I haven’t sold many poems before, but I have a bunch on my hard drive and, happily, unlike SF, poetry doesn’t necessarily age quickly.
I’m very happy to announce that Camille Alexa has bought three of my poems for Diet Soap: “Dadeumie Sori,” “Ode to the Competent,” and “Tian Zhu Jiao.” The first two poems will appear in their (Wage) Slavery theme issue, and the latter will appear in their Sabotage theme issue.
These are the first poems I’ve gotten published since before coming to Korea, so I’m very excited!
Perhaps now is a good time to spill a couple of beans about me and the business of writing verse? Most people who know my writing know me as a prose writer, primarily a fiction writer. But before all of that, I was writing poems more energetically and happily. In undergrad, writing SF was a secondary interest most of the time to writing poems, and I suspect that it was on the strength of my poetry portfolio that I was accepted into my grad school creative writing program.
But that first year in grad school, I began to focus on prose, and while I’ve never completely stopped writing verse — I crank out at least couple of poems a year — I never really bothered to submit them anywhere much. A few tentative tries was the extent of my attempts, partly because when you’re sending poetry out from the other side of the planet, and most places seem to want hard copies and SASEs, then suddenly the cost of submitting far outweighs the potential payment for verse. (And because you’re almost always submitting the poems serially to multiple places, it ends up being a case of how much you lose in getting a poem published, rather than whether payment covers the cost of submission.)
The thing is, I have a ton of poems I think are indeed publishable, and I’d like to see them published, so I guess I’ll funnel some of the proceeds of my fiction publications into subsidizing the poetry submissions process. (Or find places like Diet Soap that take submissions by email!)