Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Et Tu, Scriptor?

Et Tu, Scriptor?

Did you know that March 15 has another important meaning, besides it being the day Julius Caesar was assassinated in Rome in 44 BC? The Romans also observed this day as a deadline for settling debts.

It’s a good time for writers to settle their debts also. Especially the ones they have with themselves. I know, I know, you’ve been meaning to submit those poems to various markets, but . . . the weather was nice so you went outside, laundry needed to be done, or there was chocolate at the grocery store you just couldn’t live without. I’m sure procrastination stretches all the way back to our caveman ancestors, when Urgh put off gathering wood that day and had to sit in a cave jumping at the rustling noises in the pitch black night.

As writers we find all kinds of ways to avoid doing what we need to do when it comes to our poetry. We fear rejection, and some fear success. I’m here to pester you. Do not be like Julius Caesar and ignore the warnings deep inside. You can procrastinate yourself out of another year of submitting. Take a deep breath, and circle today on your calendar. Then go into your favorite submissions guide and find some places to submit. Circle them on your calendar. Don’t set the dates too far out. The farther away they are, the easier to ignore them.

Pick the day when you are going to sit down, read your poems, edit your best poems, read submissions guidelines, then submit your best poems. Editors love to see new work. We live for the day when we click on a waiting poem in the slush and are just wowed. It’s what keeps us going, the chance to be the first to spot a gem. That could be you. Settle that debt with yourself, silence the little voice that says you can’t. You can. You will. You must.

When someone tells you your work is good, submit. When you think your poem is ready, submit. When you’ve sculpted your magnum opus, submit. It’s the best way to move forward. Your poems are the Julius Caesars of the world. Get out your assassination knives, carve that poetry into a bloody beauty. We’ll be looking for it in the slush pile when Gyroscope Review reopens for summer submissions on April 1.

 

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About Poetry Resources

Last week on our Instagram account (@gyroscopereview), we ran a series of helpful resource books for poets that people seemed to like quite a lot. We’ve also noticed that writers love blogs that publish interviews with editors – we see them shared around Facebook all the time. Facebook, by the way, offers multiple groups that share and support writers. So, we thought it might be time to run an article that brings a few of these resources together in one place.

We’ll start with the list of poetry resource books we ran on Instagram. Here they are:

Ordinary Genius by Kim Addonizio

the poetry dictionary by John Drury

The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland

The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser

A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver

There are many, many other resources, of course; A Poet’s Glossary by Edward Hirsch comes to mind, a comprehensive volume of poetic forms and terms. There are resources like The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron that, while not specifically for poets, pushes writers and artists of all sorts to rethink their creative work. Find what works for you, for your lifestyle and learning style.

Next, let’s talk about blogs and websites. There are so many helpful options for poets that we know we cannot cover them all. We’ll give you a few of the well-known ones below and you can find more from there.

The Alchemist’s Kitchen – Poetry, Travel, and the Creative Writing Life   – This blog, run by poet Susan Rich, not only has inspiring posts, but also offers the opportunity to buy services for poets (editing, coaching, how to do a grant proposal, etc.) on a sliding fee scale.

The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog – This blog offers poetry prompts and guest bloggers from the poetry community. The post from February 10 discussed preparing for publication.

Poetic Asides – Writer’s Digest poetry editor Robert Lee Brewer runs this blog with poetry prompts, discussions of various poetic forms, and other tidbits for poets.

Poetry Foundation – This website is one of our favorites. Learn about poets and poems of all sorts. You can listen, too. They are also the folks who will send a poem a day to your email inbox. And the Poetry Foundation blog, Harriet, discusses poetry and related news.

Poets & Writers Blogs – Here you can find calls for submission, grant deadlines, workshop information, and more. By the way, the Poets & Writers website has a tab called, “Find Your Community”. It has directories for writers, literary events, MFA programs and more.

Trish Hopkinson – Trish’s blog consistently delivers a series of places to submit, particularly places with no reading fees, publishes interview with editors, and has guest bloggers. (Bonus: a Gyroscope Review editors interview will be available on the site this week.)

