Saturday, December 30, 2017

Manuscript Organization

As the publisher and editor of Terrapin Books, I see a number of manuscripts each submission period that include many outstanding poems; however, I often have to say no to these manuscripts because they are not yet ready for publication. What's missing? Good organization. That's a simple and honest answer, but good manuscript organization is by no means an easy project. We poets all wrestle with it. We lay out our poems on the bed, the floor, the table. We go away to retreats or hole up in hotels, wrestling with those pages and hoping to find the right plan. That right plan can be very elusive.

Many poets, especially those working on a first manuscript, fall prey to the topical arrangement. That is, they put all related poems in the same section—a section for poems about birds, another for poems about vegetables, another for poems about dogs, and so on. So what's wrong with that? It's tedious for the reader, for one thing. Such an organization deprives the reader of one of the greatest pleasures of reading a poetry book, i.e., surprise. The topical arrangement results in predictability and monotony. After I've read 3 or so bird poems, I'm pretty sure that when I turn the page, there will be another bird flying around. My attention to the poem disappears, my interest disappears, my excitement disappears. All flown away. This topical approach does sometimes work, but more often than not it doesn't.

What does work? Here is a list of four excellent discussions of manuscript organization that you might find useful as you wrestle with your poems trying to find a pleasing plan, one that will turn a bunch of poems into a collection of poems, a work of art.

Thinking Like an Editor: How to Order Your Poetry Manuscript
by April Ossman

On Making the Poetry Manuscript
by Jeffrey Levine, publisher of Tupelo Press

Dynamic Design: The Structure of Books of Poems
by Natasha Saje

Putting Together a Manuscript of Poems
by Marilyn McCabe

I'm posting this list now as Terrapin Books will reopen for submissions on January 22 and will remain open thru February 28, 2018. So get your manuscript in good order and check out our Guidelines and our FAQs.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Yes, Virginia

Each Christmas I like to revisit the following essay from the The Sun. My grandmother read it to me many years ago. I've always remembered it. If you don't already know this piece, I hope you'll enjoy it. I also hope you'll have a Merry Christmas or whatever you're celebrating this year. And I hope you'll have a wonderful New Year. Thank you for being a Blogalicious reader.

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's The Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial on September 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

Here's Virginia's letter:

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.

"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'

"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


Here's the reply:

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pass the Donuts!

I'm happy to say that The Book of Donuts, the second anthology published by my press Terrapin Books, has been getting some really nice attention. Thanks to Jason Lee Brown and Shanie Latham for being such great editors and for doing some fine pr for the book. Please allow me to brag a bit.

First. in November we had a really nice review by Gale Walden in Smile Politely, an online newspaper. Walden said of the collection:
Some of the poems see the donut as an antagonist, a foil against thin bodies, healthy lifestyles, and then there is the poem "Rationalization" by Betsey Cullen, who finds a way around that kind of castigation: “Loosen up/ Krispy Kreme rhymes / with dream. Go ahead. Wallow / in a carrot-cake donut, call it a vegetable.”

A second review appeared in Midwest Quarterly Review, this one by Matt Geiger who made this comment:
For all its Bismarks, gulgulas and bombolones, the collection is far more human than pastry. The poems are really about family, international terrorism, anguish, love, and an array of other topics. The book is brimming with memories of mothers and grandmothers, glistening with perspiration as they tend crackling pots of oil. It's full of those who lose the ones they love and turn to trans fats for temporary but palpable comfort.

Jama sets a lovely table
The book also had a beautiful feature at Alphabet Soup, a food blog hosted by Jama Rattigan. The feature includes contributor Martha Silano's wonderful poem "What can I say that hasn’t been said." When you visit the feature, bring a bib with you as Jama includes some wonderful photos.

