Two Sylvias' Weekly Muse: November 26, 2023
Issue 83: FREE for all to read!
Hello Writers, Poets, and Artists!
Recently, we’ve received a few emails at the Muse which share a common theme—poets feeling stressed because on a deep level they feel like they are “frauds.” Known as “imposter syndrome,” those who suffer from this condition not only label themselves as frauds, but they also believe that the successes they experience are undeserved, and eventually, it will be discovered they lack talent and knowledge in their chosen field. Especially prominent in writers and artists, imposter syndrome affects individuals in all careers, including US Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, who has always worried that she “doesn’t measure up,” and Oscar and Emmy winner (and throw in four Golden Globe Awards), Kate Winslet, who describes her nagging self-doubt about her acting, “I can’t do this; I’m a fraud.”
Psychologist Dr. Suzanne Imes, who studies imposter syndrome, believes that many of us who feel like we are frauds come from households where being an overachiever was emphasized. Our achievements becomes subconsciously tied to our self-worth. Imposter syndrome is also more common in women than in men. Studies show that women will often be dismissive of their successes, saying they were “lucky” or “just happened to be at the right place at the right time.” And, sadly, for those of us who identify with being “imposters,” the more success we attain, the more nervous we can become about being “found out.” When we sometimes fall short of our goals, we can feel secretly relieved.
Neuroscientists Friederike Fabritus and Hans W. Hagemann have developed several techniques to help those with imposter syndrome overcome this self-sabotaging mindset:
Embrace It: Acknowledging you suffer from imposter syndrome helps to disarm it. When it starts to bubble up, say to yourself, “I’ve gotten this far for a reason.”
Take Inventory: Make a list of the things you are good at and the areas where you still need work. This reminds you of the strengths you already possess.
Don’t Compare: Stop measuring yourself against the achievements of other people. It’s never helpful.
Ask for Another Opinion: Go outside of your own thoughts and look at the feedback you’ve received from others regarding your work. Realize that we are often poor judges when it comes to evaluating ourselves.
Don’t Clam Up: Don’t allow your self-doubts to silence you. Share your insecurities with those you trust. You can disarm your feelings of fraud by articulating them.
Find a Mentor/Be a Mentor: Find a mentor in your field to serve as a role model, who will give you helpful feedback. Consider being a mentor yourself by working with junior colleagues to whom you can impart your knowledge.
Say Thank You: Don’t dismiss compliments and praise regarding your work because you feel undeserving. Feel good that others have found value in your work and accept their praise graciously by thanking them.
Celebrate: When you reach a milestone or achieve even small successes, pause and pat yourself on the back for doing well. Don’t dismiss your success as “luck” but acknowledge your hard work and talent.
We encourage you to take steps to overcome your imposter syndrome when it comes to your writing and art. Turn the tables on it by allowing those insecure feelings to fuel your motivation for achievement. When someone compliments a poem you’ve written, respond with a hearty “thank you,” and when your chapbook is about to be released—turn your worries about judgement into a drive to market your new book with gratitude and optimism.
We so appreciate your support of our small press! Thank you for subscribing to the Weekly Muse! If you come across any issues involving the Muse or if you have any questions, you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
HAPPENING TODAY at 4:30 pm PST! Only paid subscribers of the Weekly Muse! You can still register on Zoom for Demystifying the Manuscript: Creating a Book of Poems with Susan Rich & Kelli Russell Agodon!
Yep, it’s TODAY! You can still be part of our today’s Zoom class: "Demystifying the Manuscript: Creating a Book of Poems" with Susan Rich & Kelli Russell Agodon at 4:30 pm to 6 pm PST!
If you can’t attend—no worries—we will be recording this class and sharing it in the December 3rd Weekly Muse!
Nightmare and Dreams
This week we’re writing about our dreams and nightmares. If you are someone who can’t quite remember your dreams, don’t worry—this is why we are poets, our dreams and nightmares don’t always happen when we’re sleeping but in our own creative mind.
Below we have 3 prompts to inspire dreams and nightmare poems. Remember, as usual, just pick a number between 1 - 3 and jump in without reading ahead! And remember, these are dream poems, so invite in the weird, wacky, surreal, and surprising. Have fun!
