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Joanne the Poet - The Poetry of Joanne M. Clarkson

Publishing in Twenty-Sixteen


Writing poetry is the fun part. Attempting publication can seem over-whelming, risky and time-consuming.  But worth it for a number of reasons.  In 2016, I am making ‘sending out my poems’ a positive component of my poetry practice.  Here is my plan:

  1. Daily affirmation. For me, setting the right spirit makes a huge difference. My affirmation is: “I find so much joy in writing my poems, I am confident others find equal pleasure in experiencing them.”
  2. For me, poetry is its own language. In order to stay fluent, I need to practice daily. I read poetry faithfully. I check new poetry books out of the library, keep notes on poets who inspire me, pick historical poets and re-experience them.
  3. I keep a white board with deadlines for poetry submissions and keep records of where I submit and the result.
  4. Searching for places to publish. I use Poets and Writers, Duotrope, New Letters and sources that appear in my email and on FB to find places where I might want to submit. I spend at least one day a week hunting for and updating possible publication venues.
  5. I keep a list of creative ways to showcase my poems – some unconventional routes.
  6. Each time I put together a submission, I review and re-work my poems to be sure they are the best they can be. HOWEVER, I do not get bogged down in making them perfect. They are the best they can be for now.
  7. I believe in this work. I know that writing poetry is good for me. It contributes to my health and growth.
  8. Attempting publication is an incentive, a reason to complete poetry projects and find inspiration. It is part of my practice but not my entire practice. I see it as a tool not as a measure or pressure point.
  9. I work with other poets I trust and admire to share information about publication ideas.
  10. I am not afraid to admit to others both when something doesn’t work – and when it does. I know that what I am supposed to publish will find its place.


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