Another terrific feature appeared in Nicole  Gulotta's food blog, Eat This Poem. Nicole is also the author of a wonderful and unique cookbook, also titled Eat This Poem. The cookbook includes poems about food and recipes. This feature includes the poem "5 World Trade Center," by James Penha, and a commentary about the poem. Of this poem, Gulotta asks:
How many donuts have we eaten in our lifetime already? I've certainly had my share, and now I may never eat another without remembering these words or the image of dusty confections, trays of them, never delivered, utterly symbolic of the lives of men and women who perished, lives never fully lived.
The poem is followed by a recipe for Apple Cider Donuts.
Nicole models the book

Then we just had a poem featured by Verse Daily. They chose Nicky Beer's wonderful "Most Bizarre Beauty Queens of the 1950’s" as the feature for December 6.

If all this talk about donuts has stimulated your appetite for more and if you're looking for a good gift idea, here's one from editor Shanie Latham:
GIFT BAG IDEA: The Book of Donuts, a pound of fancy coffee, and a coffee mug featuring a snarky epigram (or a sweet one—if you're into that sort of thing).

Of course, we're into that sort of thing!

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Book of Donuts: Our Launch Reading

On Sunday, October 15, a group of poets gathered at the West Caldwell Public Library in NJ to celebrate the publication of The Book of Donuts, an anthology published by my press, Terrapin Books. Given that the poets in the book come from places far and wide (e.g., California, Wisconsin, Texas, Indonesia), I was delighted that eight poets were able to participate in the reading. Brent Pallas came from NYC, Anne Sandor from NY State, Marjorie Maddox from PA, and Anne Harding Woodworth came all the way from Washington, DC.

Each poet read their own poem, plus another by a poet not present. We sold a nice bunch of books and enjoyed a book signing. We also had a reception with donuts and tea. The donuts were generously donated by Glaze, a new donut shop in town. They make donuts fresh each day and seem to have an endless variety. They were delicious! We ate an impressive number.

Thanks to Glaze Donuts!

Jane Ebihara

Marjorie Maddox

 Charlotte Mandel

 Anne Sandor

Carole Stone

Eileen Van Hook

Anne Harding Woodworth

Book Table

 Our bountiful table

This was a lovely reading, festive and full of wonderful poems and good spirit. The Book of Donuts, edited by Jason Lee Brown and Shanie Latham, is available at Amazon or in the Terrapin Bookstore.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Poetry Festival in Celebration of the Dodge Poetry Festival

I am thrilled to be participating in this poetry festival on Saturday, October 21. Organized by the fabulous poet and human being BJ Ward, the event includes 13 NJ poets, all of whom have read at past Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festivals. The purpose of the event is to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Dodge Festival. I'll be participating in a panel discussion on "Favorite Memories of the Dodge Poetry Festival" and two Sampler readings. For the first Sampler each of the poets will read 2-3 favorite poems of their own. For the second Sampler, each poet will read one poem by another poet featured at a past festival.

It should be a fabulous day—and all the more so if you're there too!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Invitation to a Poetry Reading


Please join us for the launch reading of The Book of Donuts,
an anthology of 54 poems by 51 poets,
published by Terrapin Books

Sunday, October 15
West Caldwell Public Library 
30 Clinton Rd.
West Caldwell, NJ

1:00 - 3:00 PM
Books available for sale and signing

Reception follows the reading
All are invited to stay and join the poets for conversation and Donuts!

Donuts provided by Glaze Donuts

Poets Include:
Eileen Van Hook
Charlotte Mandel
Anne Harding Woodworth
Carole Stone
Marjorie Maddox
Jane Ebihara
Brent Pallas
Anne Sandor

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Second Anniversary of Terrapin Books

October marks the second anniversary of Terrapin Books. It was just two years ago that I began the journey towards becoming a small press publisher of poetry books. In spite of my initial trepidations, I must say that it’s all gone quite smoothly. I love this new work. it keeps me out of trouble and gives me the joy of putting more poetry books into the world. Among the greatest pleasures is giving a poet a book.

There have been challenges, among them and top of the list was learning how to format a book. I really had no idea how to do that when I decided to do open a press, but I asked the right people the right questions and received the right answers. I then sat in front of my computer until I figured it out. Now I can do all kinds of fancy stuff like adjust margins, place page numbers at bottom right and left (instead of center), and design a cover. One step at a time and a belief that I could do it with patience and persistence—that’s what worked for me.

