10 September 2007

A little banana bread for your Monday morning.

Please help me welcome Jennifer Sullivan (and her adorable pup) and Jason Venner (and his mohawk) to the blogosphere. Welcome to the neighborhood! Now go do your homework! Just kidding.

Since Jen and Jay both write series of poems focused on a subject or persona, here's a question for those of you who do the same. How do you handle sending out poems that are obviously part of a series? Do you mix in a few non-series poems, or go whole-hog?

I'm super stoked that a poem from my series, "Saint Monica Stays the Course," will be appearing in an upcoming issue of Ninth Letter. Yay! I tend to put a few Monicas in with some non-Monicas, with a note about the series in my cover letter. What has worked for you?

PS--Big ups to Jessica Jewell who just got a poem taken by RHINO.


Justin Evans said...

To tell the truth, nothing has ever worked for me when I try to send out poems which are part of a series. So much so, I just stopped mentioning it altogether. I simply send the poems and hope against hope editors see some connectionand are willing to take a chance on one of them.

The only exception to this was when I submitted to The Missouri Review, and that was because they want to see 10-20 pages.

Adam Deutsch said...

I actually read cover letters only after the poems. I kinda don't want the preface or introduction--it's not like the reader of the journal is going to have that, so I just assume save it until after I've spent time with the poems.

If it's good the fact that it's part of a series doesn't matter to me.

jessica said...

thank you!!! yay!!! :)
and, as for the persona or series submissions, i usually don't mention it, unless someone asks. francine r. at nimrod asked if i was writing about the dust bowl, so i sent her my little standard excerpt, but usually i don't because i don't want anyone to think that i'm trying to explain something that the poems can't do. i don't know. i guess it depends on the journal. ha. big help that is!!!

John Guzlowski said...

I edited a little magazine called Karamu for about 5 years and didn't read cover letters much until after I had looked at the poems or stories.

If I liked the writing, I wanted to know something about the writer. If I didn't like it, I wanted to send it back pronto.

About my own poems, I tend not to mention that it's a part of a longer, larger work. All of the writing I do is pretty much about my parents and their experiences in the Nazi labor camps.

If I say that, I figure the editors will think that they need to read the other poems to get the story, and they probably will shut me out.

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