War Poetry

No, I’m not talking about the British World War One poets–this time. That’s a subject I’ve been known to focus on.

Today, however, I suggest you check out Dana Goodyear’s Talk of the Town piece in the current New Yorker. Goodyear profiles Brian Turner, 38, a former Army sergeant whose book of poems, Here, Bullet, was recently released by Alice James Books. The book, about a year Turner spent deployed in Iraq, won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award. It’s Turner’s debut collection.

Opportunities for aspiring doctor-poets

This may be a real niche population–medical students who are also poets–but for this group there are two no-cost contests coming up with December 31 deadlines.

First, the William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition, sponsored by the Human Values in Medicine Program of the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine (NEOUCOM), is open to students attending schools of medicine or osteopathy in the United States and Canada. The contest’s final judge is John Stone, M.D., poet and essayist from Emory University School of Medicine. The top three poems will be considered for publication in the Journal of Medical Humanities and will be awarded $300, $200, and $100, respectively. The three winners will also be invited to read their poems at NEOUCOM in April (expenses paid). For more information about this contest (including submission instructions), visit the NEOUCOM website.

And second, “medical undergraduates currently enrolled in accredited U.S. medical schools” may submit poetry for the Baylor College of Medicine’s annual Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry Award. This competition awards the top winner a cash prize of $1,000; the second- and third-prize winner receive $500 and $300, respectively. Note that “All winning poems become the property of the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Student Poetry Award program.” The first-prize poem will also be submitted for possible publication in “a major medical periodical.” For more information, click here.

Attention, Philadelphia Poets!

Guidelines and applications for the 2006 Pew Fellowships in the Arts are now available. This year fellowship applications are welcome in the fields of poetry, performance art, and sculpture and installation. Grants of $50,000 are awarded to selected applicants, who must be “verifiable Pennsylvania residents of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia County for two years or longer immediately prior to the application deadline.” There is NO APPLICATION FEE INDICATED. Click here for more information and application forms.

Needles in a Haystack? Paying Markets for Long Poems

Here’s how this article came to be: on a discussion board a poet mentioned encountering some difficulty trying to locate paying market possibilities for a longer poem. She was finding that most guidelines specified line limits that didn’t accommodate her work, or they didn’t address the question at all.

So the next time I checked all the guidelines for our e-book directory of paying poetry markets (I do recheck each and every source when I revise the e-books; I’ve once again updated and expanded the poetry market directory just this past month), I made a note of publications that seemed particularly welcoming to longer poems, saying as much on their websites.

I posted a couple of times back on the thread to let that poet know about what I was finding. Now all of our own practicing poets can benefit, too.

Artful Dodge
Department of English
College of Wooster
Wooster, OH 44691

Literary journal. Send six poems, maximum. Note that “long poems are encouraged.” Pays $5/page, plus copies.


Gettysburg Review
Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1491

Literary journal where “both short and long poems are of interest, including longer narrative poems.” Pays $2.50/line for poetry. Contributors also receive two copies of the issue containing their work and a one-year subscription.


Massachusetts Review
South College
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003

Literary journal. Submit up to six poems. “There are no restrictions in terms of length, but generally our poems are less than 100 lines.” Pays $.35/line for poetry ($10 minimum) on publication, plus 2 copies.


University of Virginia
PO Box 400145
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4145

Semiannual, student-edited literary journal. Submit no more than five poems. Doesn’t mind long poems “but we aren’t likely to publish any ‘epics.'” Pays $15/page, $25 minimum and $250 maximum. “These amounts are subject to change without notice.” Download a complete printer-friendly version of the guidelines at the site.


New England Review
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753

Literary journal considers “long and short poems.” Submit no more than six poems at a time. Pays $10/page, $20 minimum, plus two copies of the issue in which your work appears.


The Pedestal Magazine

Online literary journal is “open to a wide variety of poetry, from the highly experimental to the traditional formal.” No length restrictions. Pays $30/poem.

And don’t forget the Malahat Review’s biannual Long Poem Contest (it does charge a fee). For details on this competition, open to both Canadian and foreign entrants (and to be held again in 2007), check with the journal.

(This article was originally published in The Practicing Writer Newsletter, October 2005.)