Denise R. Weuve

Ink Damage and Other Permanent Stains

Archive for the tag “poets”

Day 22 ~ Jericho Brown

Have you read New Testament?  No?!?  Well today’s Poet Spotlight was going to feature Jericho Brown, I was going to explain how he was a student of Claudia Rankine, and she recommended I read him.  How I am grateful she did, and I was going to praise him.  Then this morning after I wrote the praise and  lead you to the poems “Elegy”  and “Heart Condition” this was in my newsfeed from poetry foundation.  Read this instead, The Contract so much better than anything I could have said and you will fall in love with Jericho because of his love for poetry that will make you jealous that you have never said any of this to poetry, when it has done so much for you.  You can also read the aforementioned poems, because you will need more.

Or watch him here.

Submitting Is the Hardest Thing to Do. . .In Poetry!



Let’s face it, it is difficult to decide to submit your work, your poems, your babies out there to a careless, heartless, ruthless editor.  And what is worse is that ugly NO that comes back more often than not.

Here’s the thing, if you don’t let your poems out there into the world, no one will know how great you are, except you, and maybe a few friends.  To be honest, editors are not (normally) careless, heartless, or ruthless.  Most editors are dying for really good work to hit their inbox, and you could be hiding that poem that will rock their world from them.  I cannot begin to fathom how many magazines and journals are out there waiting for work.  Duotrope (great tool, but does cost $50 a year-worth it if you are going to really use it) might be able to help you a bit, or Poets & Writers for that matter, but I can talk about a few places that I think would be kind to you as you start or continue your journey into the publication world.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 6.58.31 PMLet me start with the guy that I hands down think is the nicest EVER, Russell Streur, and his journal The Camel Saloon.  He has guidelines to follow as all of these will have, but he will also write you back quickly whether it is an acceptance or a rejection.  He also, on rare occasion offers information on new journals.  Big bonus he has a great list of other magazine to check out on the web.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 7.02.56 PMIs your writing a bit dark, maybe twisted, or just simply strange.  Carnival Literary Magazine wants YOU and your work.  Currently the editors are Shannon and Jose Miguel.  I find the work on these pages refreshing and risk taking.  Nothing good happens without risk.

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Next up Gutter Eloquence, founded and edited by Jack T. Marlowe.  This is a quarterly magazine ran by a darn good poet.  the work here is relevant, gritty, hard truths with powerful imagery, more often than not.  Send him work (when not on hiatus) that knock the proverbial socks off.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 7.11.07 PMWe all write about heart ache and heart-break, and Napalm and Novocain wants to hear all about it, in fresh imagery and poems that knock the wind out of the reader.  What is great about this press is Amy Huffman actually has several online magazines catering to different styles of poetry and flash fiction.  Write Haikus? There’s a place for you.  Write nature poems?  She’s got that covered too, and so much more.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 7.13.54 PMEunoia Review has a dear place in my heart, because when Kevin says he wants to help the new writer find a place, he means it.  This is the place that first accepted my work, over two years ago.  And Kevin continues to give new writers a place to call home.  Send to him, and he will respond with lightening speed.  Always kind, even when it’s a no.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 7.24.17 PMNice intelligent people, that love poetry, are not as hard to find as you would imagine.  Take for example Ariana Den Bleyker, who genuinely wants to bring new work to the public.  She does so through her press, and this journal, Emerge Literary Journal.  I should disclose that her New York Press, ELJ, is publishing my debut collection in October of this year.  How much more must I say to prove how nice editors can be?


Before you go off and start sending your work out, still make sure you read the magazines, and their guidelines.  The  quickest way to be rejected is to ignore guidelines.  Most (editors) won’t even read your work if you fail to follow those rules set by the magazines.

Happy Poeting Cats and Kittens.