#1. I’m Always Running Through a Parking Garage with a Peacock and Horseshoe
Write a poem that weaves together recurring elements from your dreams. Focus on specific images, characters, or themes that appear often, exploring their emotional and symbolic significance in your life. Consider choosing one recurring dream element and use it as a refrain at the end of each stanza, altering its context slightly each time to show an evolving narrative. (Note: if you don’t remember your dreams, consider your daydreams or common themes or images in your poems.)
#2. After Seeing The Exorcist, I Dreamt My Bed Would Not Stop Shaking
Write a poem based on a nightmare you had either as an adult or a child, but approach it with curiosity. Try to dissect the frightening elements and explore their hidden meanings or emotions behind them. For extra credit: Consider writing the poem in two columns: the left detailing the nightmare and the right offering interpretations or reactions, allowing readers to see both sides simultaneously.
#3. Palm trees in Maui. What if I moved to Dublin? I miss summer. Hummingbirds mostly. ~Cosmos exploding in Marty’s garden ~
Write a poem about your daydreams, employing fragmented text or unconventional spacing or punctuation to move the poem forward. Let your imagery and fleeting moments of daydream create the flow and capture the whimsical nature of daydreams. Maybe you want to use punctuation in an usual ways such as punctuated with tildes ~ or contained in *asterisks*—and we always love the em dash! Consider as you write also interspersing your poem with brief lines of reality, italicized for emphasis. Allow these snippets to serve as anchors—offering a stark contrast between your daydreams and the tangible aspects of everyday life. And if you run out of daydreams—make some up!
And when you’ve finished a poem, check out our “Places to Submit Your Work” as Vocivia Magzine is currently accepting submissions for a themed issue on nightmares and daydreams!
Interview with Sylvia Byrne Pollack: Keep Showing Up
TSP: Sylvia, these last few years have been so exciting for you as a poet. The Seattle Times did a wonderful feature on you publishing your first book of poems, Risking It (Red Mountain Press) at 80! And you have just published publish your second book, What Lasts, also from Red Mountain!
But before all this, you had a career as a scientist—you have degrees in zoology and developmental biology, then earned a master’s in psychology and a career as a cancer researcher. Tell us a little about how your life has informed your poetry and books and also how you returned to writing in 2007 after you and your wife took a trip to Antarctica and your ship got caught in a hurricane!
SBP: Some of the traits and skills I used in my science career—curiosity, attention to detail, going beyond the expected, and the willingness to repeat an experiment over and over, confirming, going one step further—have translated well to the writing life. Something catches my attention, I pull on that thread, see where it takes me. Then comes the revising. And more revising.
Science is not done in isolation. From graduate school days on I worked in a laboratory, surrounded by others, most of us doing our own thing, sometimes collaborating but always surfing off each other’s energy. Like a really good poetry workshop!! I was interested in poetry in college, served as Associate Editor of Syracuse 10 but in grad school my bits of time for the arts went to music.
I did my life in the old-fashioned order: marriage, babies, grants, running a lab. Until, as poems in What Lasts explore, Letitia arrived. She is the persona I introduced in Risking It to talk about bipolar II illness. In the new book I work toward detente, accepting her as a fact of my life. What Lasts also visits my childhood, my Mom, my marriage to Molly, memories and more. (Ah, alliteration!)
The trip to Antarctica came at a turning point in my life. I had breast cancer a few years earlier and was still wondering if my time was up. I’d wanted to visit Antarctica for years, so I signed us up with an expedition ship. The whole trip was boggling but on our way back to South America we were caught in a hurricane that treated our ship like a bathtub toy. I made several vows. One was to get back to writing poetry. When we returned to Seattle, I connected with Peggy Sturdivant's writing group at Cancer Lifeline. After getting in the swing of writing regularly and sharing my work, I also joined a group of accomplished poets who mentored me. Then came classes at Hugo House, Poets on the Coast, Jack Straw, Mineral School. I have been extremely lucky. I also kept showing up.
TSP: Sometimes poets can feel discouraged due to their age, lack of experience, disabilities, or the belief that there is no place for them in the poetry world; what practical advice can you offer to boost their confidence and help them find their footing in the community?
