Tag: gyroscope review

Our Fourth Anniversary Issue and the Kickoff of Poets Read

April is not a cruel month around here. We are so excited to offer you our fourth anniversary issue, available on Amazon as either a print edition or a Kindle edition.

You can purchase either edition here: AMAZON PRINT OR KINDLE EDITIONS

And, as always, our PDF version is available here: PDF EDITION

Four years! We can’t quite believe how fast that time has gone by and how much Gyroscope Review has changed over those four years. We began as a digital-only journal, then offered our first print-on-demand issue for Winter 2017. Josh Colwell joined us in 2018 and took over the social media management. We’ve created covers that have included original photos and drawings, and have created special themed issues that drew in new voices. And this fourth anniversary issue includes the results of The Quatrain Project, a giant collaborative poem project we launched on Groundhog Day this year.

While a fourth anniversary issue is a fine way to kick off National Poetry Month, we have more for you. Much more. We are pleased to offer our Poets Read series, beginning today, and will run it throughout the month of April. Every day, our website and our YouTube channel will feature the voice of a poet whose work has appeared in our pages over the past year. On Sundays, we will offer two poets for your enjoyment.

Let us begin with the voice of Carolyn Martin as she reads her poem Evidence from the Fall 2018 issue of Gyroscope Review.

by Carolyn Martin

The fact is I could eat the same meal everyday.
The fact is I do.
The fact is I despise playing games.
The fact is I love playing games I can win.
The fact is Druids knocked on wood to startle trees awake.
The fact is I don’t like trees observing me. 
The fact is behind my façade there’s a scared kid who hopes no one calls her out.
The fact is I hate parties unless I’m in charge.
The fact is the hardest character to impersonate is me.
The fact is I prefer the stark mystery of koans to biblical poetry.
The fact is we will be remembered not for what we build, but for what we destroy.
The fact is people don’t improve much; however, there are exceptions.
The fact is I walk pigeon-toed – although pigeons do it better.
The fact is elbows can’t be licked.
The fact is vertical swirls of wine on the glass’s side are legs
The fact is arteries pulse different tones in the body’s bloody symphony.
The fact is I’d rather play with aquatic humanoids than those carbon-based.
The fact is yetis are more probable than fairies. 
The fact is I could be too good to be true, but I am not.
The fact is bunk is bunk and there’s lots to go around.
The fact is death is impermanent. Ask any perennial.
The fact is 300-pound gorillas in any room are over-rated primates.
The fact is I don’t own pets because I fall in love too hard, too fast.
The fact is beauty’s felt before it’s seen.
The fact is when I can’t climb a mountain, it bends its top toward me. 
The fact is when little is at stake, risk is a breeze.
The fact is on this day something happened somewhere.
The fact is happenstance delights more than plans.
The fact is I’ve filed 97 “Words of the Day” and haven’t sentenced one.
The fact is fact found print in the 15th century, arriving with brainless, 
      foolishness, hodgepodge, and mockery.

About the Poet: From associate professor of English to management trainer to retiree, Carolyn Martin has journeyed from New Jersey through California to Oregon to discover Douglas firs, months of rain, and dry summers. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in publications throughout North America and the UK, and her fourth collection, A Penchant for Masquerades, was just released by Unsolicited Press. Find out more about Carolyn and her publications at www.carolynmartinpoet.com.


A Day in the Life of an Editor

A real editor’s desk

Editors do a lot of things – we read, we respond, we choose things to publish. We even do actual editing – you know, get into someone else’s words and try to make them better with clarification, brevity, grammar, imagery, and all that. But the very first thing on that list, you may have noticed, was to read.

As in read your submissions.

In fact, an alternative title to this post might be a day in the life of a poetry submission.

So, let’s talk about that. What really happens here at Gyroscope Review when a poetry submission graces our submissions pile?

First of all, our system sends an automatic response to the poet so they can see that the submission was successful in getting to us. They can also, if they pay attention, see whether that submission was properly formatted with the correct title. That is because our submission response email is formatted to automatically include the title of the piece as it is entered in the submissions form. If someone sends us a piece with a lovely title like Spring Fog Has Feet Like a Mountain Lion, but they put Gyroscope Review Submission #1 in the title spot on the form, then they will receive an acknowledgement that says we’ve received Gyroscope Review Submission #1 for publication consideration. And we will probably change that title field at some point during our process so that we know which poem we are referring to among ourselves.