All pictures from said magazine’s Websites

How to Submit Poetry for the Novice & Not So Novice Poets

Poetry is Hard

A lot of sites talk about Writers in a chunk, as though we all fall into the same category.  And we do to an extent, but poets do have a slightly different road to travel.  People do not understand how much time it takes to write a poem, to critique, to revise, to rewrite, to rewrite, to rewrite. Many of us publish a poem knowing it will never be done to our liking, and others publish a poem and keep editing even after its publication.  All this to say, for the purpose of this blog I am only talking to Poets!

When getting ready to submit your work for publication, I would first be sure that there are no grammatical, punctuation or spelling mistake that are not intended for the poem.  If they are there, it gives the editor a bad impression of the writer.  As an editor, I feel like, “they couldn’t even take time to proof-read  the work?”  Then Investigate the magazine and read some (we know you cannot read all) of the work that appears on/in its pages.  I cannot tell you how often I shake my head, when the magazine I edit for, that only takes prose poems, gets regular left aligned poems.  It is a disrespectful move that immediately tells the editor(s) that you not only did not read the magazine but also ignored the guidelines.

poets-corner-colorThe basics of formatting:

  • single spaced
  • spacing between lines indicates a new stanza
  • aligned left
  • if you choose to align differently make it purposeful
  • note odd spacing is difficult for editors if you do choose to use a non traditional align left space with tab bar, it makes life easier for the editor(s)
  • one inch margins (many computers have 1.25″ margin, it is a simple fix)
    • I do not think this is a big deal for editors, but good to know
  • bold title that adheres and adhere to title punctuation
  • do not put title in all caps or italicize, both of those are a publisher’s decision
  • do not include your name on individual poems unless specified by editor(s)

 Cover letter:

Some publishers don’t even want a cover letter, but some do.  If they do, or ask for email submissions, remember to be polite.  Seems like I should not have to say that.  Sadly it does have to be said.  If a publisher or editor asked for a cover letter, please make it more than a list of poems and your name.  Go with a simply friendly interaction that can be customized quickly for all your submitting needs.  Do your research, and mention something on the site that you loved, and why you think you will fit into their aesthetic.

  • Intro – who you are & how you found out about the journal
  • body – something you loved in their journal
  • closing – thank you for taking the time to read your poems (list the poems in order they will see them)

The bio:

  • Never been published before?
    • It is okay.  Make your bio short, and a little quirky.  BUT PLEASE STOP TELLING US that you have been writing since you picked up a pen.  It is not interesting and it does not let us know anything about you.
  • Been published before.
    • That is great, now let’s have some compassion for the editors and the readers, both of which would like to tell you that we do not need to know every place you have been published, and every book that has published you.  A good rule of thumb (that I will admit to breaking on occasion) list 3 journals you have been published in and 2 most recent books, even if you have 8 books.  If you have awards, give them one.  This is your contributors bio, not the bio for your book

Seems like a lot of information, and tomorrow I’ll give you a couple of sites to try, if you are ready to make an attempt at submitting.  All places that were extremely ind to me when I began.

Happy Poeting Cats and Kittens!

Day 5-Pantouming through the rooming

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 9.31.35 PMIt is the weekend, and hopefully that means you have a little extra time, because today we are going serious forming.  This will take some quiet, concentration and your poetic muscles.

Before we start my thanks go to the lovely LeAnne Hunt for sharing a prompt she received from Rachel McKibbens, last year.  And you indeed should check out  McKibbens site as well.

Saturday April 5th
Writing Exercise #89

1. At your worst, you are what?

2. One of the most memorable punishments you received when you were young.

3. Something you got away with.

4. A punishing last line you have hurled at someone else.

– – – – –
This is going to be a poem in three stanzas. I’ll help you out with your first stanza, but you’ll have to fill in a few blanks for the rest.

Stanza 1:

Line 1: Your worst self.
Line 2: The punishment and what you learned.
Line 3: What you got away with and what you learned.
Line 4: The punishing last line.