For a comprehensive list of blogs by poets and writers, visit the list that New Pages put together here: https://www.newpages.com/writers-resources/poets-and-writers-blogs

There are many groups that offer news and support. Facebook is full of those – simply do a search for poetry groups and you’ll find all sorts of options. Search #poetsofinstagram to find posts related to poetry on Instagram. Search #poetrycommunity on Twitter. Hashtags are quite useful to search for other poets, calls for submission, deadlines, etc. Follow your favorite poetry journals on whatever social media you use the most. And don’t be afraid to ask for group members who might be interested in looking at your work to give feedback.

Finally, if you need a nudge now and then, prompts are posted by many journals and poets, including us. Visit our Instagram feed every Sunday morning to get a new prompt for the week, or look up our hashtags, #promptsforpoets and #GRcultivatepoetry to get the whole list. We repost them on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Remember, resources are abundant. The poetry community is a large and welcoming place. And you, dear poets, all have your place in it.

 

image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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Wrap This Up, Too: Looking Back at 2017

We are now at the end of our first year of offering a print edition of Gyroscope Review and we thought, hey, let’s look at those numbers hanging out in our Submittable account. Just how many submissions did we get in 2017?

The answer: 1,854 submissions from 559 poets arrived on our virtual doorstep during the 2017 calendar year. No wonder our eyeballs need a holiday break. If we look at the percentage of what we accepted, an important bit of information for those of you considering where to send your work, our acceptance rate hovers slightly over 10%.

What about what we published during 2017? Those of you who ordered a copy of Wrap This Up: The 2017 Issues may already know the answer. We published 196 poems from 116 poets, 61 of whom were women. Poets published in our pages came mostly from the United States, but also represented Australia, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Nigeria, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK. One more fun little fact: our youngest published poet, as far as we know, was an 18-year-old high school senior. We have no idea who our oldest poet was; we thought it might be a tad rude to ask. We don’t collect personal statistics  when poets send us work, so these results are gleaned from bios and mailing addresses in our submissions system.

What’s on tap for 2018? We are still working that out. Here’s what we do know: we will continue to offer the best possible work in digital and print formats. We will add a new staff member in January. We will encourage the sharing of poetry far and wide as a reflection of and refuge from this world of ours. And we will keep the dialogue going with everyone who works with us to keep our poetry community strong and welcoming.

Our next issue will be available January 15, 2018. Submissions for the Spring 2018 issue will also open the same day. As always, please review our guidelines before submitting.

Happy New Year from Gyroscope Review.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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The Underground is Coming Up!

Here it is halfway through October and I’m still wondering where summer went. This year seems to have gone swiftly. But one thing Gyroscope Review is doing slowly is adding more options for our readers. Months ago, we were proud to roll out a print edition for those of you that prefer the hands on experience. It involves extra time to create, but we think the end result is worth it.

This month we are also proud of our newest accomplishment. We now have a Kindle edition available for those of you that prefer an electronic version. I know I’m getting overwhelmed by books at my house, and have turned to electronic novels as a way of combating that. Sometimes the Kindle edition formatting leaves much to be desired, but it seems to have worked nicely for Gyroscope Review. Poems may take up two pages where in the print edition it’s only one, but that’s minor in the grand scheme of things. The print edition is in a large format at 8.5 in by 11 in. As always, the PDF version is available for computer, tablet and phone.

We are planning further changes in the upcoming months, including an overhaul of the website to bring you the freshest look and features. Gyroscope Review has come a long way from its humble beginnings, and we are excited about that. We are open to readers’ suggestions. Hit us up on Facebook or Twitter and let us know your thoughts. A future poll is possible. Technology is a wonderful tool.

Meanwhile, we’d like our submitting poets to focus on the upcoming Winter issue. If you’ve got any poems about the ‘underground’, (a loose interpretation) send them our way. Also in our Winter issue we will be trying something different. See if you can spot the change. Hope to read your work soon.

Poetry is not Dead!

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