miller's pond
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Cat Tales Retreat

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 time.

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.


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