Lesson: put your poem’s actual title in the appropriate spot on the submissions form.

Second, we (the editors) all receive an email from Submittable when a submission hits our system. In that email, we see the cover letter the author included. Let’s talk about cover letters for just a moment. Here at Gyroscope Review, we don’t want to know your entire publication history in that cover letter. We don’t want to read through your entire curriculum vitae. All we want to know are two things: how you found us and why you think this particular submission might fit our journal. Stop there. Unless you have a great joke to share. We like good jokes.

Third, we read the piece. There are three of us on the editorial staff and all three of us will read your work. Three is a nice number. There are no tie votes. Sometimes, one of us will vote “maybe” because we are human and we might need to come back to a piece on a day when we are in a better mood. Or aren’t distracted. Or don’t have a headache. “Maybe” means we are aware it’s there, we’ve looked at it, and we have to give it a fair shake later.

Sometimes we find a piece that makes us say, hold on, what is this? That happens when we find something that is several pages long, something that looks like an essay, an excerpt from a book, is an image rather than words, a piece written in a language other than English. These kinds of things don’t belong in our submissions pile. If you have something that is a hybrid and you don’t know if it counts as poetry, contact us via the contact form on our website. We can talk. But, before you do that, read our guidelines. And read them again. Follow them religiously.

Once we make a decision on any given poem, we notify the author of that piece immediately. We don’t wait until the end of our reading period to make decisions. We try to maintain a constant movement of pieces that come in to us so that authors don’t have to wait. This is especially important if the work isn’t a good fit for us; we want poets to be able to get that work out somewhere else where it is a good fit or be able to rework the piece to make it stronger without delay.

As for the pieces we accept, we work hard to make sure the author knows what our terms are with a contract embedded in the acceptance email. We do not publish work without the author acknowledging that contract. We can’t emphasize this point enough. If someone submits work to us and we accept it, we must receive acknowledgment from the author on that acceptance or we will withdraw our offer to publish it.

Everyone who submits to us should check their email on a regular basis. Email is our official means of communication. We will not hunt you down. If we get no response from you regarding an acceptance, we will not use your work and we will withdraw it from our consideration.

By the way, to get all those acceptances chosen is no small thing. We usually have more things we like than room in the upcoming issue, so that means we have to have a group discussion about which remaining pieces are going to make it into the issue at the end of the reading period. We each rank the “yeses” still hoping for a home with us, then see if we’ve agreed on anything that way. There are usually one or two that all three of us have included in our top five. Those get in. Then we talk about the merits of the rest again, make a final team decision, and go with it. This is also the point at which we sometimes ask poets to send us a piece again during another reading period. This happens with pieces we loved that were more specific to another season than the one for the upcoming issue as well as with pieces that we just plain loved but had no more room for.

Once we have all our acceptances done for the upcoming issue, submissions close and we get to work putting the issue together. This is a massive undertaking when we put the poems in the order in which they will appear in our journal, design the cover, write the opening editorial, and format every single poem to fit our publication’s print style. This is also when we tear our hair out if a poem is formatted in an unusual way. Poetry has a lot of leeway for how it can look, but sometimes we have pieces with colored fonts (don’t!) or bold on the entire poem (don’t!) or a nonstandard font (marker felt, papyrus, etc. – don’t!) and weird margins for no good reason. Let your words do their job and leave the font choice and margins to us. Yes, there are exceptions. They are rare. Very rare.

Once we have the issue put together, we send a PDF proof copy to contributors. This happens about one-two weeks before the issue is due to come out. Why do we do this? Because human beings make mistakes. We might be pretty decent editors, but sometimes a letter gets left out of someone’s name, a poem loses its formatting somewhere in the movement from poet to submissions system to print issue, or a bio has an incorrect reference. That proof is the time to catch those little mistakes before they are send out into the world. The response time is very tight for that proof copy due to our publication schedule. If a contributor misses that window, they are out of luck.

