Retrospective, summer 2018

I began submitting poems to poetry magazines eight or nine years ago. I went about choosing where to submit by looking at listings such as those published by The Poetry Library and Poetry Kit.
I also saw and liked hard copies of magazines such as The Rialto, The North and Stand in the now defunct Borders bookshop. Over the years I worked my way through a list of magazines, ticking off each acceptance for publication as if it were a personal milestone.


First magazine to publish one of my poems, Summer 2009

I enjoyed the process, partly because I was lucky in that ‘rejection’, or having work returned, never particularly bothered me.
If work came back I would look it over to see if I could improve it and send it out again. Sometimes I realised the poems needed work. Some were revised and found homes. Sometimes I put them away and forgot about them. Some are lost. Some remain in long unopened files .

Below is a summary of publications of my work in magazines (minus some things I’ve forgotten) and a record of where it was collected into a book or pamphlet or remains uncollected . Publications are listed first, followed by the name of poem or poems. Included in the list are poems that were placed in competitions. I am sharing this list in case anyone is interested, and also as a reminder to myself as to the amount of effort I have invested (writing, researching possible outlets for my work, correspondence) and of the personal rewards received. As someone who periodically feels they have achieved very little it occurred to me that I should take stock of one aspect of the fruits of my writing activity and in doing so also celebrate the small magazine scene in the UK and Ireland.

At some point I stopped keeping a record of where I had sent work and had it returned unpublished. I have been very fortunate in that that list was much shorter. Nor did I keep paper ‘rejection’ slips since they seldom made for interesting reading.
There are some publications I like and I’ve sent work to but not been published in. I will probably have another go at in them in future.

Looking at the list I can remember the thrill of certain moments that seemed highly significant, for example, when my little poem ‘Egg’ was shortlisted for a prize by Paul Farley and Michael Symonds Roberts in 2011.

As you will see if you scan the list, there are several magazines I submitted to and had work taken on several occasions – The Rialto ( x4 issues), The North (x3 issues) and Magma (x5 issues) . These were (and are) magazines I enjoyed seeing my work in. They are well made and well-edited publications with high production values and generally contain a high standard of work. I usually left a space of a year or so before submitting to them again.

Some of the magazines in this list are sadly no more. These include Staple, Smiths Knoll, The Shop (a beautiful Irish publication that I was delighted to be included in), New Walk (now publishing high quality pamphlets and open for submissions at the present time.)  Some of the on-line magazines have also gone (Hinterland) but others ( such as the excellent ‘The Compass’ )  have appeared.

All of my submissions this year have been sent to a crop of wonderful new or relatively new magazines.
These are The Fenland Reed, the beautifully handmade and hand stitched Coast to Coast to Coast, Strix, and the new on-line Poetry Village.

Submitting to new magazines keeps things interesting, and with launches in Ely (Fenland Reed),

and forthcoming in Liverpool (Coast to Coast in August) and Strix (Leeds, July) to attend, I am delighted to have had poems taken by each. Meeting editors, listening to readers, visiting new places and seeing old friends and making new ones is a wonderful aspect of poetry publication.

I am grateful to all the editors of small magazines, both those I submit and subscribe to and those I do not,  for their dedication and hard work. It often seems that the larger poetry institutions and publications cater for a small band of personally connected high-profile poets who celebrate and promote each others work, often regardless (it would seem) of proper critical support for it’s quality (I am aware this is a possibly controversial statement and am happy to be challenged on it.)  For this reason, it is the small magazines, independent publishers and poetry groups that allow an all important democratic, less exclusive and broader engagement with the art form.
Finally, having published a full collection last year it is very encouraging to see that editors are interested in publishing a few of the trickle of poems that I’ve written since the almost continuous burst of writing that produced my earlier work.