I could not be more proud of the books that Terrapin has thus far published. Terrapin now has 9 single author poetry books, two craft books, and two anthologies. Four additional titles have just been accepted for publication. I’ve held 5 open reading periods and have accepted 2-4 books each time. I am committed to taking only a limited number of manuscripts so that I can get the books out in good time and give each book the attention it deserves. There will be no cranking out one book after another.

I’m also proud to say that I’ve run no contests and don’t plan to run any. All of my authors are winners.

I’m proud, too, of the attention that the poetry world has been paying to Terrapin Books. We’ve had multiple features in Verse Daily, two in Poetry Daily, one forthcoming in Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, and one in The Missouri Review. We’ve been getting some lovely reviews in such places as the Washington Independent Review of Books, Broadkill Review, and Rain Taxi Review of Books. More on the way.

Terrapin now has its very own online bookstore. Check it out. We pay shipping and handling. Our books are also available at Amazon, B&N, and lots of other online sites.

Look for our next open reading period January/February 2018.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Terrapin Books: Upcoming Reading Period

Terrapin Books will re-open for submissions of full-length poetry manuscripts on July 25 and will remain open thru August 31. Now is the time to get your manuscript ready. Be sure to read our Guidelines and our FAQs. Also, please be sure to follow the Guidelines! We ask for a bio, so you really should send one. We ask for a 4-6 sentence description of your manuscript, so you really should send one; in fact, we take it as a sign of laziness if you don't or, worse, we begin to suspect that you don't know what your manuscript is about. We know that request is a difficult one, but we hope it will help you to organize and focus your manuscript.

The Guidelines ask for:
"A manuscript of approximately 40-55 poems for a book of approximately 90-110 pages (page count includes poems, front and back matter, and section dividers)"

This is the one item that brings the most questions. We've rewritten it in an attempt to clarify, but still get a number of concerned questions about it. Please remember that "poems" and "pages" are not the same thing. There will be pages in your book that don't have poems on them. Let's say that you have 45 poems divided into 5 sections. If each poem is just one page, you still will have at least 10 additional pages for the section dividers (both sides count). You will also have approximately 12 pages of front matter (e.g., copyright page, title pages, table of contents, dedication page, epigraph page). Then there will also be back matter (Acknowledgments page or pages, bio). Keep in mind that each blank page counts in the page count. Of course, if some of your poems are more than one page, that increases the total page count. Now if this explanation has merely confused you further, just keep in mind that if you have 40-55 poems, you're probably fine. Let us worry about the page count.

Terrapin Books has so far published 8 poetry collections by fabulous poets—and one more is moving towards publication. We have also published two craft books and one poetry anthology with another soon to appear. But our primary focus is on full-length poetry books. We select carefully, taking only a limited number of manuscripts during each reading period (4 during the first one, 2 during the second, and 3 during the last one). We carefully edit each manuscript and work closely with each poet to put out a wonderful book. Because we are selective and don't have a big backlog, we move along quite quickly. You won't have to wait around for 2-3 years for your book to see the light of day. We pledge to get our books out within a year of acceptance, but in actual practice, we've been getting them out within 6 months.

We pride ourselves on the quality of the poetry and the beauty of the books. Poets are invited to offer input on their covers and book design, though the final say belongs to the publisher. One poet's cover art was done by his wife. One cover is a painting done by the poet's husband. Another cover is a painting done by the poet. One is a photo taken by a friend of the poet. The most recent cover is a photo of the poet's coat with its pockets stuffed with greenery from the poet's yard.

We are thrilled that Terrapin Books, not even two years old yet, has received positive attention from such places as Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Missouri Review, and the Washington Independent Review of Books. And we congratulate Lynne Knight whose book, The Persistence of Longing, was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award in Poetry as one of the best works by a northern California poet published in 2016.

Terrapin looks forward to reading your manuscript.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Eat This Poem
Many poets love food and many foodies love poetry. So a cookbook that includes recipes and poems seems like a natural combination—a most delightful one in Nicole Gulotta’s new Eat This Poem: A Literary Feast of Recipes Inspired by Poetry.

