Wednesday 10 December 2008

Adventures in poetry publishing

I'll start with the purely good news first: "Over the Thames," the most recent poem to go into The Tethers (written September '07), has been accepted for the spring issue of Poetry London, suitably enough. I'm especially happy to see this poem accepted because I think of it as a second title poem; while there is a poem titled "The Tethers," "Over the Thames" uses the phrase in a different way that expands on its meaning.

This leaves me with six or seven unpublished poems in the collection. I feel rather sorry for them, the orphans, though it's not really their fault--most have been lost by magazines or accepted but never published, and one or two, like "Over the Thames," are recent enough that they've barely made it out the door (sometimes I sit on poems a long while before sending them out, sometimes I send them out more quickly than I think I want to admit here--but my usual practice is to live with the poem a while first).

Here we come to the mixed news. Each week I check out TLS's online contents page to see whether, at last, my review of Bang's Elegy has appeared, and today I saw that a poem I'd long assumed had been rejected (as I hadn't had a reply in months and months) was going to appear this Friday. (That's right: no acceptance letter, no proof.)

Another poem in TLS--what's the problem? Of course I'm delighted, but I think this may be a poem I, thinking it rejected, sent to Another Magazine. That's not all. The poem I sent to The Other Magazine last month was a replacement for a poem I'd sent and only realised it'd been accepted elsewhere when The Other Magazine accepted it. Are you following me? So it looks like I'm sending out work simultaneously and jerking The Other Magazine around, when really, in the first case, it was bad recordkeeping, and in the second, a reasonable assumption.

My only excuse is that all the poems involved are titled "A Birthmother's Catechism"....

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