Yearly Archives: 2012

Reading with Harold Dill

Harold Dill and I will be reading from our work Sunday, October 26 at Books, Etc. in Macedon, NY. Harold (a.k.a. H.B. Dill) and I are two of the founding members of Rochester’s largest poetry organization, Just Poets. If you have not heard his work, I encourage you to make the drive out to Macedon. He has a distinctive poetic voice and does not read publicly often. I will also be reading work that will be new to many of you.

Books, Etc. is a used book store and coffee shop located in the center of Macedon, east of Rochester. Click on the link for more information Books, Etc.

Hope to see you there!


More Winners Announced

The winner of the 2012 American Poetry Journal Book Prize is Richard Garcia for his manuscript, The Other Odyssey. The expected release will be Summer/Fall 2013 by Dream Horse Press.

The winner of the Spring, 2012 Black River Chapbook Competition is Shane McCrae for his manuscript Nonfiction.

Black Lawrence Press will also publish No Girls No Telephones by Rebecca Hazelton and Brittany Cavallaro as well as This is not a sky by Jessica Piazza.


Publishing News

Two announcements about forthcoming books:

The American Poetry Journal has accepted the runner-up in the 2012 American Poetry Journal Book Prize, Fire Road by Barbara Siegel Carlson.  Look for it next summer/fall by Dream Horse Press.

Seth Abramson’s manuscript Thievery has been selected by Dara Wier for the University of Akron 2012 Poetry Prize.


Foothills Publishing Founder’s Home Burns

Last weekend, the home of small press Foothills Publishing founder Michael Czarnecki burned to the ground while he was traveling with his family.

A poetry reading fundraiser will be held at Writers and Books on Sunday, July 22, starting a 2PM and going until around 5PM. If you would like to read as part of this fundraiser, please reply to Wanda Schubmehl ASAP at, and choose which hour is preferred – between 2-3, 3-4, or 4-5. We are suggesting a $10 donation from each reader and a small snack/drink to share (nothing which much be kept really hot or really cold.)
If you cannot attend the fundraiser, here are donation options as per Michael:

Mail to : Michael Czarnecki, PO Box 68, Kanona, NY 14856 or Paypal. Go to Send Money and then put in email address:  Amount, click on Personal tab and then make sure Gift is checked.

If you’d like to get a sense of what Michael is all about, here’s a link to a great article: or visit the Foothills  web site at


Snowbound Chapbook Winner Announced

Contest judge Christopher Buckley has chosen Deborah Flanigan’s manuscript Or, Gone as the 2012 Snowbound Chapbook Contest winner for publication by Tupelo Press. Eighteen finalist and one runner-up, Linda Tomol Pennisi of Syracuse, New York, were also named. Congratulations!


Omnidawn Announces Book Contest Winner

From Omnidawn Publishing: Loom by Sarah Gridley has been chosen by Carl Phillips for the 2011 Open Poetry Book Award. Five finalists were listed alphabetically:
All the Good in the World Starts Now by Anne Cecelia Holmes
A Geography of Syntax by Jill Darling
Midwinter by Matt Reeck
Roadsides by Nik De Dominic
Thought That Nature by Trey Moody

Congratulations to all.


Streetcar Poetry in Poland

The following post is from fellow poet Edyta Poskrobko whom I met in Poland in 2010. Edyta references ticket inspectors. I only encountered one in my 5 weeks in Poland. They simply check to be certain everyone on the streetcar or bus has paid the fare. Most people purchase passes in advance.

Now in Edyta’s words through Radomir as translator:

I had an exhibition with my artists from the Goldenline, in April in the Museum of Technology and Communication in Szczecin. Three antique streetcars were at my disposal. In one of them a film was projected. A combination of music, pictures and words. In the other one, with beautiful wooden seats, I made a poetry installation. The topic was imposed upon us, and it was to be about communication. I came up with an idea of presenting poems-letters. I hung some of them on ropes, and the rest I scattered throughout the whole streetcar in colourful envelopes. The letters were addressed accordingly to the content of the poem inside. Sometimes in a funny way, sometimes seriously, e.g. Citizen Man, Pavement Street, Town. The letters went afterwards to Sieraków, to the gallery „W remoncie” where they were hung on wooden poles.