Stanza 2:

Line 5 (repeat of line 2 in stanza 1)
Line 6 (new line)
Line 7 (repeat of line 4 in stanza 1)
Line 8 (new line)

Stanza 3/Last Stanza

Line 9 (line 2 of the previous stanza)
Line 10 (line 3 of the first stanza)
Line 11 (line 4 of the previous stanza)
Line 12 (line 1 of the first stanza)

By the end of it, you will have a pantoum. Exciting!


And here is LeAnne’s offering

Letting Go of Stones

I am an empty bag, full of wind and crinkle.
I rattled at each pull until you broke through thin skin.
I learned to twist in your words.
I flung myself off a cliff to float. I held blue.
I gave you two children as promised.

I rattled at each pull until you broke through thin skin.
I learned to twist in your words.
You could not catch my inhaled breath.
I gave you two children as promised.
Wind carries ash the same as it does hope.

You could not catch inhaled my breath.
I flung myself off a cliff to float. I held blue.
Wind carries ash the same as it does hope.
I am an empty bag, full of wind and crinkle.

Day 4-Stop Texting Start Writing

Picture 1This is by far one of my favorite poems from a prompt I found on 30 dpc 2 years ago.  The prompt is simple.  Pick up your cell and see who the last person who texted you.  They had to text you.   (If you don’t text go with called you, if you are old school).  Write a 5 line poem about that person.

here is my attempt at this prompt, which recently appeared in Cindy Hochman’s First Literary Review-East.


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Day 1~You Poetry Fools!

Picture 4PROMPT #1

For us poets, today is the day that begins the celebration of what we love, Poetry.

For the High School Students I teach it is a day of fools, foolishness, and all the joy that comes at other’s expense.

So I thought for the first prompt why not combine the two.


Prompt #1~Write a Poem about A Fool.

  •   What kind of fool?
  • The one that broke your heart
  • A Canadian Singer
  • Your boss
  • You
  • Any will do.


Here are a couple of samples from my class today.  I’m particularly intrigued by the first one, Sasha’s poem.



Diction and syntax

create fiction from facts ,

bring pen to paper

eloquence is my chaser.

From pain comes beauty

in mine comes poetry.

In September I was a writer,

in April I am a fool

–Sasha Yimsuan



He walked on his hands

And struts in his trousers

Has ice cream in the morning

Dances in the shower

Sings lullabies to his grandpa

Hides turnips in be

Sniffs his ex-girlfriend

Has an empty head

–Sabrina Gutierrez







NaPoWriMo~Let the Challenge Begin

The Challenge Begins

 30 Poems in 30 Days

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 8.46.46 PMIn case you are new to this fabulous month a brief explanation.  As a celebration of National Poetry Month many of us take up our pens in the ultimate challenge–30 poems in 30 days.  So why others dread the pranks that April 1st brings, Poets can be caught running in the streets with Pens, point up, injuries be damned.  Call them fools, they do not care about your unsettling name calling, because they are jotting down names for you, and turning them into a terse exercise in alliteration, anaphora, and apostrophe.

Writers remember in the end it is not about whether you make all 30 poems or not, it is about the effort, the community, and pushing yourself.  Last year I only wrote 10 poems, and would call 4 of them good.  So this year I’m just hoping to write a bit more and call 5 good. Anything over is miraculous.

Set your goals now!

You will need help.  I will need help.  Your non-writing friends will want an intervention for you, but you can do this.  To help us all get through this I’m going to start by giving you several places that will have daily prompts (or are promising to try to have daily prompts) to get your poem on.


NaPoWriMo – If you are going to start, might as well be here.

Writer’s Digest –  These prompts handed out by Robert Lee Brewer and are usually very helpful.  They start with guidelines and you can go back daily for prompts.

Poetry Super Highway – May I suggest signing up at his facebook page as well.  He does a lot of great things for the community of Poets in Los Angeles and beyond. You will find your prompts for 2014 under the special projects

30 Day Poery Challenge – 30dpc – Facebook Page.  For the past two years, when the challenge is complete, these folks put together a compilations.