After all that, we upload the final version of the issue to our publishing platform. Once we have it formatted there, it goes under another review. The people doing that review are not us; they are people connected with KDP, the publishing arm of Amazon. They make sure that the issue is going to look right in its print version, and help us make that print version available all over the world. It takes a few days for this process to be complete and we always have to make sure we’ve left enough time to correct any issues that crop up at this point. While the issue is going through its review, we get the PDF version uploaded to our website for those who depend on the free version’s availability. Once we get the okay from KDP, we tell the world about the new issue of Gyroscope Review via our website, our social media, and our contributors. And we wipe our brows, have a beer, and get ready for the next reading period. And we keep our fingers crossed that enough of those print editions sell to pay for our website and our submissions system.

Over the past year, we’ve had quite an uptick in the number of submissions sent to us. That means it might take longer than it used to for us to get responses out to submitters – but never more than three months due to the structure of our publication schedule. It means sometimes submissions get closed unexpectedly because we have more than our submissions system can handle. It means that we’ve had to decline really good work because there is no room left in the upcoming issue. All of these things are okay problems to have because it means people know we’re here. It means we’ve produced decent issues that make people want to be a part of what we’re doing here. But it does create challenges that we do our best to resolve with the resources we have.

One of the things we are considering is a change to the way we take submissions. We have, from the beginning, asked for people to submit each poem as an individual submission for ease in voting on each of those submissions. For this next reading period, that process will stand, but we are exploring alternatives in order to keep the ever-expanding number of submissions we get flowing smoothly. We will keep you all informed when we do make a change.

We hope you continue to send us work, read our journal, share us with your friends. The whole point of Gyroscope Review is to share fine contemporary poetry that turns your world – and ours – around. It’s been a fine four years since we’ve released our first issue. The poetry community is just the best. Thank you. All of you.


Announcing our Winter 2019 Issue

We are pleased to offer you the latest issue of Gyroscope Review, a collection of poetry to get you through the rest of the winter. Thirty-eight poets share their sharp, elegant snapshots of wintery landscapes, cozy spaces, important relationships, and those ordinary moments that unexpectedly shift our vision.

We offer both print and Kindle editions available through Amazon HERE.

We also, as always, offer our PDF version right here on our website, available HERE.

Come on back on Groundhog Day for an announcement! We are cooking up plans for both National Poetry Month and our Fourth Anniversary Issue.

In the meantime, submissions for our Spring 2019 (Fourth Anniversary Issue) are now open. Please read our guidelines for more information. Submissions may be sent to us through Submittable until March 15 OR until our spring issue is full.


Gyroscope Review Rings in the New Year

GR Past & Present

Happy 2019! Gyroscope Review had a good year, and hopes our poets and readers did also. We put out our Third Anniversary Issue in the Spring, with a special category, ‘Planting Ourselves’, and had a another special issue, ‘The Crone Edition’, in the Fall of 2018. We also had three handmade art covers for the year, and hope to do more in the future. We continue to offer Gyroscope Review in PDF format, and as a purchasable print edition or Kindle edition for our reader’s convenience. Your support keeps us going forward.

Our submissions numbers for all 2018 editions were 2966 submissions total, including so many for the Crone Issue that it overwhelmed our submissions system. We offer weekly poetry prompts through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and love to see the results appear in our slush pile. We are thankful for the support of all our poets and readers as we move into a new year, and hope to keep growing and bringing you Fine Contemporary Poetry.

So onwards to 2019. Have you set goals for the upcoming year? Submissions goals, number of poems written in a week/month/year goals? Are you wanting to attend a workshop, hone your skills? Maybe put together a book and get it out there, circulating? Let us know on Facebook what you have planned for 2019.

There are all sorts of things out there to keep your poetry production humming along. Join a critique group, it thickens your skin and teaches perspective. Learn new forms. Work with a partner (or two or three) and co-write poems. It’s a lot of fun, and the poems take twists and turns you never expected. Co-writing, I learned how to do an Abecedarian, American Sentences, Couplets, as well as writing alternating lines, stanzas, and poems that respond to partner poems.

You political poets out there, keep writing. We need your take on things now more than ever. We don’t know where 2019 is taking us, but I suspect it will be a wild ride. Poetry grounds us, poetry motivates us. Poetry keeps us real. Go forth, create, and share with the world. Gyroscope Review is a place to get your ideas before the public. Online, print, podcast and video, let’s do what poets do best. Raise our voices and be heard.