Friday, 23 December 2011

Merry Christmas and new poetic year

The Christmas meeting now far behind and Christmas upon us. (Link here to the pie I usually make for it and another winter poem).

So we want to wish you a wonderful festive time and here is winter haiku :

Frost and ice outside
All the presents now opened
Inside, hope and warmth

By Ian f.

Have a great time.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Gearing up for the Guild

Currently the Preston Poets Society are working on a book of poetry, which will contain  many different styles and many different poets. This is being produced for next year which is the Preston Guild year. Preston Guild (for anyone unfamiliar) is a celebration which is now held every 20 years and has been held since 833 years ago. In 1179 Preston was granted a Guild Merchant by Henry II. The Guild controlled trade in the town and so the list of members had to be updated from time to time. This was also the time for celebration.
Although later on there was free trade in the town the Guild survived because of the social occasion which continues to this day or in fact next year! I will let you know when there is an update on the book, also more details on the Guild and events etc can be found here.

Also I have written up a little article on my other blog about Preston being European City of Sport next year. This along with my running poem that I had already posted can be found here.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Remembrance Day

Here is a poem by Robert W Service who was born in Preston. It is from his book called Rhymes from a Red Cross Man.    It was written in memory of his brother who was killed in action in France in 1916.

Our Hero by Robert W Service

"Flowers, only flowers — bring me dainty posies,
Blossoms for forgetfulness," that was all he said;
So we sacked our gardens, violets and roses,
Lilies white and bluebells laid we on his bed.
Soft his pale hands touched them, tenderly caressing;
Soft into his tired eyes came a little light;
Such a wistful love-look, gentle as a blessing;
There amid the flowers waited he the night.

"I would have you raise me; I can see the West then:
I would see the sun set once before I go."
So he lay a-gazing, seemed to be at rest then,
Quiet as a spirit in the golden glow.
So he lay a-watching rosy castles crumbling,
Moats of blinding amber, bastions of flame,
Rugged rifts of opal, crimson turrets tumbling;
So he lay a-dreaming till the shadows came.

"Open wide the window; there's a lark a-singing;
There's a glad lark singing in the evening sky.
How it's wild with rapture, radiantly winging:
Oh it's good to hear that when one has to die.
I am horror-haunted from the hell they found me;
I am battle-broken, all I want is rest.
Ah! It's good to die so, blossoms all around me,
And a kind lark singing in the golden West.

"Flowers, song and sunshine, just one thing is wanting,
Just the happy laughter of a little child."
So we brought our dearest, Doris all-enchanting;
Tenderly he kissed her; radiant he smiled.
"In the golden peace-time you will tell the story
How for you and yours, sweet, bitter deaths were ours. . . .
God bless little children!" So he passed to glory,
So we left him sleeping, still amid the flow'rs.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Autumn Newsletter & New publications and website

The latest Newsletter is available to download. It includes poems and articles from the poetry trip and Preston FM. It can be downloaded here.

Terry Quinn has had poems published in quite a few poetry magazines including : Acumen, Dawntreader ... Purple Patch and Presence.
Martin Domleo
has launched his own website where you can read some poems, descriptions on his book and about himself:

Friday, 15 April 2011

Publications galore!

Quickly first off the new newsletter is available to read here and also the usual place on the right hand side. It includes details about publications from various members of the society. I will quickly list here , as you can read more details in the newsletter!

Terry has had poems published in Orbis, Equinox and The Interpreter's House

Dorothy has recently created a website which you can find here which includes details about her books including the new one

Martin has published a new collection of poetry called Decelerations (published
by Lapwing ISBN 978-1-90727-667-5)

Good to see all these publications and more details can be found in the newsletter!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Getting Published - Part 3

Part 3 of the talk given by Terry Quinn

A non-exhaustive list of magazines,e-magazines and competitions with some comments. Which may give you an idea of places you can get published -editor


Acumen: No advice on this one – but it has to be good. Around 10,000- 15,000 poems a year; and can only publish a hundred and fifty at the most; so the chances of rejection are high. But then this applies to most magazines.
When reading poetry I look for a poem that says something which is not trivial, not obvious, doesn't use outworn images or diction, and which works at many levels simultaneously. I don't accept e-mail submissions, but will send rejections, acceptances, proofs and other communications via email overseas to dispense with IRCs and other international postage.
- quote from Editor. Two weeks for reply

Artemis: women’s poetry

Dawntreader: The Dawntreader is a quarterly 56 page perfect bound literary publicaton with an international readership which gives the opportunity to let the imagination run free. The Dawntreader specialises in myth, legend; in the landscape, nature; spirituality and love; the mystic, the environment

Envoi: well produced magazine now based in Wales. We generally try to select a small group of poems that represent a poet’s voice, but will also take individual poems. Send up to six. 10 weeks for reply

Iota: used to be the best of the small presses but Bob Mee and Janet Murch have given up and it’s gone to the University of Gloucester. Now it’s thick and full of wordy articles ( in my opinion ). But - submissions are judged anonymously. Your name should not appear on the poetry. Include a separate sheet with your name, address and a full list of poems submitted. 5 months for reply

Magma: One of the main magazines in shops. Poems may be sent by email or post – both receive equal consideration. Contribution deadlines for the three issues are the end of February, mid-July and the end of October. Poems are considered for one issue only. As Magma receives a very large number of poems ( 30,000), they cannot consider more than 6 poems per poet per issue. 2 weeks for reply

Mslexia: good reputation.

