odd because poetry – the good stuff – is far more difficult to write than prose.

9 thoughts on “Publishing Poetry

  1. It may be they chose your poem because you approach poetry the way you do, as a writer with something to say, not a poet trying to fit a template. Besides, who wants another gooey poem about marriage with all the Disney fixin’s? My favorite poets don’t sugar-coat life; they write about the hard stuff with words that go together just right.

  2. congratulations! i’ve never sought poetry – either to pass time, or for inspiration. but every now and then will stumble upon something marvelous – and i am in awe of the skill required to do it well!

    1. It takes an enormous amount of skill. I am in awe of those who can do it well, but it has always been situational for me. The stars have to align before I can either read or write it. Most of the time it’s like fingernails on blackboard and this is made worse when it’s not all that great to begin with.

      The poem in question is not one that I would consider by best, which is way I was surprised it even got a callback. Also, I am still waiting to hear on my zombie piece from On Spec and I think that is tempering my reaction. I’d really rather get a yes on a short story.

    1. Take it easy on the poetry events – there are some organizations like Poetry Out Loud that have positive impacts on peoples lives.

      1. Readings are usually the realm of the those who know that poetry is more than matching couplets and emoting. They paint with images that pull from the thought processes and challenge the listener to “go there” with them.

        I was talking about writing groups really where people are seduced by poetry because of the supposed structure and ease and shortness of length with no true understanding of the sweat that goes into it and the revision necessary. Painfully bad stuff that overshares or reads like bad Dr. Suess.

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