SBP: What a marvelous question! The best advice I can give is “Don’t listen to the negative voice in your head.” You know the one I’m talking about, the one that says everyone else knows what they are doing (they don’t), or they have an MFA (not all of us do) or I’m too shy to do this (most poets are introverts but we get up and read our work anyway.) Sometime your age, newness to the game, or disability can be turned into an asset. I can laugh now that being in my 80’s, very hard of hearing, with a chronic (but fortunately mild) mental illness has provided the material for poems, two books worth! And I may not be done yet.
I urge anyone who wants to write poetry to just do it. Write for yourself, to get to know yourself, to explore the big questions—personal, political, environmental, whatever. Ask a friend to be your poetry buddy and write together. Meet someone at a reading, have coffee, start to build a circle of poets. Take classes and workshops to learn the craft. There’s no one right way to become a poet. The only requirement is to read and write poetry, then read and write some more. No one else has had your particular life experience. Risk writing about it. Find out what lasts.
Book description: In Sylvia Byrne Pollack's debut collection, RISKING IT, the titular poem asks "how to prepare for death." Pollack's science background and life experiences inform work that is ultimately joyful, with every pun intended. Her words sizzle even at the darkest subjects, whether pondering serum extracted from lab animals or her own cells gone amok. Through personae, the Deaf Woman and Letitia, she confronts hearing loss and mental illness with a researcher's precision and poet's playfulness. RISKING IT is an invitation "to rip open the cocoon and emerge."
"Sylvia Byrne Pollack’s What Lasts is a rich, musical, and witty synthesis of the layered and wide-ranging experiences of a long fascinating life. This collection is at once fanciful and realistic, mythical and science-minded, sparkling with metaphor and strung-through with fact. The poems in What Lasts constitute a spirited memoir of searching and discovery, of illness and healing, of loves lost and found, and, most pivotally, of love found lasting."
BIO: The work of Sylvia Byrne Pollack, a hard-of-hearing poet and former scientist, appears in Floating Bridge Review, Quartet, Crab Creek Review, The Stillwater Review and many other print and online journals. A two-time Pushcart nominee, she won the 2013 Mason's Road Literary Award, was a 2019 Jack Straw Writer and a 2021 Mineral School Resident. Both her debut full-length collection Risking It (2021) and her new collection, What Lasts (2023) are from Red Mountain Press. She lives in Seattle with her wife Molly McGee.
If you had a new full-length book of poems come out in 2023 or to be published in 2024, write to us as we love to support those who support us!
For Questions to the Editors: email any questions you have about writing poems, submitting your work, book contests, etc.—let us know and we will choose a question to answer every other week!
This week’s poetry exercise invites you to reflect on both the past and the future as our example poem takes us from the beginning of life on our planet to watching David Letterman in the 80s to our eventual dissolution back into the natural world upon death. As your read “Kid, this is the first rain” by Jeffrey Bean, think about how this piece takes readers on a journey from the “first first rain” to how one day, we will all “wake up as forest.”
Kid, this is the first rain
of November. It strips off the rest
of the leaves, reminds trees
how to shiver. I think to Earth
it looks like the first first rain, the water
of the beginning, swirling down hot
into gassy soup. The bubbling stuff
that imagined trees to begin with, and also
mountains, kangaroos, dolphin cartilage,
stoplights. And you, tearing down
hills on Arnold Street, a blur
of training wheels and streamers. And me
in the ’80s, crunching Life cereal on the couch
beside my night-owl mother, blue in the light
of David Letterman’s grin.
Try to remember, everything that is solid
is not solid. But slowly, always melting. The road
cracks, wrinkles like a folded map. Huge trees
lie down, throb into pulp inside termites.
And the ground drinks you,
though you grow, a tall drink of water,
going down easy. It swallows me faster
and faster. But don’t worry. Look at
our neighbor’s roof—those fake gray shingles
are crumbling, growing a thick pelt
of moss. Eventually
we all wake up as forest.