For the third streetcar I came up with a poetic spectacle. The idea was that I entered the vehicle as a ticket inspector and gave poems-fines to the people watching the spectacle. The fines varied: from quasi-real – for not having a ticket, to peculiar – e.g. for having too many wishes – this one went to the director of the museum where the event was held, and he liked it very much. During the performance I shifted to the role of a postman, as if acknowledging that being a ticket inspector is an unpleasant job, and started giving poems-letters. As usual, Radomir composed and performed himself the music for the spectacle.

Edyta & Radomir


Guest Blog on Poetry Contests

From time to time, guest bloggers will be posting on topics related to poetry and publication. When guests do post, please remember that their words and opinions are their own and may or may not be shared by me. Guest bloggers are not given preferential treatment by Poetic Effect.

Today’s guest blogger is Donna M. Marbach, publisher at Palettes & Quills.

Poetry Contests, Our Community Projects

Poets & Writers magazine in its May/June 2012 issue published an article, that all serious poets should read, “The Risks and Rewards of Writing Contests” the article, by Michael Bourne, makes an interesting point. The contests are a kind of community project. Poets’ reading fees help support the whole concept of poetry by allowing publishers to continue publishing it. Readers, in turn, are exposed to poetry they otherwise would never see. “A community project” is certainly how Palettes & Quills ( sees its own biennial chapbook contest.

Bourne’s extensive article examines what happens with the money from contest fees, suggests how one can determine ethical contests, and poses pros and cons to help readers decide whether entering contests is “worth it.” Though you, as poet, are really the only one who can answer the worth of contests, Bourne notes, “Unless your work is showing up in prestigious literary magazines or you have a connection to the editors at a press that publishes poetry, writing contests probably offer the best way to ensure that your work will at least get a fair reading.”

If contests truly are the best way to have your work read, how can you maximize your chance of winning one?

First and foremost, it is critical that you obtain and read the rules or guidelines for submitting and don’t assume that your poems constitute an exception to the rule. Contest administrators have rules for a reason and (whether you think they are reasonable or not), if you want to have any chance at winning, pay attention to them. If the rules are unclear or you believe you have a justifiable “exception” to something, write the administrator beforehand and get a clarification.

Secondly, know something about the final judge. It is useful to know the background, work and philosophy of whoever has been named the final judge. If you are not familiar with him/her, do some research. While it is not necessary or even desirable that your work be the same or similar to that of the judge, it is useful to know whether or not he/she might like or dislike your style of poetry.

Another tip you may wish to consider is to submit your manuscript as early as you can in the reading process. Avoid a last minute submission if at all possible. So many manuscripts come in right before a deadline that first readers can be overcome by the volume of manuscripts they have to read. You risk having your work being given a less than a positive rating simply because it is the 10th or 12th manuscript the reader has reviewed that day.

Also when entering a contest, in addition to considering the prize itself, take some time to consider who and how much competition you’re going to have. For example, if you enter Prairie Schooner Book Prize for $25, you could win $2,500 and publication (no specific number of books) but you would also be competing with 628 other poets. If you enter Palettes & Quills for $20, your prize is $200 plus 50 books, and you will only be competing against 140 or so other poets. Quite honestly, beginning and emerging poets have much better chances at winning some of the smaller and lesser known contests, thus making them a better bet for getting their work out and about.

Finally, submit a quality manuscript. Not only should your manuscript be clean, legible, and without spelling, typographical or grammatical errors, it should be a single work of some quality. Just as a poem should be more than a jumble of words, a good manuscript should be more than a bunch of poems. There are many ways to order a manuscript – too many to discuss in this essay. Nonetheless, no matter how you do it, you should arrange your poems according to some underlying theory that makes them a cohesive book.

In the end, contests are certainly one way to participate in the sharing of poetry. They provide poets with an opportunity to expose their work and to grow as poets. They allow publishers, especially small, independent publishers an opportunity to publish and disseminate good poetry to more people. And they allow readers, editors, and judges to assist in bringing good poetry into a spotlight that might not exist without them. Contests are indeed “a community project,” one in which we all can compete yet support each other at the same time.

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