Poetry Idiots are planning on putting up prompts daily for the month of April.  Well at least one of them is.  Go to the Home section and you will find prompts under 2014.  By the way you should be following this page anyhow. Great readings, ran by Ben Trigg and Steven Ramirez, every Wednesday night!

By the way if you haven’t gotten your free National Poetry Month poster, get it here.  While supplies last!

There will be days when I will throw up some of my favorite prompts from friends, books, found, and maybe even my own. Won’t promise every day, but will promise to try.

Happy Writing My Poet Pretties!



Long Beach Poetry Festival Fundraiser~This Saturday!

This coming Saturday, September 21st, at Gatsby Books, Long Beach will be treated to a night of Local Poetry from the hosts of the Annual Long Beach Poetry Festival.  This feature will includes Anna BaduaDonna HilbertClint MargraveTamara Madison, Kevin Lee, and Paul Kareem Tayyar. Each of these established writers have countless credits to their names: books, chapbooks, anthologies, journal publications, community recognition, and are seasoned features.  All of these poets are more than worthy of their own feature at the Long Beach Poetry Festival.  Clint Margrave took a bit of time and let me ask him questions about the Fundraiser and the Long Beach Poetry Festival, which occurs October 12th of this year.

Top Row: Anna Badua, Donna Hilbert, Kevin Lee Bottom Row: Tamara Madison, Clint Margrave, Paul Kareem Tayyar

Top Row: Anna Badua, Donna Hilbert, Kevin Lee
Bottom Row: Tamara Madison, Clint Margrave, Paul Kareem Tayyar

Denise R. Weuve: Writing is such a solo event, and very self involved, so what made you become part of developing the community instead of focusing solely on your own poetry, as many poets do?

Clint Margrave: Kevin Lee. He said, “Hey, are you interested in starting a poetry festival in Long Beach with me?” Otherwise, I would have just kept to myself, honestly. The truth is, writing poetry is ultimately a solitary event, though it is nice to have such a warm and inspiring community here in Long Beach.

DRW: Why do you think Long Beach has such a strong showing of inspiring poets?

Clint Margrave: I’d attribute it to the poetry culture that grew out of CSULB back in the 1970s and 80s, not to mention the influence of Bukowski, who moved just across the Vincent Thomas Bridge in his later years, as well as to Joan Jobe Smith and Marilyn Johnson, the editors of the longstanding Long Beach staple Pearl magazine, who have kept the magazine going for almost forty years, give or take a few hiatuses.

The really amazing thing is that over the past 30-40 years, Long Beach has been able to sustain such a viable poetry community. One of the reasons is that I think Long Beach serves as the literary alternative to all the Hollywood hoopla just north of here. This community isn’t saturated with actors or academics, but instead is made up of real working class, un-pretentious people who enjoy poetry that is less interested in navel-gazing melodrama or trying to demonstrate how clever it is, and more interested in having something to say about life.

DRW:  This Saturday you and your co-host will be doing a fundraiser at Gatsby Books for the Poetry Festival. Talk about the features that will be reading.

Clint Margrave:  I’ll be reading alongside Anna Badua, Donna Hilbert, Kevin Lee, Tamara Madison, and Paul Tayyar. The features at this event will consist entirely of the festival organizers. Though every single one of my fellow organizers is talented, well published, and deserving of a feature at the festival, early on, the six of us decided in good taste that we wouldn’t read, so every year we do this as a way to have fun and raise money for the event. Featuring ourselves at the fundraiser, of course, is also the easiest way to do it without having to ask someone else to hustle for us!

DRW: Many of your hosts are also Cadence Collective contributors, and we are thrilled to have that connection.  Can you explain how you all pick your features, and performers for the Long Beach Poetry Festival?