The speaker in Bean’s poem is talking to his child and presenting advice and/or a general philosophical outlook on life (note the eating of Life cereal). The speaker seems to be saying that we live on a continuum between creation and dissolution—we emerge from the Earth and we return to the Earth, and in the midst of living there is always that tug of the Earth as “the ground drinks you…faster and faster.” This poem is a poignant reminder of mortality and is a meditation on the cyclical nature of life and death. And, Bean avoids the trap of overt sentimentality filled with woe and sorrow—as though he is saying, “Listen, Kid, this is how it is, but don’t fret—it’s all good.”
Drawing inspiration from Bean, write a poem wherein you give some sort of general life advice to someone much younger—this could be a child, a grandchild, a student, a niece/nephew, an imagined child, etc. Your topic can be more focused and simpler than Bean’s philosophical piece that takes on, in a sense, the beginnings and endings of all life. Offer up some of your wisdom concerning kindness, integrity, empathy, romantic love, ecology, spirituality, creativity, humor, or career paths, among others.
As you think about composing your poem, consider including a section, like Bean, that is a flashback to some event(s) in your younger years. Directly address the younger person in your poem with their name, nickname, etc. and avoid being pedantic, overly nostalgic, and sentimental. If you would like, you can have the first line of your poem serve as your title.
Opening Your Cabinet of Curiosities
Have you ever heard of a “cabinet of curiosities” or a “wonder room?” During the 1600s in Europe, people began formally collecting odd objects that they found intriguing. Wealthier individuals had entire rooms dedicated to their bizarre treasures while those with less money kept their items of fascination in a box or on a shelf. What might you find in these collections, which can be thought of as mini-museums? Upon opening a wonder room or a curiosity box, you might see seashells from a beach in Japan, feathers from a South American bird, the tusk of a narwhal, an unknown gemstone from India, the imprint of a leaf in a fossilized rock, a small machine made of clockwork parts that moves across the floor, etc. You would find objects that had not been catalogued by science yet as well as wonderful items from distant lands, holding mystery and intrigue.
For this week’s creativity journal exercise, we invite you to explore your own household for oddities—objects you’ve found or collected over the years which are unique and bring a certain delight. To begin, find a page in your journal (either a paper notebook or a word doc on your laptop), and allow this white space to become your “cabinet.” Fill it with a list of the items in your household which bring joy because they are “special.” Don’t forget to poke around for hidden boxes, forgotten drawers, things squirreled under beds, and maybe venture into attics or cellars.
Your list might include jewelry, rocks, seashells, feathers, mementos from high school and/or college, souvenirs from travels, interesting or meaningful items you inherited, antique shop treasures, art, beach combing finds, yard sale things, religious or spiritual items, gifts you’ve received, etc.
Randomly choose an object, and in your journal, answer the following questions without too much self-editing (let your words flow):
What is the object? Describe it.
Where did it come from? How did it come to be in your possession?
Why is it special to you? What significance and magic does it hold?
Do you keep it hidden or is it “displayed” in your home? If hidden, why?
Your journaling responses to the above questions are, of course, wonderful material for poems, essays, and stories. Think of your cabinet of curiosities list as a resource you can draw upon when you have writer’s block, or you want to take your poem or essay in an interesting direction. You can get very creative and have two objects on your list dialogue with one another or consider writing a series of poems in which a different item from your list shows up in each poem. Open up your cabinet whenever you need a dose of inspiration!
Wild Horses Couldn’t Drag Me Away
One of the most popular and loved children’s books is Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963. When Sendak first came up with his idea for the book and pitched it to a publisher, it was titled, Where the Wild Horses Are—about a child who escapes to a land of wild horses. The publisher loved this concept, but when Sendak began working on the first draft of the book, he realized he couldn’t draw horses. When his publisher asked him what he could draw, Sendak said that he was good at drawing “Things.” When asked what these “Things” were based on, Sendak replied, “my relatives.”
