Welcome to our final post for our Book Links Party 2017 in honor of National Poetry Month. We had hoped to have a few more book links to share this week, but we only received two. Here they are; click on the book covers to link to the publishers’ websites:
Our earlier Book Links Party 2017 post links are below:
Congratulations to each and every author who shared a link with us on getting a book published! Please show your support by buying poetry books, sharing poetry books, listening to poets read their work.
Of course, we hope you wrap up the month with poetry from our contributing authors, too, by checking out our newly-available print editions:
We are pleased to announce the publication of our second anniversary issue. You may purchase a print copy for $8.00 plus shipping from CreateSpace here. The spring issue will also be available on Amazon (including Amazon UK) shortly. If you have Amazon Prime, you won’t have to pay shipping!
For past issues of Gyroscope Review, please visit ourIssues page.
SPECIAL OFFER TO KICK OFF NATIONAL POETRY MONTH
Editor Constance Brewer has a few words to share about a new book by poet Stuart Larner, which is being offered for FREE as a Kindle edition from Amazon UK April 1-5 only (link here). Read on:
Stuart Larner has written an intriguing book of sonnets based around cars in all their glories and imperfections. These sonnets are each accented by illustrations—some pictures, some diagrams. I particularly liked the poem Across The Gap, which was an amusing way to convey how cars start, complete with labeled diagram. Emission Control was another poem that offered one idea on the surface, but moved a deeper turn at the end. There is no part of a car left untouched by Stuart’s poetic wrench. I enjoyed seeing where each poem was going to go next. Fans of Shakespearean sonnets, mechanics, and those with a quest for some knowledge imparted along with their reading should enjoy this book.
About Stuart: Stuart Larner is a chartered psychologist. He has published international articles and poems in magazines and newspapers, as well as in scientific journals. His books include Jack Dawand the Cat and Guile and Spin. With Rosie Larner he co-wrote Hope: Stories from a Women’s Refuge. The Car is Stuart’s most recent book. Find out more at http://stuartlarner.blogspot.com/.
BUT WAIT – THERE’S MORE – WE HAVE A BOOK LINKS PARTY TO GET ROLLING!
Last year for National Poetry Month, we had a book links party on our site in which we showcased book covers for poetry books published within the last year and links to purchase said books. We are planning to do this again for National Poetry Month 2017. If you have had a book published between May 2016 and now, please send us a 300-dpi (minimum) jpg of the cover with a link to the publisher’s listing for the book, and we will post it. At this time, we are limiting our book links party to books that are not self-published. You may email us your book’s information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will not be reviewing these books; these links are a service to our community to help spread the word about poetry.
With one month to go in our current reading period, we’ve received 229 submissions. Of those submissions, we’ve already declined or withdrawn 148. There are 63 pieces in process right this minute, and that will change by the time this post goes live.
Every reading period, we see some of the same trends, not all of them good trends. Since we want you to succeed as poets, want to get submissions that both make us honored to do this work and make you honored to be part of it, we thought it was time to talk about what makes us love our poets.
Submitting work is not always the fun part of being a writer. Okay, maybe it’s never the fun part unless the work is accepted. Acceptances are fun. Acceptances are what we all strive for.
When editors have the opportunity to say yes to a piece, they sometimes do a little dance.
When editors have to say no, for any reason, it makes them a little sad. Much of their sadness, and yours, dear submitters, could be prevented with simple attention to guidelines, details, and a respectful tone.
Let’s start with those guidelines. You’ve read it and heard it over and over: read the guidelines before submitting. It usually goes with the advice to read the publication to which you are submitting. This is really important. If you’ve read Gyroscope Review at all, you will notice that we publish contemporary poetry. We don’t publish work that sounds like it was around in Shelley’s time or harkens back to Beowulf. We seldom publish pieces that rhyme. We’re picky about pieces that have racist or sexist undertones, don’t care for gratuitous sex, aren’t fond of political rants even though those are tempting at this point in history. So, tone and form are something to study.