Clint Margrave: There is really only one requirement for how we select the poets to read at the festival: that you’re a good writer. Since there are six of us, we also all have differing opinions and tastes, which leads to a greater variety of poets to choose from. We also try to bring poets from other states and even other countries as well, so it’s more of a national/international event rather than just something regional. This year we have poets from across the U.S. and even a poet from Chile.

DRW: How many fundraisers do you plan on doing prior to the festival?

Clint Margrave: As mentioned, this year’s fundraiser reading at Gatsby Books consists of the festival organizers. But in past years, we have held other fundraising events, one in which we featured two of our favorite Long Beach poets, Joan Jobe Smith and Fred Voss, both of whom were featured at our inaugural festival in 2011.

This year, there is only one at Gatsby on the 21st, so we hope to have a great turnout!   So please, anyone planning on supporting this festival, we hope you can make it down!

DRW: How can people who can’t make it this 21st event donate to this great fundraiser?

Clint Margrave: Thanks for asking that question. Anyone who would like to contribute and can’t make the event may do so via PayPal by entering the email address:

Top Row: Anna Badua, Donna Hilbert, Kevin Lee Bottom Row: Tamara Madison, Clint Margrave, Paul Kareem Tayyar

My gratitude to Clint Margrave for his time and all of the hosts for their organization of this annual event.  We are a community, whether here on Cadence Collective or simply by brotherhood of the art that is Poetry.  Anna Badua best explained the importance of this event and the need for fundraising, “Poetry should be accessible to everyone.  Donations allow us to keep the festival a free community event.  For us, this is a labor of love; all donations go directly toward the cost of the festival.  Each dollar reflects a contribution to our vibrant literary community.”  If you can’t make this event please donate at

I wrote this article for Cadence Collective: Long Beach Poets.

Cadence Collective: Long Beach Poets

I should have posted this a couple of weeks ago, but summer lazy won out.
This is a collection of Long Beach, California poets, poems, and events.
With more to come in the future.
I’m proud to say I have been included.
Check it out here

Cadence Collective

Tuesdays Say Goodbye Sometimes.

John F. Buckley where are you when you are needed?  That’s right, I forgot,  getting an MFA in the middle of Michigan.  Awing a whole other state with your talent.  Chronolizing (like that word?) open mics and features as they now appear in your life.

But here in Long Beach, sadness has reigned over the poetry scene, as the Second Tuesday Poetry Readings came to a resounding close on the 13th, of this August.

I am no historian so I can do very little to assist in making this poetry reading seem amazing or as important as it was.  The best I have is to tell you that for the past year and a half I loved the occasions that I got to attend, and even the ones that I got to read my poetry.  Thanks to this reading I made friends in the poetry world that I would hate to lose, while having pieces of work picked up for publication.  It was also the place I would take my students for their first poetry readings.  And where several of them read for the very first time.  I have no idea where I will take this year’s batch of writers . . . .

Mostly I got to call G. Murray Thomas a friend.  He is like a warm smile that makes you forget the worse day and look forward to the next day.  He welcomed everyone to his reading: novice, or veteran, it did not matter to him you were already his friend.  It is often his love for the people as much as the craft that shined through.

Open mics are hard for me.  I’m not good with crowds, I’m in automatic critique mode at all times (I blame the creative writing teacher in me), and I still shake something awful when reading.  It’s weird.  I have been giving hints on how to combat that, but to no avail.

But at This reading, hosted by G. Murray, I always felt safe.  I don’t know if that has to do with the setting, the podium to hide behind, or the eyes of Parker, Fitzgerald, Tagore, and Neruda gazing from behind.  That’s some pretty hefty backing.

At any rate here are a few of the people that read and celebrated the 2nd Tuesday’s run.

Top Row:  Nancy, Ricki, Murray, Ben Bottom Row: Robbi, Mitch, Richard, Sarah

Top Row: Nancy, Ricki, Murray, Ben
Bottom Row: Robbi, Mitch, Richard, Sarah

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