Tuesday, March 9, 2010

American Poetry Journal and the Dancing Bear Reader

Turns out, homework is hard when you don't have an assignment. You know what I struggled with the most? Coming up with an actual title instead of throwing an obscure movie quote at it.

Anyway, I know the end goal of this project is to understand the journals I want to submit to, so I have a better chance of publication. But wtf does that actually mean I need to do?

Answer: read.

I started with American Poetry Journal. Editor J.P. Dancing Bear made my search for the unknown a bit easier with his personal website dedicated to his own poetry and a comprehensive page of poetry he's drawn to (The Dancing Bear Reader as he calls it). Mostly the typical, run-of-the-mill contemporary stuff by middle-aged white guys and female confessional poets and/or dead women.

So I don't exactly fit the demographic, but perhaps I can squeeze my way in. Considering some my greatest influences have been Sylvia Plath and Elizabeth Bishop, it's a distinct possibility that he'll recognize that. What doesn't work for me, is that my idol was nowhere to be found on the Dancing Bear Reader of the APJ archives. Dean Young, who I aspire to someday outwit with my own words, doesn't appear to be on J.P.'s radar. And though he may look like Barry Manilow's evil twin, he's a beautiful man with some serious verbiage under his belt.

Dancing Bear's own publications are heavy on Greco-Roman mythology. A few of mine might catch his attention with my allusions to classical music, mythologies, and such. Actually, I'm a bit psyched about some of my pieces because the major complaint in class was just that some people didn't catch the titles or works I was alluding to. Makes one wonder if it's an issue of clarity (my fault) or if the audience is just under informed (not my fault). I supposed it lies somewhere in between. I have to make the reference accessible from a general viewpoint.

The skinny on American Poetry Journal? I think it's doable. He wants a clear, easily navigable poem with strong themes. I believe the following have the greatest chance for publication here: Bjorkish, Dissonance, The History of Fashion.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Follow me. I might lead you somewhere you haven't been.