2009

Guardian online workshop ‘ A close brush with death..’  (uncollected)
The Rialto- Hayride (later in ‘Gopagilla’ pamphlet and ‘Poems for refugees anthology’, Five Leaves press)

2010

Ledbury competition 3rd place-  Hawk’s Eye (later in pamphlet ‘Gopagilla’  and The Sun Bathers j
Under The Radar- Parrot (uncollected)
New Walk- Presence, Instant Karma (both in pamphlet and The Sun Bathers and anthologised),
Hearing Voices magazine – Undertow (pamphlet)
Smiths Knoll – Careers Advice (The Sun Bathers)
Staple- A Blue Rider at Verdun (uncollected)
The Shop- Records on the bones (The Sun Bathers)
William Soutar Prize anthology- Last Letter (The Sun Bathers)

2011

Obsessed with Pipework – Dandytime (The Sun Bathers) Search (uncollected)
IOTA- In the Hilton Hotel (uncollected), Telepathy, Ghost Walk, (Gopagilla)
ENVOI- Fontanel (uncollected) Zen Garden, No signals (Sun Bathers) Snow (uncollected)
Ink Sweat and Tears – Presence (The Sun Bathers)
The Interpreter’s House- Possible Fates of Wren’s Globe (The Sun Bathers)
Ashbourne Festival commended – Arrival (Sun Bathers)
Ilkley Fest – Egg, (Shortlisted) Gopagilla
Prole- Reception, Painting town, Over coffee (uncollected)
Magma. 30th July- Fitting the mask (uncollected)
London Grip- Triptych (uncollected)
New Walk August 31st, Season ring (The Sun Bathers)
Alan Silitoe Comp. The Bow Saw runner-up (The Sun Bathers)
Frogmore Papers- National Service, Wren (The Sun Bathers)
Epicentre- So Much Depends (uncollected)
IST-Arm Wrestling with Nonno

2012

Bow Wow Shop- The Risen, Manual, Prem, Molecular journeys, Scooter (all Uncollected)
Agenda- Arm Wrestling with Nonno (Sun Bathers) Triumph (uncollected) Inheritance, (The Sun Bathers)
Red Squirrel Anthology, Happenstance Anthology
Smiths Knoll- Uncle Alf,1974 (The Sun Bathers)
Rialto – The Catch (The Sun Bathers)
Flarestack Competition – Sex Education, Fontanel (both uncollected)
Antiphon- Summer Job, (The Sun Bathers and PB one for the road anthology)
London Grip- Myths of London’s Parquets (Uncollected)
Hearing Voices- Third-year Ritual, The controller (Uncollected)
Cake- Arrivals (The Sun Bathers)
Northants Comp. Da Vinci Packs (The Sun Bathers)
The North- Sill, (Sun Bathers)
Fakenham Open anthology – On Loan, From the Air (Uncollected)
Notts Poetry comp. Relic 2nd place, (The Sun Bathers)
Ink Sweat and Tears- Lifeline (uncollected)
Prole- Case (TSB)
Kumquat- Moroccan Frequencies, Outback (uncollected)
Critical Survey- Cimetero (The sun Bathers) On Loan, Gathering (both uncollected)

2013

interps House- Further Ed (uncollected) Aim Higher (The Sun Bathers)
Magma- Flight path (The Sun Bathers).
Ink S and T- Prem (uncollected)
Dream Catcher- The lesson (The Sun Bathers) A Reps Progress, Regeneration (Uncollected)
Lampeter Review- Lives of the poets ( Sun Bathers)
Fuselit- Lost Youth Cults of the 20th century (accepted for publication, never published, uncollected)
South -Orchestra practise, The Swallow (both uncollected)
Prole comp.- Student- runner up (The Sun Bathers)
SHU comp- 1st Prize
Lace Anthology poem (uncollected)
Lighthouse magazine-, The Second Test, (The Sun Bathers)
Ver poetry Prize A Western Australian Piano Graveyard. Highly Commended.
Ludlow poetry prize – Drive, The Longest Dance. Commended (uncollected)
Hinterland- Party, 1991, Mosquito (uncollected) Bowes Rd (The Great Animator)
Mining Anthology (unpublished) Allotment, Further Ed. (Uncollected)
Antiphon- The Gift (uncollected)
WILLIAM SOUTAR Prize – The Sun Bathers, Highly commended
MATTER – Regeneration, Downpour, Above the Brim (uncollected)
Anthology, Red Squirrel Press,  The Black Stuff (uncollected)
And Other Poems- Blackbird, Dying Arts (The Sun Bathers)
Antiphon- There are things you shouldn’t touch (Sun Bathers)

