|With the year 2002 upon us, miller's pond
celebrates its 5th anniversary with an interview with Judith Sornberger
and a dazzling array of poets, including our top three winners in the Loella
Cady Lamphier Prize for Poetry Contest.
Throughout these past five years, I have had
the privilege to meet many fine poets and enjoy their works. I have
also had the opportunity to make several observations concerning the publishing
world of poetry, which I would like to share with you dear readers at this
While miller's pond has consistently
received larger numbers of submissions with each passing year, enabling
us to consistently publish larger volumes of quality poetry each year,
the number of our sales has proportionally diminished. In talking
with editors of other poetry magazines, I find this is becoming the norm,
and that saddens me.
Small, independent presses like H&H Press
can only continue to publish magazines if it has adequate support from
its readers and contributors. We do not have the financial backing
of an educational institution to keep us afloat. Nor are we non-profit
organizations that can request grants for publication purposes. Our
income comes from subscribers. And it is only that income, plus our
own personal "donations" which enables us to continue publishing.
If you are a poet, and submit your work to
magazines, please be aware that those magazines are as dependent on your
support financially, as you are dependent on those magazines to provide
you with a place to send your work for publication. It is a
coexistence in which neither can exist for very long without the other.
Granted, there are many markets out there to submit to, and if one magazine
folds, there are always others to take its place. But what happens
in the long run is that as the market base shrinks, so to does the chances
of a poet finding a magazine that can/will accept his/her work because
the competition consequently grows to fierce proportions. There are
many more poets than there are markets.
Whether you are simply a reader or a poet who
submits to miller's pond or Two Rivers Review, or Ploughshares
is not the point here. The point is, if you find a magazine you like,
help keep it around by buying a copy. If you haven't bought any poetry
magazines at all this year, yet have submitted your poetry with expectations
of receiving an acceptance, ask yourself why would you want to submit to
a magazine you don't even read.
If you are one of the lucky poets who has received
an acceptance from a poetry magazine, show your thanks for the magazine
that supported you and your work by returning that support with a subscription,
or at least the purchase of 1 or more contributor's copies. This
way you are helping to ensure the future of the magazine, as well as helping
keep a poetry market available for your future submissions.