North: Try if you like but it must receive 30,000 a year and publish 150. 3 months for reply.

OBSESSED WITH PIPEWORK is a quarterly magazine of new highwire poetry "to surprise and delight". Started in 1997, it is now in its twelfth year and continues to attract submissions of first-class poems from both established poets and absolute beginners from all parts of the English-speaking world. Has a reputation for publishing poets for the first time.

Orbis: Carole Baldock from the Wirral. When Carole says 4 poems she means four poems. When work is returned with an invite for further submissions, please do not interpret ‘in due course’ as ‘by return of post’.
And with email, it does not mean send more within the next half hour.
Good magazine where you can vote for Readers Award. 1 month reply

Purple Patch: What can I say about PP. Probably launched more poets than any other magazine. Geoff Stevens ( the editor ) was described in the Guardian as a National Treasure. One week reply.

Rialto: the one that annoys me the most. It has Arts Council grants. It has 4 staff and it’s response time is usually a huge 6 months.

Stand: Only North and Stand magazines used to be in Waterstones. It has an unreadable website. Stand first appeared in 1952 when Jon Silkin used his £5 redundancy money, received after trying to organise some of his fellow manual workers, to found a magazine which would 'Stand' against injustice and oppression, and 'Stand' for the role that the arts, poetry and fiction in particular, could and should play in that fight. If that was still the case I would be shouting its praises. On the one occasion I submitted a poem about 8 years ago it took a year to reply. I’m sure it’s better now.


Emagazines are online poetry magazines, usually in the form of a website. The internet has become a major source in the publishing of poetry. While there are many unmediated sites around, the following list is of Emagazines that follow an editorial policy that is similar to that of traditional printed poetry magazines. In some cases there will be both a printed and online version of the same magazine. It is advisable to read the submission guidelines for each site regarding layout and format of your work, before sending it to the E-Magazine.

Penniless Press has now gone online only.

Poetic Hours is an online magazine for amateur poets who want to see their work published to aid charity. It is based in England but has supporters all over the world. Enter the site to read the magazine and find out how to contribute.

Ancient Heart is based in Sydney – just to give an example of how the web has made publishing a global village. I’ve never tried it but here are the submission guidelines.

Leave a comment on the latest blog post/poem containing one poem, your pen name, home town, country and optional email address. In due course your poem may or may not appear on the blog/mag. I will not enter into any correspondence or acknowledge receipt of submissions or feel obliged to answer any other queries. I just want to get as many great poems as possible out there.

There are hundreds of competitions and too many to mention but try looking in the following places:


Writing Magazine ( new subscriber’s comp and monthly competitions )

Womens Own

The Oldie

People’s Friend

New Statesman

I’m not going to consider books. It is unlikely you will be considered for a book publication – especially now – until you have a substantial body of work behind you in national poetry magazines. Which I would estimate to be around 50/60 poems published in magazines which, as a guideline, are mentioned in the National Poetry Library or the Poetry Society lists. Unless you went to school/university with the publisher.


Read contemporary poetry


Keep submitting

Get used to being rejected – easier said than done.

Read the guidelines

Go on a writing course – the best are run by the Arvon Foundation. You’ll get feedback from skilled poets and make lots of contacts and have a great time. £450 but you might be ok for grant.

And remember Write!

Thankyou Terry Quinn for the talk you did and for allowing me to put this on the website. I hope it is as helpful to you all as to me.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Getting Published - Part 2

Part 2 of the talk given by Terry Quinn

Pointers about Submitting

Where and how

You can be published in a range of places including: Poetry Magazines/Parish magazines/neighbourhood magazines/emagazines/vanity press ( not just books but anthologies)/competitions/local publishers like Universities e.g. Ceth Anthology/Litfest, Word Soup do an Anthology. (Editor: Poetry magazines website maybe of some use)


Read the style of the magazine/comps/know the name of the editor. I once called the editor of a magazine Pat instead of Patricia and got a stinging letter back.

Length of the poem:

Depends on the magazine but if an editor has 500 poems and has room to print 50 then short is better. There are Magazines dedicated to long poems.


A vast majority of submitted poems are about love/death – so they have to be exceptional to catch the eye of an editor.


The Internet has greatly expanded the market for getting your work published. Web sites like the Poetry Kit will list magazines in countries such as America and Australia.

Do not....

