This has been an exciting week for poetry...well for my poetry.
Earlier this week I got my contributor copies of The Antioch Review. My poem "Mistaken Identity" is in their Summer 09 issue. I'm really thrilled about this for various reasons. First of all The Antioch Review is a great journal and has been around for a long time. It is always nice to get work in well-respected or well-known publications. Secondly, they paid me and it was my first poem that I've gotten paid for (besides winning a contest). I think getting paid for poetry is a pretty big step and doesn't happen very often, so one must relish in it when it does. Thirdly, "Mistaken Identity" is a poem I really enjoy and I wrote it in the early months of getting out of my MFA program. When this poem got accepted it really boosted my confidence that I was moving in the right direction with my work. Grad school is great and helpful but it does provide you with a strong community and audience for your work and when suddenly that community is gone it can be hard to find your way. At grad school your audience is made up of other poets who give you feedback and guidance. I've not had that moving to Orlando and away from my poet friends. Needless to say the success I've had recently with publications has really been the confirmation I've needed.
In other poetry new I was told this week by Ganymede (a gay men's journal out of NYC) that not only are they taking my poems for their sixth issue (which they told two weeks ago) but that I will also be included in the first volume of their poetry anthology out in October. I'm really excited about being a part of this new publication because I think it has the potential to be vital to gay literature. They are publishing my poems entitled: "To the Stranger in My Bed on Easter Morning," and "What the Critics Will Say About My Poetry."
Perhaps the most exciting poetry news I got this week was in the form of a review. Newpages.com reviews literary magazines and this week they posted a review of the New York Quarterly (Issue 65). This issue includes my poem "The Scientists Don't Know Why the Whales Are Beaching Themselves." The review mentions my poem as a stand-out poem in the issue, which blew me away because NYQ publishes a lot of really great and well-established writers as well as emerging writers like me. The issue also has about 115 poems in it and the review only mentions a few. Strangely enough they also mention Scott Bailey's poem. Scott and I were at FSU together. He's still there in the PhD program and is a great poet. This was the first review I've ever been mention in so it meant a lot to me. You can check it out here: http://www.newpages.com/magazinestand/litmags/#New_York
All in all it's been a great week in poetry news. Just thought I would share.
-Stephen (Paid Poet)