Gulotta’s book evolved out of her blog of the same name. I discovered the blog some years ago and was delighted by the recipes, the poems, and the photos. I sent in some poems and soon “Blueberry” appeared with Nicole's recipe for blueberry buckwheat pancakes. Eventually, Nicole began blogging about her dream of doing a book. Eat This Poem is the realization of that dream.

I like the size of this book (6 x 9, 205 pages) and its French flaps which make it easy to mark your place. I like the artwork that appears throughout. I like the symmetry of the unusual organizational plan: five sections each broken down into five parts. Each part begins with a poem by such poets as me (!), Mary Oliver, Louise Gluck, Jane Kenyon, Billy Collins, and Philip Levine. Each poem is followed by a brief and excellent commentary, and then by three recipes.

The author likes fresh food, natural organic products, and out-of-the-ordinary recipes such as Mushroom and Brie Quesadillas, Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potatoes, Pear and Manchego Grilled Cheese, and Strawberry Birthday Cake.

Gulotta has studied poetry and traveled extensively sampling and studying different cuisines. Her love of poetry and good food is evident in this wonderful cookbook which is deliciously priced at only $18.95—currently on sale at Amazon at $10.47.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer Journals Q-Z 2017

Here's the third and final installment of the list of print journals that read during the summer months. Again, please let me know if you spot any errors or omissions. Good luck!

No rejections allowed.

**Remember that the asterisks indicate that the journal accepts simultaneous submissions.
Journal accepts online submissions unless otherwise indicated.


**The Raleigh Review—2x—opens July 1


Raven Chronicles—2x—April 1-July 1
snail mail

**Redactions—2x—by email–opens July 1


**Rhino—1x—April 1-Oct 31

**River Styx—3x—May 1 thru Nov 30
snail mail

via email

**Sakura Review—2x

**Salt Hill—2x
August 1-April 1

**San Pedro River Review—2x
month of July
via email

**Saw Palm—1x—July 1-Oct. 1
must have a Florida connection

**Smartish Pace—2x
via email

**South Dakota Review—4x

**The Southeast Review—2x

**Southern Humanities Review—4x—Aug 1-Dec 1

**Southern Poetry Review—2x
snail mail or via their website

**Sugar House Review—2x—Jan 31-July 31

**Tahoma Literary Review—3x—now thru August

**32 Poems—2x

Threepenny Review—4x—reads thru June

snail mail

**Tusculum Review—1x

US 1 Worksheets—1x—April 15- June 30
snail mail

**Washington Square Review—2x—Aug 1-Oct 15

**West Wind Review—1x—July 1-Sept 1

**Women Arts Quarterly Journal—4x


Summer Journals A - F

Summer Journals G - P

Friday, June 9, 2017

Summer Journals G-P 2017

Here's the second installment of the list of print journals that read during the summer months. If you find any errors or have others to add to the list, please let me know. Good luck with your submissions.

This mailbox is ready to receive good mail.

**Indicates that simultaneous submission is ok
Unless otherwise indicated, the journal accepts online submissions.

**Gigantic Sequins—2x—opens July 1

**Grist—1x—June 15-Sept 15

Hanging Loose—3x
snail mail

**Hartskill Review—3x

**Hayden’s Ferry—2x—opens for submissions August 1

**Hiram Poetry Review—1x
snail mail

Hudson Review—4x—April 1-June 30 (all year if a subscriber)
snail mail

**Lake Effect—1x
snail mail

Little Star Journal—1x
strong preference for snail mail
strong preference for no sim sub

Louisiana Literature—2x

**Lumina—1x—check in July

via email attachment

Manhattan Review—2x
(prefers no sim but will take)

metrical only

**Michigan Quarterly Review—4x

**Mid-American Review—2x

**Minnesota Review—2x—August 1–November 1

**Missouri Review—4x

**The Mom Egg—1x—June 1-Sept 1

**Naugatuck River Review—2x—July 1-Sept 1
for the winter issue

**Nimrod—2x—Jan 1-Nov 30
snail mail

**Parnassus: Poetry in Review—1x
snail mail

via email

**Pleiades—2x—Aug 15-May 15

**Ploughshares—3x—June 3 to January 15

**Poet Lore—2x
snail mail


Summer Journals A - F

Summer Journals Q - Z

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Summer Journals A-F 2017

Get your mailbox ready to receive good news.

