You Are Invited to Join

Wren on October 6th, 2017

If you’re a published or aspiring poet and you don’t know about PoetryCircle, I’ve got a treat for you. PC is an interesting hybrid animal in the online poetry world. I’m one of PC’s editors so I’m inviting poets to explore the PC community.

The PoetryCircle website was started twelve years ago by poet and Clock Radio (Bukowski, Lifshin, etc) editor Jay Dougherty. It has two functions: 1) an online journal for contemporary poetry, prose and art; and 2) an online membership critique forum, where experienced writers can get feedback on how to improve their work.

Editors post to PC’s “front page” journal nearly every day. Writers can submit for publication in two ways: 1) through the Submittable portal, and 2) by posting in the membership forum, specifically boards that have “Submit” in the name.

The main mission of the membership forum is that combination of submission and critique that is unique to PC. Poets join for a variety of reasons, and the membership forum has boards for many different uses. When members post in Submit Your Poetry and Submit Your Prose their work is considered for publication by the editors and also critiqued by editors and members. For work that doesn’t feel quite done, there’s a Workshop board.

Some members just want to share their poems, like proud parents. They can post those works in a board called Journalese. There are also blog options on the site.

The membership forum has a Notices board for cheering about your recent publication or other achievement. Use the Marketplace to sell books, etc. There are discussion boards, and ones for jokes, artwork, feedback to the site, and much more. Yes, please post audio and video of your poetry performances!

PoetryCircle has sixteen volunteer editors who moderate forums, critique work, and curate the front page.

Are You Experienced?

The membership forum is juried. You will be asked to submit a writing sample when you apply. But, as an editor, I would say the “experienced” label refers as much to maturity and humility as it does to writing. This group is likely to be a tougher crowd than your local open mic. Yes, you need to show some spark of craft in your writing sample. But once you’re in and posting for critique, this online group is just like an in-person writers’ critique group. Defensiveness and personal attacks are unprofessional.

Some of our members have never published their work and are just at the point of deciding to write for wider audiences. The members who succeed and find PC helpful in achieving their writing and publishing goals are the members who leave their egos at the door.

Because this is a group for professional, experienced writers, members use their real names or pen names, not mysterious online handles.

What Styles of Poetry Are Accepted?

PC is a site for contemporary poetry. Styles vary widely. But poets who write in classic metered, end rhyming patterns or inspirational verse often get fairly blunt feedback leading them away from these styles.

How Does a Critique Group Work?

When members and editors give feedback on your poem, they’ll be filtering for how it can be better, for the purpose of publication. Yes, they’ll praise what works and sometimes gush at your brilliance. But your mom doesn’t read here. Often, folks will post about what doesn’t work. They may offer suggestions. Some feedback will be useful to you, some won’t. Here’s where the humility and maturity come in–If you can’t use a piece of feedback, the person who gave it is not attached, so you can likewise just move on. It’s your poem. Typing a rant about the dead poets you’re emulating or how the critiquer obviously doesn’t understand imagism, well, just don’t. Or if you must, post your thoughts on a discussion board.

Is My Work on PoetryCricle Considered Published?

If your work appears on PC’s front page, it is visible to the internet public. It will be considered published by other journals. Congratulations, you have a publishing credit. For that matter, if you’ve posted your work on your blog or on social media, most editors will consider that publication also. This may make you appear amateurish to the more selective journals, so get that stuff off of there now if you have ambitions of publishing in a well-known journal.

Poems and other work published in the forums are protected from the public behind your password. Most editors understand that poets today may use such online groups to polish up their work. As long as it is not visible to the public, most do not consider it published.

Any poet submitting for publication in any journal should read each journal’s guidelines thoroughly and abide by them completely. This includes understanding what any individual journal considers to be published.

Does PoetryCircle Accept Previously Published Work?

No. Probably ninety-seven percent of journals don’t. My new site, Califragile, is an exception. This means you should not post previously published work in PC’s Submit… boards. Share them in Do Not Publish, Journalese, etc.

But Trolls…

Yes, trolls happen. PC’s editors moderate actively. Let an editor know via private message if you think a post or comment doesn’t conform to PC’s Terms and Rules, Editorial Policy, or Guidelines for Behavior.

I Like the Front Page. How Do I Apply?

Yea! Click the “Register/Log In” button at the top and follow the instructions. Make sure you’ve read our Terms and Rules, Editorial Policy, and Guidelines for Behavior, linked above. Please post in our Introductions board and ask any questions you have. I look forward to sharing this unique community with you!

–See you on the boards,

Wren Tuatha

Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed

This Author’s Statement on Beauty

Wren on May 20th, 2017

Peacock Journal is dedicated to the theme of beauty. It was a challenge to find old poems of mine that study beauty. I’m more of a poet for picking a beautiful object and turning it as much as I have to to find its underside. Then I say, “See, told ya.”
I was so concerned [...]

Continue Reading...

National Poetry Month: Two Autumn Skies

Wren on April 8th, 2017

Autumn Sky Poetry Daily is one of several sites that specialize in offering a new poem every day, or nearly so. I like that the editor, Christine Klocek-Lim, follows the poem with an “editor’s note,” a few thoughts on the strengths of the work, what drew her to select that poem out of the pile [...]

Continue Reading...

Five:2:One Magazine asked for my batshit crazy submissions. Okay. Early on in my quest to rack up publishing points, I came upon Five2One. Their site has a section for micro poetry, which they apparently define loosely. I was looking for corners where my poems might find a niche. These editors were looking for the wild, [...]

Continue Reading...

Issue 82 of Burningword Literary Journal, which includes my poem, The Thud of Escapement, is live on their site and also available for sale in print and digital formats.
The Thud of Escapement is one of my watch poems. I visited the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania. I could fill several posts just [...]

Continue Reading...

Obviously, several of my poems that have been accepted by journals lately are coming live in time for National Poetry Month. I’ll have another herd thundering through in June.
I want to put in a plug for It features a “front page,” an online journal that features some wonderful and often funky poetry and prose. [...]

Continue Reading...

Previously published in The Baltimore Review and the poetry anthology Blood and Tears. Upcoming in Avatar Review.
Make Soup, You Said
I’m making a soup
to fill my bowl.
I’m after that carrot of consolation
you dangle.
I would remember
a recipe
in that season of my childhood
without language.
The three sisters–
corn, beans and squash…
When they hold hands
they can give weight
while they dance and [...]

Continue Reading...

44 Poems and a Reason to Live

Wren on March 29th, 2017

Last summer I needed meaning. My health has been poor for years and my partner and I stress over bills until we pause from exhaustion. Other than baby goat antics we have little to make us smile. Last summer, I decided to distract myself and hopefully build my ego up a bit by submitting some [...]

Continue Reading...

Heathcote Cabin Road in Fall

Wren on October 22nd, 2016

Organizing some old writings, I came upon this from eighteen or twenty years ago. Heathcote Community, Maryland:
A walk will clear my mind, align my north and south poles with some psychic axis. Just to lay foot to gravel is to become a child walking safely down the hallway in my mother’s house. As I watch [...]

Continue Reading...

A Baby Goat Makes Many Things Better

Wren on February 24th, 2016

I’m often taken aback when someone asks me why I have goats. My usual response is to ask why they don’t. This doesn’t get them any closer to understanding the attraction, but do they ask parents why they have children? Children are lots of work, they’re loud and messy, they destroy things, disobey, they eat [...]

Continue Reading...