Do not Write an intro telling the Editor that they have the first chance to take these poems

Do not give life story

Do not say your friends and family think the poems are wonderful

Do not write back to editors pointing out their mistakes


Do keep records or a database to keep track of where you have sent poems. You may think you will never forget that acceptance from your favourite magazine. You will. If you’re juggling with anything over 50 poems ( my guess ) then you will mix up dates and where you have sent them. I’ve come across a database called Duotrope , it’s available from the internet. I use Access to keep mine up to date. (Editor: of course there is also Open Office available which is free)


Presentation of your poems is of major importance, and it is advised that you spend some time doing this. The following points, although not true for every magazine, are intended as general guidelines you should check before submitting your work:

• Make sure that your poems are typewritten on a separate sheet and that they look clean and presentable

• Do not send more than six poems unless the publication asks you to do this

• Include a short and polite covering letter to the editor

• Always be sure to send a stamped addressed envelope with your poems, for the editor/s to make their reply

• Always keep your own copies of poems in case the ones you send go missing

• It is usual to have to wait for a period of time to get a response.
Depending on the magazine, the Editor/s may be inundated with submissions and need time to get through this

• It is unlikely that you will be paid in money for having your poems published, but it is usual to at least receive a free copy of the magazine. It is not usual to have to pay yourself to have your work published

• Do not use Jazzy fonts

• Do not indiscriminately centre-justifie poems

• Do not send simultaneous entries

• Check restrictions on line length

• Check whether your name needs to be on each sheet

• Email – check whether the poem needs to be in the body of the email or as an attachment

Part 3 next week about specific poetry magazines

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Getting Published - Part 1

At the start of the year Terry Quinn gave a talk about Getting Published at one of the Poetry Society meetings. He has kindly sent me a copy so I can put it on the blog along with links etc, and so it will appear here over the next few weeks.


In the Preston Arts Festival 2010 Alan Dent gave a publisher’s view of receiving submissions for publication. These notes are written from the viewpoint of the poet thinking of submitting work.

1). Read contemporary poetry – it’s no good submitting rhyming poetry about flowers in the park to an experimental poetry magazine.

2). Buy poetry magazines or get your library to subscribe or get an idea of the content from the internet.

3). Read magazines like Writing Magazine

4). The National Poetry Library ( Morpeth and National on the South Bank, Scottish in Edinburgh and Welsh in Aberystwyth ) are interesting to visit and are in wonderful places. (Note by Editor :Also poetryireland maybe of interest for ROI and NI)

The Bad News

Acceptance to rejection of 1 in 10 is a good ratio

The Good News is that there are hundreds of ways to get published – it just depends what you want.

So what do you want from being Published?
Tim Love writes ( check his website it’s very good ):

Money - Unless you regularly write articles, you won't get much, but it's nice to get paid for something you enjoy doing (especially if you get paid £20 for a haiku). I still treasure the £1 cheque I once got from the BBC.

• Fame - It's easy to be a big fish in the little pool of poetry or short stories

• Participation - Ever read something and thought "I could have done that"? Going from being a reader to a writer is a big leap, one you've already made. The next step is to become part of the writing community. It's a big step, like progressing from taking music lessons to becoming a public "performer". By going to workshops and sharing your work you're already well on the way to being a public performer. Now it's time to take the next step and get published.

• Improving your writing - Even if you're just writing for your own enjoyment, getting published can help. Writing without publishing is a bit like talking to yourself.

o Angela Carter thought the writing process incomplete until the piece was published.

o Poet Don Paterson wrote that "the poem begins with inspiration and ends in publication, not just completion"

o Jane Holland (poet and editor) wrote in April 2008 that "people learn most about writing poetry from actually seeing their work in print. ... Contrary to popular belief, new writers don't learn as much from sitting in workshops ... To see a new poem in print is the best way to learn, because you are far more likely to spot your mistakes once a poem is set against others in a public context, and suddenly realise how to fix them"

Because if you don't, others worse than you will!

(You can continune reading Tim's article here)

To Tim nowadays publication is an integral part of the writing process. The only unpublishable pieces are those that aren't good enough - though some are harder to publish than others

Define for whom you are writing.

Is it your religion?
For people at work?
The World?

(editor: An important thought. As stated at the start of this article "it’s no good /em> submitting rhyming poetry about flowers in the park to an experimental poetry magazine").

So here feels a good place to end Part 1. A breather so you can think about why you would want to be published and who for. Part 2 (next week) continues with pointers about submitting

Monday, 21 March 2011

Happy World Poetry Day!

A good time to read and write :)
Anyone can write (or read :)) a poem... in fact it seems your browser can too! There is a (BBC) Dylan Thomas random poem generator . Ok maybe it isn't really the browser...

Anyway if you want to read a poem from in English and German that I have put on my other blog especially for World Poetry Day then you can follow this link.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Winter Newsletter

The latest copy of the newsletter is now available. You can find it on the right hand side or by clicking on this link. You will also notice that the calendar for 2011 has now been published, showing the line up for the year.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Estonia #20

A Poet's dream is impossible
the dream
the ultimate task

to describe something
so perfectly

but yet never achieving

it's like writing about
the snow
every word
every letter
is a step away from that blank page across
the landscape

by ian (train from Rakke)

photo by Ian in Tartu Toomem├Ągi 2010