It's that time of year again. During the summer many of us have more time to write and submit, but quite a few journals close their doors to submissions for the summer months. Do not despair. There are still many journals that do read during the summer and some that read only during the summer. This is the first of a 3-part list of those journals, all print. Please note that this year I have done only minimal updates. Be sure to check website.

I've added links for your convenience. I've also indicated the number of issues per year, the submission period dates, which journals accept simultaneous submissions, and which ones accept online submissions. If you find an error, please let me know.

**Indicates that simultaneous submission is ok
Unless otherwise indicated, the journal accepts online submissions.
If no dates are given, the journal reads all year.

**American Poetry Review—6x-tabloid

**Asheville Poetry Review—3x—Jan. 15-July 15
snail mail

**Atlanta Review—2x—deadlines June 1 & Dec 1
reads all year, but slower in summer
snail mail

**Bat City Review—1x—June 1-Nov 1

**Beloit Poetry Journal—3x—June 1-Aug 31

**Black Warrior Review—2x—June 1-Sept 1

**Bone Bouquet—2x
women only

**Briar Cliff Review—1x—deadline Nov 1

**Burnside Review—2x
email sub ok
$3 reading fee /pays $50

email sub

**Chariton Review—2x
snail mail

**Cimarron Review—4x

**Columbia Journal—2x—March 1- Sept 15

**Columbia Poetry Review—1x—July 1-Nov 1

snail mail

**Crab Orchard Review—2x—Aug 15-Nov 5 (special issue)
snail mail

**Cream City Review—2x—Aug 1-Nov 1

Cutthroat—1x—July 15-Oct 1

**Edison Literary Review—1x

Field—2x—August 1-May 31

**The Florida Review—2x—Aug 1-May 31 (subscribers all year)

**The Fourth River—1x—opens July 1

Summer Journals G - P

Summer Journals Q - Z

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Poetry Festival in Paterson, NJ

I'm looking forward to this coming weekend which is the "Celebrating the Poetic Legacy of Whitman, Williams, and Ginsberg Literary Festival and Conference." The day-long event will be held at the Poetry Center of Passaic County Community College in Paterson, NJ.

I'm going to be on the panel, "The Narrative Tradition in Poetry," organized and moderated by Adele Kenny. I'll be joined by four other NJ poets, all of whom I adore and look forward to chatting with. Get up early and come join us! Then spend the day attending some of the other panels.

The schedule can be found HERE.

There will be many panels held throughout the event in three different time slots. Two fantastic poets headline the festival: Patricia Smith and Li-Young Lee. Each will give a morning workshop. Then they'll read together at 1:00 PM. Don't miss this reading!

I hope to see you on Saturday.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Tar River Poetry and Other Poetry-Only Journals

I'm pleased to have two poems in the new issue of Tar River Poetry. This is my first appearance in this print journal. I find myself in very good company with poems by such poets as Kelly Cherry, Susan Laughter Meyers, Karen Paul Holmes, and Faith Shearin, and Grant Clauser. I see some names new to me and look forward to getting acquainted with those poets. My own poems are "Signs That Life May Yet Work Out as You'd Like It To" and "Why I Couldn't Keep Him."

This is an exclusively poetry journal which pleases me. It's a slender volume with perfect binding and, as you can see, a lovely cover. I'm going to subscribe, and I suggest that you consider doing the same.

Some years ago I posted a list of other all-poetry print journals. I just dug that out and will re-post it here. Although I subscribe to several journals that include poetry and prose, I often find myself skipping over the prose pieces to get to the poems. So it occurred to me that perhaps I ought to subscribe to a few more poetry-only journals. Poetry with perhaps some reviews of poetry books, interviews with poets, and / or a poetics essay. A bit of art would be nice, too. I then set about gathering a list of such journals. Perhaps you might also be looking for a few ideas for new subscriptions, so I'll share the list with you. Those with two asterisks are ones I am already subscribed to.