40 poems from The Sun Bather’s published in magazines before book printed

2014-

Sillitoe Prize Meat is Murder 2nd place (TGA)
North- Will (The Great Animator), Holiday Home,(uncollected)
Interps House- Heron (TGA.) The purpose, (uncollected)
Prole- The Black Stuff (uncollected )
Litter- 2 translations (uncollected)
Antiphon- Ammonite (The G.A)
VER- The Horses, Beyond North, – both Highly Commended (TGA)
New walk–Sardines, Zoetrope (TGA)
Micropoem- 7th July- Storm (uncollected)
Poems on a Beermat comp – Night Swimming (TGA)
Under The Radar- Monkey bike, Lion Heart, When The Great Tree Fell (all uncollected)
Nutshells and Nuggets- 4.30, Reps progress, Mosquito (uncollected)
Rialto- Carrying The Arrest Bleep (The Great Animator)
Poems in Which- a poem in which I’m suited (uncollected)
The Stares Nest – Beyond North (Great Animator) Made in Dagenham (uncollected)
Bare Fiction – Arrival, London 1989 (uncollected)
Hinterland- Limit (uncollected) Slumberland, Dress (The Great Animator)
Interps House- And Another thing, (The Great Animator)
Bare Fiction competition – short story, ‘Late’- Highly Commended
2015-

The Morning Star – Bowes Rd. (TGA)
Clear poetry – After the Gallery (TGA) Constellation, Without words (uncollected)
Matter- Hard Rain, Frank O’Hara Talks Art (uncollected) Wedding Video (TGA)
Magma- Google Street view (Uncollected)
The Morning Star -Decree(uncollected)
Ambit- Eclipse (The Great Animator)
New boots and Pantocracies Anthology – Election Night (uncollected)
Antiphon- The Faithless Husband (TGA)
New boots and Pantocracies online – JC must be stopped (uncollected)
Soundings Magazine – as above

2016- Poetry Wales- Uses of the Body (TGA)
High Window- Cassis, Oysters (TGA)
High Window 2 translations – I’ve found, In the smoke (uncollected)
Manchester Review- I’ve been High (TGA)
Vanguard Editions no.2 anthology – The Glass Delusion (TGA)
Magma- This woman is about to be very lucky (TGA)
And Other poems- Bonjour Tristesse (TGA)
The Rialto – Geese (uncollected)
New Walk- Waterloo teeth, Syria, (TGA)
Butchers Dog- Trace (TGA)
Writing East midlands poetry Prize- From the book of Crow- 2nd place (TGA)
Wenlock Poetry Prize, 2nd place, The Pack (TGA)
National Trust anthology  – Rose, Ist place
Millstone Grit anthology – Uses of the Body, Geese.
The Compass – Shocks. (TGA)
Battered Moons- 3rd place- Scent (TGA)
Notts Poetry Soc. – New Model Village- Merit (TGA)
Lucifer magazine- Back to Black, Morrocco, (TGA)
The North – In The Big House, Wing, It is worth Considering Longevity (TGA)
Stand- Vanishing Act, Breaking the News, Break (TGA)

41 poems from ‘The Great Animator’ published before book printed

2017

Magma – Pity the Angels (The Great Animator)
The Butchers dog- Imagine how alive Zuriel Jonson Feels

2018-

The Fenland Reed – Placements
Poetry village- Seeing the Entomologist
Coast to Coast – The Shapeshifter’s Courtship
Paper Swans Wedding Poems Anthology. – Wedding Video
Strix- Michael Phelps Versus The Great White.

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7 comments

  1. Congratulations and thanks – it makes me feel I’m sending to the right places even if I’m having less success. I used to keep plugging away at PN Review, Poetry Review and Poetry London. Then I diversified, ending up in 3 mags (2 now defunct) about 20 times each. I rarely bother with comps. I’ve had some fascinating rejection slips/mails. Do you try US paper mags? Irish?

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    • Hi Tim, thanks for getting in touch. I suppose ‘the right places’ might be different for each individual. In answer to your query I’ve not tried any Irish or American magazines so far as I’ve found enough UK outlets to interest me.

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    • Cheers Pam. I wrote as a child and didn’t start writing again till I was in my mid- thirties. By the time I sent work out I was forty-three, a little too late for an Eric Gregory! I’ve concentrated on ‘smaller’ magazines and haven’t entered ‘bigger’ competitions or approached larger publishers, so I sometimes wonder if I’ve gone about getting my work read in the right way. Ultimately I suppose their is no ‘right’ way, just the way that the individual finds is right for them. .

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