Rest & Rereading For The Tough Guys: A Call For Poetry Critique

Dearest ink well, deepest secret, dark & lush written word  writing real life. Dearest dripping nib, bruised, buried heart, persistence epitomized. Lay down your pretty head and rest awhile.

Everyone misses the writing community home of old. The new days, the newfound ways, the budding love & learning. But no one has the time for commitment, the openhearted wore thin, the road beyond widened out. That’s okay. Time moves, things change. Even for those of us who wanted nothing more than to nest down and read and read forever  all the newcomers. For those of us who loved the way light shone down on recent feedback, the glimmer around the words of another writerly introduction. A new name. A newborn stanza.

I have to be my own nest now. My own home. My own road. That’s okay. Many times in all the new houses from year to year or state to state, I’ve hung shelves and photographs with only one pair of eyes, one pair of hands. It’s easier the other way, but either way it gets done, right?

Submittable had suggestions for poetry submissions back in January and I read through carefully, committed the guidelines to memory, and set out with tidy documents to lay on the altar, to sacrifice to more faceless judges. Oh wow. Let me stop right there. It wasn’t all that dramatic. I wrote some poems, edited a few dusty ones, rewrote some wayward lines and made new things. I emailed them per the guidelines and EIGHT MONTHS LATER, started receiving the rejections.

Just last night I was taking note of some interesting places with open calls. Set about making new lists. Today on the heels of another rejection I received email notifications that went like, Hey Send Us Your Poetry And Essays! <— From the folks who rejected my last two or three submissions.

Do I want to do this again? Ever?


You tell me. Rejected, 2019 is a page I’ve put up on which (so far) three of my rejected poems are listed. This is loud and shameless call for critique. Keep an open mind insofar as potential theme or the specifics of the original request … what of the style? the imagery? the individual lines? What do you hate about either or all? What did I miss in editing? For those of you who’ve never shared writing with me or critiqued for me, please be assured I’m neither a hugger nor a crier. I’m a grown up. Who doesn’t carry a switchblade. I’m a reader, a writer, a true believer in even the most effed up drafts becoming brilliant. Some day. So, don’t be shy.

While you’re considering that, Trish Hopkinson posted this little peach recently: No Fee Submission, TinFish Check it out, looks promising. At least for those of you who still want to send out things to those faceless judges.

By the way, I’ve been meaning to share the glories of Unsplash. This site shares amazing photographs by artists all over the world. The work is amazing and it’s all free, and free to be used however you like. Just credit the photographer and/or, embed their info. Have a scroll. It’s a great pastime for days when you’re allergy-ridden and too pouty and pitiful to venture outdoors. I speak from experience.

Today is less terrible than yesterday. I’ll let ya know when awesome reemerges.


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