Our guidelines also point out some housekeeping items. Every reading period, we have someone who sends us a piece that we like, that we accept, and then we get an email that says, oops, someone else already accepted that piece. We take simultaneous submissions, but we want you to do your part. And what is your part? Tell us immediately if a piece you’ve sent us gets accepted elsewhere. We spend a lot of time reading, thinking, and Google-checking work. If we’ve done all that and made a decision only to learn you forgot to tell us that this piece is no longer available, that’s not respecting our time. Respect needs to go both ways.
While we are on the subject of knowing and sharing the status of your own poems, don’t resubmit something we’ve already rejected. Chances are pretty good we’ll remember the piece and wonder what you were thinking.
Another housekeeping item in our guidelines that someone ignores every reading period is when a submission contains more than one poem in a single document. We have our system set up for one poem in document = one submission. Why? Because when we vote on each poem, we need to be able to filter between accepted and declined. If everything is in one document, we can’t do that on a poem-by-poem basis. Therefore, multiple poems in one document means they will automatically be declined. And don’t think that you can submit one big document four times to make up for there being four poems in that document. One poem in one document = one submission. No exceptions.
Now, can we talk about appearance? We know you play with fonts sometimes. They can make writing something fun, shake things up a little but. We do it ourselves – on our own computers for our own amusement. When submitting, stick to a standard Times 12 pt font in basic black. A piece submitted in purple Comic Sans is distracting and takes us out of the piece. We sit there and wonder, why purple? Why Comic Sans? Just don’t.
And now a little bit about respecting our decisions for our own journal. Let’s say you send us a piece and we have to say no. Maybe our rejection has come to you on a bad day and you rapid-fire write a response telling us we don’t know good poetry from a hole in the ground. And then you hit “send.” When we open that email, are we likely to take pity on you and your submission? Nope. Are we likely to think, oh, that poet must be having a bad day and give you a pass on your rudeness? Nope. Are we likely to remember who you are? Oh yes. Yes indeed. And when we see your name in the slush pile in a future reading period we may not read your work with as much enthusiasm as someone else’s.
Now, if you had sent us a different email that asked us if we could give you more feedback on why your poem did not make the cut, would we be likely to answer? Yes, we would. There are hordes of reasons why pieces get rejected on any given day. Maybe we already have lots of pieces in the same vein. Maybe your piece, though wonderful, is better-suited to a different season. Maybe you’ve submitted four pieces, and we’ve already accepted three. Perhaps the subject matter just doesn’t fit with our vision for Gyroscope Review. And maybe the piece honestly could benefit from revision.
If you have a piece that gets rejected and you are going to revise it, give it enough time. A revision done within hours of a rejection is too fast. You know how a good stew slow cooks for hours so all the flavors can blend? Good poetry is like that: it needs simmering time for all the nuances and metaphors to come together into a delicious stew of lines that makes the reader want more. It cannot be rushed. If you try to shortcut revision, you will end up with an inferior piece lacking in essence.
And what about sending us something else if we decline your work? You are welcome to do that, but please take a moment or three to think about why we said no to your poems. Think about whether the next batch of work you want to send us looks just like what we’ve already rejected. Think about whether we are a good fit for you.
We should tell you that we have accepted a piece or two – or, well, 18, if you want exact numbers. We expect to at least triple that by the time we go to press; we expect just as many submissions during the last month as we’ve had up to now. So, you still have a shot if you like Gyroscope Review. Get writing. We’re waiting.
It’s here! Our winter issue is now available – click on the link below the cover photo to read issue 17-1.
We are truly pleased to offer a diverse group of poetic voices and hope you find something that lodges itself in your head or your heart. We welcome poets new to us as well as old friends who never fail to make us think. Enjoy this first issue of 2017.
We are also pleased to announce that, along with our regular submissions which are now open until March 15, we have a themed call for submissions in honor of our April 2017 second anniversary issue:
“Planting Ourselves” – In the moving, transient world, how do you plant yourself? Do you plant yourself in place or are you a tumbleweed who scatters bits over a wide area? Are your roots shallow or deep? Are you a perennial or an annual? Must you be carried to a new place via a power other than your own? Dig deeply. Unearth your own gems.
The themed call for submissions honors our usual guidelines regarding previous publication and number of submissions, among other things. Please read the complete guidelines before any submissions, themed or regular.
Thank you for being part of the Gyroscope Review community of readers, writers, and poetry-lovers. We wish you all the best in this new year.