Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Bridesmaid Again and Other Poetry News

Last night I found out that my chapbook entitled "This Side Up" was named a runner up in PANK Magazine's First Chapbook Competition. This is the second time this year that a chapbook of mine has been named a finalist or runner-up for a competition. The first time was with The Ledge Chapbook Contest. 

Every time this happens I have mixed feelings. I'm thrilled that I'm getting close and obviously it means I am picking the right contests and that my work is beginning to get recognized or at least stand out from others. All of those feelings are good, but they are mixed with the feeling that damn I came so close, why didn't I win. This is part of the life of being a writer and I deal with these feelings normally by submitting more poems to more magazines. Regardless, I am very happy to be named a runner-up by PANK and really look forward to seeing the winning chapbook.

PANK's announcement came in a week of already good poetry news. At the beginning of the week I was notified by Redheaded Stepchild that they want to publish my poem "If you were Jackson Pollock and Jackson Pollock painted nudes." I was thrilled. For those of you who don't know Redheaded Stepchild is an online publication devoted to printing the very best of rejected poems. When you submit you can only submit poems that have been rejected by other magazines and you must provide the list of places that have rejected the work. My Jackson Pollock poem has been rejected by 32 Poems, The Yale Review, Fence, Conduit, /nor, Rhino, Accent, Pilot, Ganymede, and Field. I wrote the poem nearly four years ago and I'm very happy it has found a home. I really enjoy the concept of Redheaded Stepchild and since I have red hair myself, I found it rather fitting. The poem should appear in November. I will keep you posted. 

I was also notified early this week that Velvet Mafia accepted two of my poems. They are entitled "We've done this all backwards" and "note, passed to matthew shepard." Again I was thrilled. I wrote my Matthew Shepard poem four years ago and it has been rejected from quite a few places. These are the moments that prove you shouldn't give up. Velvet Mafia is an online gay magazine that focuses mostly on erotic work. The publish erotica poetry, stories, and photos, as well as reviews. They are bold and fearless. Many gay writers might shy away from submitting to a place like Velvet Mafia, but I'm proud to add them to my list of publications. They notified me on Sunday and put my poems up on Tuesday (the beauty of online magazines). You can read them by clicking here

All in all this has been a nice week for poetry. It often seems to come in waves like this. Thanks for reading and let me know what you think of the poems or my blog. 

-Stephen (Maybe a Bride Next Time) 



  1. You're a winner in my book, but I don't think you need anyone's prize to be the star you're about to become. You're about to get made.

    That's gangsta speak.

    Mafia, even.

  2. Thanks. I like that gangsta/mafia speak. It turns me on.