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DIY Poetry Publishing Cooperative

June 12, 2007

Blood Pudding Press: Call for submissions

The word from Juliet Cook of Blood Pudding Press:
Blood Pudding is now recruiting poetry for a special project--a one-off, limited-edition, hand-designed poetry magazine, which will include poems by approximately fifteen to thirty contributors.

Each contributor will receive a one-of-a-kind copy of the issue—and the issue will be gorgeous in its own warped way. If you think you might wish to have your material represented therein, please peruse the guidelines below.

Submissions will be accepted from now until September 7. The magazine will be published in October. I will be announcing its title closer to that time.

Please submit 3-6 poems either in the body of an email OR as an attached Word Document OR both, however you see fit. The subject line of your email should include the words ‘poetry submission’. The body of the email should include a small bio. Cover letter doodad is optional; please do feel free to introduce yourself to me if so inclined, but also feel free to be brief and just submit the poetry and bio.

Submissions should be sent via email to JulietX [at] Bust [dot] com.

Those who submit will hear back from me by the end of the reading period and sometimes sooner. If it’s September 17 and you have still not heard back from me, then you may most certainly feel free to query.

Simultaneous submissions are perfectly acceptable; just let me know promptly if a piece you submitted to me has been accepted elsewhere. I do not desire material that has been previously published in other literary magazines, but stuff that’s been posted to personal blogs is fine.

I will consider whatever is sent to me, but this will be a smallish publication, so I will have to turn down some quality work. To give you a closer idea of the aesthetic I am seeking for this project, here are some additional notes to absorb.

Special interests:

--poetry by women, sinister cream puffs, alien witches, and stylish misfits

-poetry that is well-crafted and sophisticated in its own peculiar way

-poetry that in some way expresses a monstrous feminine, tainted confectionery, and/or consumption-oriented thematic

-poetry that flirts with the horrific and/or the erotic without being genre-esque

-poetry that is darkly and/or lushly imagistic or atmospheric (textural, tonal, musical, sensual, trance-inducing, maybe even nausea-inducing)

-poetry that is experimental without being nonsensical; poetry that abides by its own logic

-poetry that is fiendishly playful without being just plain silly; I prefer fancy over plain, ornate over plainspoken, figurative over literal, juicy over dry, emotional over intellectual, pomo or post-pomo over mainstream accessible; but mostly, I prefer provocative and scarily edible

-hybrids, collaborations, delectable exceptions, and volatile surprises

I eagerly await your doomishly delicious offerings.

(Please do feel free to repost this and/or link to it on your blog or pass it along to your poet friends. Please also feel free to email me any pertinent questions/comments. Thank you.)

Check out the Blood Pudding Etsy shop, linked in the sidebar.



  • Book Review of, The Lost American: From Exile To Freedom

    Overall, this collection paints glimpses of the lonely people in life with tender, compassionate finger strokes and entices a reader to peruse them again. It allows the reader a full experience of life on the road and the ups and downs of everyday life. It’s a very rich and satisfying collection.
    Reviewed by Sheri Harper

    The Lost American
    By Michael Lee Johnson
    ISBN: 978-0-595-46091-5
    Author’s Website: http://poetryman.mysite.com/
    Author’s Publisher Sites:
    Email: promomanusa@gmail.com

    Michael Lee Johnson’s collection of poems titled The Lost American, From Exile to Freedom are poems about being an unsettled observer of the world. His subject matter delves first into the mind of a Vietnam War protestor and resulting loss and on other topics including cold, love, his home in Indiana, characters he encounters, wandering and mysticism. The collection is titled well and you can perhaps easily see his overall theme of loneliness that is conveyed with a consistent and thoughtful voice. Many of his poems in the collection have been published in literary magazine around the world.

    When Johnson discusses being a Vietnam War protestor his poems range from anger, grief, loneliness and reflect that even though he chose to leave, he was unable to leave his concerns about the war behind. An example from “Conformity Owns No Estate”:
    …Conformity rules the lives of men,
    a dressed up world of dreams…
    People before me tread on the sands,
    sharing the beaches of numbers…

    The first poem of the collection “Skinny Indiana Boy” is a summary of his reaction to leaving Indiana and then the later pardon. “Wing Tipped and Resisting” is a dirge for who he could have been if not for the war. “If I Were Young Again” is a beautiful poem about life and how life can change one. In many ways I could see how these years created the restless wanderer that grows as his poetry develops.

    His poems of loss are very touching and powerful. He includes two that deal with the deaths of his parents, “Speaking of Death—Mother” and “Dad Died”. My favorite of this group is “Jesus Knelt in Grief Over the Death of Children” because you feel the sadness at picture of “Jesus writing messages”:

    …I am the messenger of the morning sun
    the prayer book between the morning dew,
    the playfields of your daily adventures…

    Touching also is his acknowledgement of social problems such as “Battered Behind Dark Glasses” where what looks like surgery goes much deeper and in “Bipolar” and in “I Work Myself Like Planet Earth” which is about dealing with drug abuse. Also “Poems of Sinners and Saints” is the most questioning about good and bad and how they relate to our own choices.

    In a much happier vein are some of his experiences along the road and love poems. My favorite of his love poems tells about the fragile relationship between Debbie and Dan who are just beginning to love each other in “Debbie Knows The Wind” where their preparations for meeting which portrays their uncertainties, eventually:
    …they’re already calling each other sweetheart
    but the wind is strong and the currents weeping
    could carry them in different directions.

    and a suitably airy ending. Most of the love poems are titled after the woman and grow in complexity and understanding over the years.

    Cold shows up in many of his poems “Edmonton Streets”, “40 Below”, “Bread Crumbs for Starving Birds #1 &2”,”Leaves in December” and “April You Have Fooled Me Before” which contain many rich descriptions including “I feel like and ice cube insulated”, “wind dancers/move your frigid”, “peeling back layers/of pink skin” so that I really begin to understand and see the experience of living far in the north.

    Some interesting characters are portrayed also including Linda who lives “In This Place, Poverty Falls” and her “dreary steps” to just survive, “Crazy Old Jack” who is an “entrepreneur of sleep” and “Leroy, His Love Affair” with Bessie Mae and whose bedroom is now “padlocked, stale/and stagnant with mildew”. These are people encountered during travel, where the poet is perhaps the “Boat in a Pond” that is “abandoned/without oars”, who will “catch up with the imagery/when I get back home” as described in “Catch on the Fly”.

    The most mystical in the collection is “A Gift of Desert Sand” which starts like a love poem but has an openness that could apply to anyone. Overall, this collection paints glimpses of the lonely people in life with tender, compassionate finger strokes and entices a reader to peruse them again. It allows the reader a full experience of life on the road and the ups and downs of everyday life. It’s a very rich and satisfying collection.

    About the reviewer: Sheri Fresonke Harper is a poet and writer. She's been published in many small journals and is working on her second science fiction novel. See www.sfharper.com

    By Blogger Michael Lee Johnson, at 5:08 AM  

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