**Beloit Poetry Journal
A saddle-stapled journal that has been around a long time. Four issues per year.

Cave Wall
Combines poetry and art. Two issues per year.

Poetry and poetics, reviews by editors. Two issues per year.

Poetry and art. One issue per year. They make it difficult to subscribe as there is no online subscription option. Instead, you are asked to make a phone call to their NYC number.

Naugatuck River Review
Focus on narrative poetry. Two issues per year. One is a contest issue.

**Poet Lore
Poetry and Reviews, occasional essay. Two issues per year.

Poetry and interviews. Each issue has a section of poems solicited from a particular group, e.g., nurses, attorneys. Two issues per year.

**Southern Poetry Review
Pure poetry. Two issues per year.

Spoon River Poetry Review
Poetry and one very long review essay. Two issues per year.

Sugar House Review
Poetry and reviews. All reviews are also archived online. Two issues per year. A very beautiful journal, perfect bound, glossy paper inside, pretty end pages.

**Tar River Poetry
Poetry, interviews, reviews. Two issues per year.

**32 Poems
Two issues per year.

Let me know what I've missed.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Do You Know Where Your Donut Poem Is?

We are still open for submissions for our forthcoming anthology of donut poems to be edited by Jason Lee Brown and Shanie Latham. Deadline is May 31, so you still have time to get yourself to a donut shop, sample the goods, then rush home and write your masterpiece. 

We will consider up to five published or unpublished poems about any kind of donut, e.g., jelly donut, sugar, powdered, glazed, Boston cream, donut holes, cruller, long john, fritter, pączki, oliebollen, ponchik, fánk. 

Send us your poems about making donuts, eating donuts, donuts and family rituals or traditions, your love or fear of donuts, your first donut, a memory associated with donuts, cops and donuts, a fight over donuts, a dream or a nightmare about donuts.

We are open to all kinds of forms: formal verse, free verse, prose poem. 

Be sure to check our Guidelines. Submit via Submittable.

No fee. Compensation is one complimentary copy of the book for US contributors. Poets outside of the US are welcome to submit, but we cannot cover exorbitant postage fees.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Poetry Reading for April

This should be a fun group reading. We'll each read for 10 minutes from our own work. Then we'll each read one poem by someone else. I have my extra poem picked out, but you have to come to the reading to find out what it is. There will be a reception that everyone is invited to. I will be baking some really delicious cookies for that. Again, you have to be there to find out what they are. Other people also baking. So join us! You'll be glad you did!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Happy Birthday to The Doll Collection!

Dolls are small icons of memory and magic. They tell us much about ourselves—little vessels 
of love made of porcelain, wood, or plastic—bringing out all that is humane in us. 
These 88 poems imaging dolls have a surprising literary impact; because every kind 
of curiosity and caring is revealed—animating the inanimate.
              —Grace Cavalieri, The Washington Independent Review of Books

Click Cover for Book Store
Click Cover for Bookstore
It’s now been a year since The Doll Collection debuted. I'm celebrating extra hard since this title was the very first from Terrapin Books. The celebration includes offering the book at 20% off for the entire month of April, National Poetry Month. In fact, all Terrapin titles are 20% off for the entire month. All prices include free shipping and handling. All titles are available in our brand new Store.

This anthology includes 88 poems by such poets as Kim Bridgford, Neil Carpathios, Chana Bloch, Alice Friman, Jeffrey Harrison, and Cecilia Woloch. See the full list of 89 poets HERE.

The Doll Collection has done some traveling in the past year. The first stop was a launch reading at my public library in West Caldwell, NJ. We had a dozen contributors join in, four coming from Philadelphia, a few from NYC, and one from West Virginia. Two of our poets, Jeanne Marie Beaumont and Gillian Cummings, brought their doll collections for everyone to enjoy. I baked a bunch of cookies for the Reception after the reading.

This past fall I traveled with the book to Manchester, NH, to participate in the New Hampshire Poetry Festival. There I talked about how I went about starting a small press for poetry and putting together an anthology. Five of the contributors read for our audience.

