The Literary Nest will turn 6 in 2021. In the past six years, we have published some great poetry and also fiction. Except for a handful of initial pieces, every poem and story published here came from unsolicited submissions. I am so grateful for the poets, writers, and a few visual artists who trusted us with their precious words and images. To keep up with the changing needs of the submitters and our scarce staff, I propose a new journal model.
Beginning in January, the journal will provide almost instant gratification to the poets. The outline of how it will work follows.
- The submissions will be open all through the year.
- If a poem is accepted, we will post it online immediately.
- If your poem doesn’t appear online within a month, please consider it as rejected.
- We will not send out formal acceptance or rejection.
- At the end of the quarter, the journal will announce the publication of the quarterly issue.
- We may hold occasional contests, and each contest will have separate guidelines posted if and when we hold a contest.
The primary motivation behind this policy is that I don’t particularly appreciate sending rejection letters. It is excruciating for me to write one. As a poet, I am also on the receiving end of such letters, and no matter how polite of encouraging it is or how valid the reasoning behind it, it is still a rejection, and there is no way to sugarcoat it.
This new model will be good for the readers as there will be ongoing fresh content and suitable for the poets as they will get a quick turnaround for their submissions.
Feel free to send your feedback either in the email or in the comments below.
Stay tuned for the regular winter issue coming out on December 30th.
The reading and an open mic for poets for change. If you have a poem about positive social change that you would like to share with the world, join us for this reading.
What: Open Poetry Reading
Who: Poets and Poetry Lovers
Why: We care about building a better society by effecting positive social change.
When: Wednesday, September 23, 2 PM (PDT)
Where: online via zoom (RSVP appreciated – firstname.lastname@example.org)
Topic: 100TPC Reading
Time: Sep 23, 2020 02:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 883 9504 2137
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This post will guide you to navigate the submission guidelines for the fall 2020 issue. The theme for the fall issue is ‘fire.’ As always, you are free to interpret the theme the way you seem fit. Fire can be an actual fire, emotional rage, an idea that catches fire, and so on. Just let your imagination guide you.
About the forms that we are looking for this issue are,
Check out the blog articles about these forms on this site and are linked above. Happy writing and submitting.
Poets, if you are agitated, angry, sad, or confused by the current racially charged situation in the USA, speak out. We are all trying to make sense of the killing of George Floyd, the latest black man to die in police custody. While we, as artists, grapple with our own conscience, try to understand how we can bring the change to our own actions and attitudes that will make a small change in the world around us, we can use the one tool at our disposal, our voice.
You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger, yes. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”
― Maya Angelou
Speak up, write, and send us your poems. We will have a separate “Poetic Response” section in the summer issue to be released on June 30th. The details are on the submissions page. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
The month of April is designated as National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate poetry and poets. The tradition was initiated by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Since then many other poetry organizations have followed the tradition. The aim is to
- highlight the extraordinary legacy and ongoing achievement of American poets,
- encourage the reading of poems,
- assist teachers in bringing poetry into their classrooms,
- increase the attention paid to poetry by national and local media,
- encourage increased publication and distribution of poetry books, and
- encourage support for poets and poetry.
There are many ways to celebrate the month and many are listed on the Academy of American Poets website.
To honor the poets and poetry and encourage the writing of serious poetry, I am offering a community page where poets around the world can write a poem-a-day (or as many days as you want to) during the month of April 2020. I will provide a daily prompt for inspiration, but you don’t have to follow the prompt. As an additional incentive, if you write a great sonnet I might feature in the summer issue. The page will be password-protected to retain the future publication rights of the poet. This activity is totally free. There’s no charge to participate. So, sharpen your pencils. You have the whole month of March to do that. Go ahead, sign up and see you in April. To sign up for the activity, leave a comment below and send your email contact to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 30th, so I can send you the password. I will open the page for writing on April 1.
This is a sweet opportunity for readers who also write poetry. You could win cash prizes in addition to the useful poetry anthology signed and inscribed by our esteemed judge Annie Finch. Check the contest guidelines.
Don’t wait. The deadline will arrive faster than you think. If you need inspiration, this article is here to jumpstart your imagination.
The Literary Nest is now a poetry journal. To mark the new year and new beginnings, I am holding a Villanelle contest.
A villanelle is a form closer to my heart because of the song-like quality and repetition that resounds, emphasizing the claim that the poet wants to make. I’ve been partial to lyrical poetry since it allows the mind to roam free and still be rooted in reality. In many cases, a villanelle can tell a story like narrative poetry does. Take, for example, Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art
.” True, that the reader has to imagine and fill in the details, but the story builds up to the graceful climax at the end. Similarly, “The House on the Hil
l” by Edwin Arlington Robinson tells a stark story that a reader can imagine. The tone and the carefully chosen refrains “They are all gone away.” and “There is nothing more to say.” guide the reader to build a story. The graceful closing leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind about the gradual destruction of the people, the decay of the community, who lived there.
So, what story Plath’s “Mad Girl’s Love Song” tell? With its surreal, dreamlike tone and imagery of heaven and hell, the narrative is far from linear. There is a story, however. It’s the story of struggle in the narrator’s mind and the back and forth arguments that lead to the final resolution. During the internal discussion, the story of love and loss unfolds. It turns out that the narrator isn’t a ‘mad girl’ after all. It’s an often-repeated story of the betrayal of the narrator, presumably a young woman, by a deceitful lover. The narrator is left to wonder her sanity, hence the title. Through the waltz-like movements of the thoughts and the poetic lines, the dance of the internal struggle goes on.
The darkness descends when the narrator closes her eyes. The real world comes roaring back when she opens her eyes. The stars waltz in and out of her dreams. She dreams about the lover’s passionate wooing, and she equates it with God’s grace falling over her. As like every other love story, the lover goes away and has no intention of ever returning. “I grow old and forget your name.” She wonders if it was all in her mind. Did she make it all up? In some ways, she did make him up, made up all his desirable qualities because love is born and exists in one’s mind. The physical manifestation of love is not possible without the brain making up the narrative of love. In that realization, one thing is sure: the narrator is not a mad girl, but one who narrates an astute observation about the nature of love.
I hope, readers, that some of you are inspired to narrate your story through the villanelle form and submit. Who knows, you could possibly win. If you don’t remember Annie (as if that’s possible), read her poetry, her poetry textbooks, and join her online poetry groups to exchange information about form and meter. All that information can be found on her website.
As we conclude the fifth year of publication and enter the sixth year, some big changes are taking place. The most significant change is that The Literary Nest will become a journal of poetry only. It took a lot of thought and discussion, but we concluded that it’s the right decision.
To launch of the inaugural issue will be dedicated to the poetic form Villanelle, and we are holding a fabulous contest with the cash prizes and guest judge none other than Annie Finch. Check the submission guidelines here.
You are invited to join the poetry reading in partnership with 100 Thousand Poets for Change.
September 28, 2019. 11 AM.
Oak Meadow Park, Los Gatos, CA.