Vocivia Magazine / Deadline: December 9, 2023 Themed Issue: Nightmares & Daydreams 1-3 pieces of writing Editors are considering any form of written and visual works for this issue! How to submit: Please email email@example.com with the following specifications: 1) Subject line: issue#, fullname, title of work(s) [Example: Issue 5, Sylvia Plath, Ariel/Daddy/Poppies in November] 2) Email Body: A 3-5 sentence introduction written in the third person about yourself. Include any social media you’d want us to feature in this little bio. We will shorten your bio when we put it into the issue if it takes up “too much” space (i.e. a whole column on our contributors page), but you’ll be notified if this is the case and given an opportunity to rewrite it! 3) Attached your work as a .doc, .docx, .pdf, PNG, or JPEG Note: If your piece requires a content warning, please mention it either in the piece itself or in the email. Full Submission Guidelines: https://vocivia.com/submit #ProTip: They accept previously published poems that you hold the rights to. Simultaneous submissions? –No mention of whether they are accepted or not. Baltimore Review / November 30, 2023 Reading fee: 0 Submit 3 poems in one document Note: They are having a prose poem contest that also ends November 30 with an entry fee of $8. https://baltimorereview.submittable.com/submit Simultaneous submissions? –YES! Third Street Review / November 30, 2023 Reading fee: $3 Paying Market!: $25 Also taking submissions for fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, art, and photography. #ProTip: This journal supports creators at all career stages and from varied backgrounds. www.third-street-review.org/submissions Simultaneous submissions? –YES! Kitchen Table Quarterly / December 1, 2023 Reading fee: 0 or Tip Jar Seeking poetry, nonfiction, and visual artwork that reveals secrets and delves into family tales. They value honesty and stories that educate. Submit your work that tells the truth and shares your history. https://kitchentablequarterly.submittable.com/submit Simultaneous submissions? –YES! Abode Press Chapbook Prize / Deadline: November 30, 2023 Reading fee: 100 book print run, 10 author copies, $75.00 USD advance, 25% royalties. Poetry up to 30 pages. What they are looking for: Abode Press wants to read work that discusses identity, origin, and culture. Every abode is unique to the person who lives there. We want to read about the ghosts in your closet, the heritage that guides your cooking, the cultural emblems that decorate your walls. Because when someone invites you into their abode, they’re letting you see a piece of themselves. At Abode, we believe it’s important to prioritize these narratives to create a world with better empathy, understanding, and compassion for others. *To clarify, we are not specifically asking for work that takes place inside of a home; we are simply curious about the people who live in them. * About Abode Press: Abode Press is an intersectional, anti-racist 501(c)3 nonprofit publishing press based in Central, TX dedicated to uplifting underrepresented voices. #ProTip: Also accept hybrid manuscripts. https://abodepress.submittable.com/submit Simultaneous submissions? –YES! White Pine Press Poetry Prize for Full-Length Manuscripts Deadline: November 30, 2023 Reading Fee: $20 A prize of $1,000 and publication by White Pine Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Manuscripts should be 60 to 80 pages. https://www.whitepine.org/white-pine-press-poetry-prize Simultaneous submissions? –YES! Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize for Poets with One or Less Collections Deadline: December 1, 2023 Reading Fee: $29 Judge: Paul Muldoon Prize: $3,000 and publication by Waywiser Press for a poetry collection by a poet with no more than one previous collection. The winner also gives a reading at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Manuscripts should be 48 to 88 pages. www.hechtprize.waywiser-press.com Simultaneous submissions? –YES!
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What We Are Thankful For: Muse Community Gratitude
As we come to the end of November and Gratitude Month, we want to thank and acknowledge the warmth and gratitude shared by our vibrant Muse Community. Your words, like your poems, come from your deep appreciation for art and poetry. We received so many responses through email and in our Facebook Weekly Muse page (you can read all of those here) we were unable to share them all, but we tried to share a good handful of them here to end our month of gratitude. Thank you everyone for your thoughtful contributions. We've read each one and are truly delighted by the effort you put into bringing more gratitude into your lives.