In February I packed up The Doll Collection and traveled to Washington, DC, for the AWP Conference. In addition to having a table in the Book Fair, I arranged a Terrapin Books reading one evening. Fourteen of the poets from The Doll Collection read for us. It was a fabulous reading!

Two weeks ago I traveled with The Doll Collection to the Albert Wisner Library in Warwick, NY, for a reading arranged by contributor Mary Makofske. Eight poets from the book read at this event. And we had more dolls on display.

I have one more event scheduled, a panel presentation in Lawrenceville, NJ. I’ll be talking again about the press, and poets Susanna Rich and Jessica de Koninck will read their poems from The Doll Collection. Please join us.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Doll Collection on the road

This past Sunday a group of poets whose poems appear in The Doll Collection anthology met at the Albert Wisner Library in Warwick, NY, to read selections from the book. Arranged and hosted by contributor Mary Makofske, the reading was a wonderful event. The library, selected as the Best Small Library in America, is lovely. The librarian had arranged for a display of dolls in wall cases. Additional dolls were brought by the poets and audience members.

We had a total of eight poets. Each poet read her own poem, plus one more by a different poet in the book, so we had lots of variety. Although I do not have a poem in the book, I had the pleasure of reading Susan Rich's poem "Potato Head." Here are some pictures from the day.

Kim Bridgford read her poem "Chewed-On Barbie." Her second poem was "Playing Drunks at Age 7" by Kyle Potvin from Massachusetts.

Jessica de Koninck read her poem "The Golem." Her second poem was "The Pregnant Doll" by Nicole Cooley who also wrote the book's wonderful Introduction.

Jane Ebihara read her poem "In the Milk House." She then read "Broken Doll" by Susan Terris 
from California.

Mary Makofske read her poem "Bambi." Her second poem was "Operation Teddy Bear" by Jeffrey Harrison from Massachusetts.

Charlotte Mandel read her poem "After Torrential Rain." She then read "The Family" by Chana Bloch from California.

Susanna Rich read her own "This Child Left" and then "Paper Doll" by Susan Laughter Meyers from South Carolina.

Hayden Saunier displayed a flip doll, then read her poem "Flip Doll: Red Riding Hood." Her second poem was "Secrets" by Elaine Terranova from Pennsylvania.

Some dolls brought by poets

Happy Poets

Available in the Terrapin Bookstore
Available at Amazon

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Bits and Pieces

Last month I attended the AWP Conference in Washington DC. I wanted to introduce the world of writers to my new press, Terrapin Books. So signed up for a table in the Book Fair, packed up all the books the press has published in the past year, and drove myself to DC. Three of my poets were there to sign their books. Jessica de Koninck, Patricia Clark, and Christine Stewart-Nunez each had a signing at the table on Friday morning. I also booked a room in the Methodist Church across the street from the Marriott Marquis and on Thursday evening hosted a Terrapin reading there. Each of the three poets read from their books. They were followed by 14 poets from The Doll Collection. I also participated in a panel on small press anthologies. This included four other publishers and was moderated by Lucille Lang Day. Each of us spoke about our press and our anthologies. This was the first time I ever served on an AWP panel. I enjoyed it and wasn't particularly nervous. I sold a bunch of books at the table and met lots of people.

Speaking of anthologies, Terrapin Books has committed to publishing another one. This one will be co-edited by Jason Lee Brown and Shanie Latham. The topic will be donuts! Our submission window at Submittable will open on April 1 and will remain open thru May 31. So think donuts, eat donuts, and write donuts. And check out the Guidelines.

One last thing that I found quite delicious—my poem "For the Love of Avocados" was featured by Ted Kooser on American Life in Poetry, week of February 20. Please pay a visit. The poem is from my most recent poetry book, The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement.  I've also had a lovely new review of my book. It's by Sherry Chandler and appears in Phoebe.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Heading to AWP

Terrapin Books

On Wednesday I'll be driving to Washington DC to participate in this year's AWP. I haven't been since 2007 when it was in NYC. I thought that one time would suffice for a lifetime, but then I didn't have Terrapin Books. Also, I was invited to be on a panel this year and since I have never served on one, I thought I should give it a try. Then I thought, too, that this would be a good opportunity to introduce my press, some of our books, and some of our poets to the poetry world. So I forged ahead. I have a full schedule.

