How to Write a Pantoum

Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to write more formal poetry. Not a lot, mind you, but I’ve tried out a couple of forms and with some success. Awhile back, I described writing a ghazal, and I thought I’d do the same for the pantoum. This is a form that has stymied me for awhile, yetContinue reading “How to Write a Pantoum”

How to Write Your Third-Person Bio

This ought to be self-explanatory, but I’m always surprised at the number of submitters to Poetry South who either ignore the bio that we request or don’t write it in third person. There are times when I simply don’t read a submission if it doesn’t have a bio because I don’t want to have toContinue reading “How to Write Your Third-Person Bio”

Cover Letter Advice

Since we’re talking about submitting to magazines, let’s talk cover letters for a moment. As I said the other day, I don’t know that they help all that much, but the can hurt, so while I wouldn’t advise spending too much time trying to get it just right, I also would advise taking enough careContinue reading “Cover Letter Advice”

Letter to a Young Poet

The other day, I received an email from a poet, I don’t really know his age, asking about what he could do to get his work published. From his message, I gathered he was submitting to magazines, but hadn’t been accepted yet, or hadn’t been accepted much. I thought I could use that as anContinue reading “Letter to a Young Poet”

New Year’s Resolution for Writers: Keep Better Track of Submissions

Often writers make a New Year’s resolution to submit more of their work to magazines. The goal to have 100 rejections in a year (i.e. to submit to more than one hundred places) is a good one, since it emphasizes putting and keeping your work in play more than judging yourself by how many acceptancesContinue reading “New Year’s Resolution for Writers: Keep Better Track of Submissions”

How to Write a Ghazal

I feel like I’ve finally had a breakthrough with the ghazal. Now, I won’t claim to be an expert—it will take writing many ghazals before I would begin to think I was even approaching that level—but I do believe I have the beginnings of a ghazal and a strategy for tackling the form. Ghazal’s don’tContinue reading “How to Write a Ghazal”

Book Review: Steve Yarbrough’s Stay Gone Days

Stay Gone Days by Steve Yarbrough My rating: 5 of 5 stars Yarbrough’s novel Stay Gone Days tells us a story that spans four decades in the lives of two sisters from the fictional Delta town of Loring, Mississippi. Their stories begin with their adventures in the town’s private high school in the 1970s. ThoughContinue reading “Book Review: Steve Yarbrough’s Stay Gone Days”

Of Lines and Sentences in Poems

This week, one of my favorite magazines, Birmingham Poetry Review, accepted two of my poems. They’re not that easy to get into, so I’m very pleased to have two poems selected for their Spring 2024 issue. In proofreading the poems before sending them back, I was reminded that they both have many more lines thanContinue reading “Of Lines and Sentences in Poems”