River Mouth Review, Issue 7
It was lovely to follow a Tweet this morning and find my poem, “Catastrophe–,” in Issue 7 — the one year anniversary edition — of River Mouth Review.
So much has happened this year that my head’s all aswim, and when I get an acceptance or rejection email I have to remind myself of the 100+ submissions I made January-April, 2021. (Yes, this year, Bethany.) Most of them, I admit, are rejections. So, when I saw this blogpost, “How to Deal with Rejection,” from English writer Louise Tondeur, I eagerly read it. And was reassured. I thought you might be, as well.
Meanwhile, I notice that it’s about time to submit to Windfall: a Journal of Poetry of Place. Editors Bill Siverly and Michael McDowell publish only twice a year, and in the old, pre-Pandemic world, I would now and then run into a copy of this lovely PNW-focused small journal at Powell’s in Portland, or Elliott Bay Books in Seattle. When I blogged about my friend Christine Kendall’s new book (back in April) and saw that she has published poems there, I thought, I miss them! And I immediately sent a check for a two-year subscription.
So, that’s my bulletin for today. Check out River Mouth on-line, read Louise Tondeur’s advice (including: the most-published poets are also the most-rejected poets), and, even if you’re swinging for the majors, once in awhile take a minute to support something local.
I haven’t experienced rejection in years (because I haven’t submitted in years), but I have been rejected by Windfall. It is a lovely journal and I appreciate being reminded of it.
I clicked through to read the piece on rejection. Great perspectives! One of the best experiences I’ve had with respect to it was at a children’s book writers conference. In one session, an editor read through first pages (submitted by attendees), simulating what happens with submissions in the slush pile. She shared her thoughts about each with us. It was 45 minutes before she read one for which she was willing to read a second page. What I learned was that rejection is not necessarily about quality. It is about fit and about the publication’s needs at a singular point in time. (Of course, it’s also quality. But she passed on good writing because of those other issues.) It created a huge shift in me. Rejection is always a disappointment, but it’s rarely personal. Now that I have more time (so I can treat writing more like a job), I might wade back into these waters.
Rita, in addition to being a brilliant essayist (see blog for proof), please don’t forget that you are an award-winning poet. I still get bogged down by rejection and need these reminders. But my “work” is really my divine play. One shift that has helped is to think of it as a gift, which I’m obliged to pass on. You never know who will need it. I certainly can’t imagine who does…
I always appreciate the comments, but this one really begged for a reply! Bethany
Thank you for these words. I needed to see them.