What poets in our Muse Community are thankful for:
“I’m grateful to to have a passion and a community of others who share that passion.” ~ Sarah Dickenson Snyder
“I am grateful for the way poetry has allowed me to see the world in new ways.” ~ Beth Brody
“I'm enthusiastically grateful for brilliant poets who do not pull ladders up behind them, special human beings who get that a poet of "lesser talent" can love and be devoted to poetry as fiercely as any laureate. Such poets treat the creation and exchange of poems as gifts, and work or communicate with poetry lovers in that spirit; I'm very fortunate to know some of these splendid people. I relish any and all time with them and their works, learning and reflecting, and I repay them by diligently working to write the best poems I can on any given day, then passing my own bits of knowledge on to help other writers. I am grateful for poets who are good people, so I try to be both. . .” ~ Michael Dwayne Smith
“Community! I found my people among poets!” ~ Bonnie Lini Markowski
“The support of other poets that encourage me to continue even when I get discouraged.” ~ Cynthia R Pratt
“Commas.” ~ Patricia Bindert
“Call me a material girl. But I’m grateful for good tools - soft pencils (I like blackwing), the perfect notebook, a great German pencil sharpener. Also NPR’s Sunday Baroque.” ~ Crystal Ockenfuss
“The feeling of absolute Magic when a poem's words and phrases start funneling down.” ~ Mandy Hayden
“I am grateful for the community of poets I have gotten to know as poets and knowing that I am with people who see life in different ways. For being able to express vulnerability, sadness, and other emotions though poetry. And finally, knowing that something I proposed in the 90's, that technology could help us connect with poets and poetry worldwide has actually happened (one of the best used of technology, the connecting).” ~ Jone Rush MacCulloch
"The Weekly Muse has become my “museletter!” It's my weekly reminder of the strength and support we have in each other. I'm very thankful for the encouragement that flows among us. I am grateful for all you do and include each week." ~ Susan Jones
“Poetry provides a place to store my reactions and memories in an artful way. Poetry extends my consciousness and awareness of consciousness. It offers opportunities to delve further into my experiences and responses and to gain insights and perspective. As well, I appreciate sharing creativity with the community of poets and receiving support of my thoughts, observations, and craft. Finally, poetry provides a venue for publication and a broad way to share.” ~ Laura Garrard
“I’m grateful for community (as so many others have stated) and for connections and for developing a mindset that anything can be a poem.” ~ Ann Hayes Peterson
“I’m grateful poetry meets me exactly where I am and welcomes me in.” ~ Lana Hechtman Ayers
And we are grateful you meet us here each week. We’re thankful to you and carry your words with us. We wish you the best of everything as we move into December.
With heartfelt thanks,
Kelli & Annette
Subscriber News and Inspiration (And a Bit of Extra Gratitude):
So it seems the Submission Parties in our Weekly Muse Facebook group are working (meaning: the more you submit, the luckier you get!) as we have lots of good news to share! Congrats to all! Many times we grab these successes from our Facebook group, but it’s quite easy to miss posts. If you want to make sure we share your news and/or poem here, please email us!
Cynthia R. Pratt writes: “Wow. Sent in 4 poems yesterday evening to Dreich Magazine out of Scotland, I think, and this morning heard back from the editor, Jack Caradoc, that 3 of them have been accepted for their June, 2024 edition. It was a tricky submission because each line had to fit in a 4” margin and I tend to write longer lines. Still, I’m so grateful for the quick acceptance reply back!”
And after Cynthia Pratt shared the above in our Facebook Group page, Cynthia Bernard shared: “I also submitted to them (Dreich Magazine) and got an acceptance in about 3 hours, astonishingly fast... he took 3 of the 4 poems I offered them. Mine will be with yours in their June 2024 edition... Two Cynthias from Two Sylvias!” —We are so thrilled that our our “Places to Submit Your Work” helped two Cynthias get work published! We’ve also learned that Ronda Piszk Broatch, Carol Despeaux Fawcett, and Two Sylvias Cofounder, Kelli Russell Agodon will also be in that same issue of Dreich Magazine!
Judith Sornberger writes: “Your call for something we are grateful for having to do with poems came just a day after my poem "Thanking My Mother for Checking Out Poetry" appeared on the Red Eft Review. That poem and another ("Sometimes We Try) can be read here: https://redeftreview.blogspot.com/ ("Thanking My Mother" appears beneath "Sometimes We Try.") I'm grateful each Sunday morning for The Muse Newsletter. Thank you!”
Susan Moore writes: “My poem “Ode to Loving What I Can’t Change” is in the Fall issue of North American Review.” Since NAR is a print journal, the poem is not online, but you can check out the Table of Contents to see the issue Susan’s poem appears in!
Deborah Bacharach writes: “I’m excited to share that my poem “A Fine Appendix” is up on ONE ART. You can read it here!”
