Two great things in my mailbox

I’ve been meaning to tell you that I’m thrilled to be in the latest issue of Naugatuck River Review, whose focus is on narrative poetry. I didn’t think I wrote a lot of narrative poems, generally, so it was fun to sift through and identify some that I did think were telling a story.

I don’t usually write with a particular publication in mind, but in this case, I may have — its distinct focus was something I thought about for a few months, and I think it did encourage me to write more along those lines for a while. Encouragement to stretch is always great, and I am honored to be included in this fine publication — and am enjoying reading what all my “page neighbors” wrote.

One great thing about paper is that it allows you to see connections between different poems in a way that I’m not sure you can on screen. That is, editors take the random material that comes in and arrange it in such a way that it seems as if certain poems were made to play off one another. It’s not the same thing, I don’t think, if I can click around and read whatever I want.

I know there is order, too, in a lot of digital publications, and the intention that poems play off each other. But my online reading is fairly scattershot, whereas when I have a print publication in my hands, I feel compelled to read it from front to back, and thus, to follow the progression that the editor has created for me. It seems like every day brings news of another print literary journal going online-only, but I hope paper won’t die just yet — and not just because it’s satisfying to put my author’s copy on an actual bookshelf.

I also got a self-addressed, stamped postcard confirming that my chapbook entry was received. I sent it in June and had been sweating it: “Did they not get it? Should I email them? No, no … I should play it cool. Right?” I always feel like I’m throwing these things into a black hole — because I have entered several chapbook contests but have yet to win one — so it’s a relief to know that at least this one got into the hands of an actual person.

Wishing you good mail, too …

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3 thoughts on “Two great things in my mailbox

  1. Hooray! Congratulations, Marilyn, on your Naugatuck River Review publication. My stuff keeps getting rejected there. I’m still trying; I’m so glad to hear yours made it! (Will we get to read it at some point, please?)

    I sure hear you about print journals. I give them much more focused attention, too.

    • Thanks, Jennifer! My frequent rejecter os Bellevue Literary Review. I haven’t tried it in quite a while. Do you eventually post poems that have been published? If so, how long do you wait after publication? I know I have the right to do so, but I haven’t done it yet.

  2. Congratulations! Your work in print! Enjoy the thrill.

    I, too, hate the idea that “in print” might likely become a misnomer like “album.” I will miss books for many reasons, but you touched on one of the most important for me. I agree that pages, perhaps several fore and aft, may have relationships that are best explored by thumbing through. I often don’t know what I am thinking about something I am reading until I put it in context with something else.

    I feel the same about using books for research. I spend hours and hours a day on a computer, but it’s only one toolbox for me. I don’t wish it to be *all*. I research with several books open at once. At the moment I have six open across my desk, and four of them were published before 1947. A Kindle cannot do that for me. I know I am in a minority. I know the majority wins the retail race. I still hate that my work style is becoming anachronistic.

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