I'll be driving as I wanted to take the books with me rather than have them shipped. I'll be staying at the conference hotel, the Marriott Marquis. Hideously expensive so it better be nice. It's at least very conveniently attached to the conference center—there's a covered concourse leading from one to the other. Once I arrive on Wednesday, a valet will park my car; I'm not allowed to park it myself. That's $55 per day! Outrageous! Then I can't go into the garage to get anything out of my car—have to have a valet bring the car out and then back in—so I'll have to unload all my stuff when I arrive. I hope I can find someone to help me lug my stuff inside and then up to my room. Books are heavy.

In order to facilitate introducing the press, I booked a table in the Book Fair. I'll be sharing that with Storyscape, a journal. The table is #525T. Come visit and check out our books.

The panel I'm on is on Thursday, 4:30-5:45 PM. It's called "The Independent Press Anthology: Focusing, Editing, Organizing, Designing, Publishing, and Marketing," and will be moderated by Lucille Lang Day. I'm one of five editors/publishers. The others are Wendy Barker, Bryce Milligan, and Claire Ortaldo. Look for us in the Supreme Court Room (level 4), Marriott Marquis Hotel, 901 Massachusetts Ave.

Then I also booked a venue for a Terrapin reading. It was very challenging trying to find a place in DC when I'm in NJ. I found quite a few—but was not willing to pay $1000. Finally, though, I found the Methodist Church, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW, which is right next door to the hotel. Perfect!  The reading will be on Thursday from 7:00 - 9:00 PM. Three of my poets will first read from their new books:
       Patricia Clark, The Canopy
       Jessica de Koninck, Cutting Room
       Christine Stewart-Nunez, Bluewords Greening
These three poets will be followed by a group reading for The Doll Collection. Poets include Kim Bridgford, Jessica de Koninck, Lori Desrosiers, Roberta Feins, Ann Fisher-Wirth, Kelly Fordon, Alice Friman, Donna Hilbert, Julie Kane, Lori Lamothe, Christina Lovin, Kim Roberts, Hayden Saunier, Enid Shomer, Lauren Goodwin Slaughter, Elaine Terranova, J. C. Todd, Kristin Zimet.
Please join us! Should be fun.

I hope I survive Thursday—very full day.

Friday three poets will have book signings at table #525 as follows:
       Christine Stewart-Nunez, Bluewords Greening, 11:00 - 11:30
       Jessica de Koninck, Cutting Room, 11:30 - 12:00
       Patricia Clark, The Canopy, 12:00 - 12:30

Please stop by, get a book, and have it signed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Last Chance to Submit Your Poetry Manuscript

Our open reading period will close end of day on Tuesday, January 31, so if you're planning to submit, the time is now. There will be no deadline extension. We have some really fine manuscripts already, but would love to see your work, too. We plan to accept 2-4 manuscripts.

We charge a minimal reading fee of $12 to help defray costs. We carefully edit each accepted manuscript, work closely with each poet, and do not forget about you once your book is in print. We do a bit of advertising and make efforts to get a readership for your book. We pride ourselves on our responsiveness to questions and concerns.

We are also committed to getting books into print within a reasonable amount of time. We do not keep a backlog but accept only a limited number of manuscripts during each open reading period. We then put out those books before we again open for submissions. So far we've been able to get accepted manuscripts out within 6 months or less.

We provide each poet with 15 review copies, offer additional copies at a substantial discount, and pay a royalty fee each year.

We have thus far published books by Neil Carpathios, Lynne Knight, Jessica de Koninck, Christine Stewart-Nunez, Patricia Clark, and Carolyn Miller. Our titles have been receiving wonderful attention and praise from such places as Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, The Missouri Review, and the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Please carefully review and follow our Guidelines. And read our FAQs.

We look forward to reading your work.

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