Tricia Davis-Muffett was a guest on the podcast, My Time, My Life hosted by Trinette Faint. You can listen to the podcast entitled, “The Musicality of Poetry with Tricia Davis-Muffett” here!
Chrissy Stegman writes: “My latest poem is up at Poetry Breakfast! “Persephone Decides to Catch Up On Emails During a Low Self-Esteem Day” which you can read to here!”
Carol Despeaux Fawcett writes: “Thank you to the Two Sylvia‘s Newsletter for alerting me to two submission possibilities… yesterday, I got an email that Dreich Magazine is taking three of my poems for their June 2024 edition. Today, I got an email from the Santa Fe Literary Review that they are accepting my poem, “dolphin whisperer.” This poem means the world to me because it’s about my mom who passed away from Alzheimer’s, and an experience I had swimming in the wild with dolphins. thank you to my muses!!”
Deborah E. Martin writes: “I participated in the September submission challenge. I’ve received so so many rejections. Today Poetry Breakfast posted one of my poems. If not for the challenge I would never have submitted. Thank you Kelli and Annette. When I was traveling in Vermont I saw chairs on a hill and it was such a mystery.” You can read Deborah’s poem about those Vermont chairs here.—Thank you, Deborah, for reminding us that many times when we submit a lot, we also get rejections! Glad an acceptance slid in as well!
Melody Wilson’s poem “Catechism Agnostica” is in The Loch Raven Review and you can read it here!
And we end on wonderful note we received—
Michael Dwayne Smith writes: “This is a little update on a little luck. Last month I threw myself into the group's Finish Your Manuscript challenge. Well, the manuscript is *almost* finished, but something else happened along the way. While working on it, I kept having the nagging feeling that there were gaps or weak spots-- it needed fresh poems, new connective tissue. Diving into writing got me a little sidetracked, but it was fruitful; below are nine of these new poems accepted during the past six weeks, all of which were written while working with the "challenge" manuscript. Here are several acceptance’s Michael has received: Gargoyle Magazine: "Grief is a Coat" & "Undisclosed" [Note: Michael shared the first draft of "Undisclosed" with the Two Sylvias Facebook group “and received generous, valuable feedback.”], Amethyst Review: "Mojave Vipassanā," Alien Buddha Press Anthology: "A Change in Climate," "The Reading," & "Undressed," Bending Genres: "Maybe, Maybe," The Orchards Poetry Journal: "Diminishment" & "In Bed with Time and Fire,” and Impostor: A Poetry Journal: “Poem Ending with a Line from Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy.’”
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Please consider joining our private group of Weekly Muse members on Facebook in order to share your thoughts on writing, your poems, your challenges, your successes, etc.
We would also love to share your successes in the Weekly Muse. Please send along any publication good news to us!
Check out our Weekly Muse Zoom Classes & Salon Calendar: https://twosylviaspress.com/weekly-muse-calendar.html
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Two Sylvias Online Advent Calendar of Poetry Prompts!
It's Back with All New Prompts for 2023! Write 31 New Poems Throughout December!
Our online virtual Advent Calendar is easy to use—simply click on the calendar date and a prompt appears. Each prompt guides you with ideas for a new poem. Once you open a prompt, it remains accessible, so no problem if you skip a day or two—the prompts will be waiting for you. The calendar and all of the prompts will be available through the month of January.
To learn more and purchase the calendar, please visit our website: https://twosylviaspress.com/advent-calendar-prompts.html
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Two Sylvias Press Wilder Full-Length Poetry Book Prize for Women over 50 is Open for Submissions!
Deadline: December 31, 2023. Check out the Two Sylvias Press Wilder Poetry Book Prize awarded each year to a woman poet over fifty for her full-length poetry collection:
$1000 prize / Open to established & emerging poets
Past winners: Carmen Gillespie, Adrian Blevins, Dana Roeser, Erica Bodwell, Gail Martin, Michelle Bitting, Gail Griffin, and Tiffany Midge
Read the complete guidelines by visiting our website: https://twosylviaspress.com/wilder-series-poetry-book-prize.html
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Have a wonderful week!
Kelli & Annette