Saturday, January 30, 2016

New News and Old News and Uncovering the Cover

The first piece of news is that my long overdue poetry book, The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement, is almost here. I've said that several times before, but this time it really is almost here. I received a sample review copy, made a few corrections, and am now awaiting the revised review copy. So we're looking at just a few weeks now. I'm delighted to uncover the cover here! Once again, artist Brian Rumbolo has provided a gorgeous original painting for the cover. He's now done the covers for all four of my poetry books. I have to admit that I love this cover! So stayed tuned for more news on this publication.

Next item: Terrapin Books is fully launched. The poems for The Doll Collection have all been selected. I'm still stunned by the great response to the call for submissions. You can see the list of poets at The Doll Collection page at the website. The book is underway. Formatting is just about done. Credits done. Bios done. Fantastic introduction by poet Nicole Cooley done. Cover in the works but not done.

Next item: The Call for Submissions for Terrapin's first open reading of full-length poetry manuscripts opened on January 25 and will run until February 25. If you have a manuscript, please visit the Guidelines and consider submitting. The submissions thus far are very promising. I am very grateful that poets are entrusting me with their work. I signed onto Submittable, so will be accepting submissions only there. That's much more convenient than taking them by email—for me and for the poets.

Old news: Poetry editor Charlie Bondhus featured one of my poems at The Good Men Project. "The Gift" appeared on December 21 just in time for Christmas, though it's hardly a cheerful poem. (The sole comment, however, is from someone who seems to have found the poem amusing. Maybe I don't get my own poem.)

That's it for now.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Terrapin Books: Progress Report

All the essential parts of Terrapin Books, my new small press for poetry, are now in place, and I’m making good progress on our first book, The Doll Collection, an anthology of poems about dolls. Poet Nicole Cooley is at work on the Introduction to the book. She was a perfect choice for the job as she’s written a number of poems about dolls and is writing a non-fiction book about dolls.

I received close to 400 submissions for the book with many of the poets submitting as many as 5 poems. The quality of the work was gratifyingly high, so making the selections was hard. I had to turn away many fine poems which I would have said yes to if I hadn’t wanted to keep the book to around 100-120 pages. The final count was 87 poems by 87 poets. Some of the poems go back as far as the 1970’s; others were written for the collection.

I hope to have The Doll Collection out in early spring. In the meantime, the list of poets can be seen at the Terrapin website. I think it’s pretty impressive!

I’ll be taking submissions of full-length collections from late January through February. I plan to be on Submittable by then and will be asking a minimal $12 reading fee. I hope to select 2-3 manuscripts from this first open submission period. My goal is to publish 4-6 books in 2016. Manuscripts will be carefully read. Those selected will receive editorial input. All poets will receive review copies, discounted book purchases, and royalty payments.

I hope to publish beautiful books of outstanding poetry. I also want those books to sell well and to get into the hands of many readers. Therefore, I suggest that each poet submitting a manuscript be able to say yes to the following expectations:
       1. has 25-50% of the poems already published in respectable journals
       2. has a dedicated website or is willing to create one prior to the book’s publication
       3. has some involvement in social media
       4. enjoys giving public readings and is willing to seek them out
       5. will take advantage of review opportunities

In other words, there’s an expectation at the press that the poet has been actively involved in getting his/her work “out there” and will be committed to promoting the book.

The selected poets can expect that their books will not be published and then abandoned, that the publisher will be committed to promoting each book and maintaining an ongoing positive relationship with all Terrapin poets.

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