Wednesday, January 28, 2015

needed: poetry about tomatoes

Here’s a message from an editor looking for more poetry about tomatoes for an anthology. It’s interesting as a possible opportunity for those who have something or could quickly write something to submit. It’s also interesting as an inside track on what can go through a beleaguered editor’s mind. For more info, click the link in the first line.



Deadline February 1st: I apologize for not announcing this here until so close to the deadline. Volume wise we have plenty of poetry submissions. So I hadn't considered advertising for more. Quality wise (and diversity wise) however, I'm really not happy with what we have. We've got several poems with brilliant ideas or concepts, but rather than make good use of them the poet seems to abandon them or even mock-them. Since we're on a deadline, it's not realistic to coach poets individually. We have enough good to ok poems to do what we need, but I'm hoping I can stir up some more diverse and impressive poetry. Yes, the theme is Tomatoes and the poem should significantly feature a tomato in some way. It can be a symbol rather than a literal fruit, it just needs to be significant. However don't use it as a metaphor for a human body part (except maybe the head or heart....) PLEASE don't just send us an ode to tomatoes with every tomato related word you can find on a google search. Consider sending something less visceral... if I read another poem about skins and juices I may go crazy. Not that I don't think these concepts could be well done, we just have plenty of them already. What I would really like to see... STRUCTURE... meter, rhyme, alliteration, wordplay... not just lazy couplet rhyme, feel free to play with structure, just have some. (Couplets are fine when done well with good word choice.) If your poem has to be preformed for us to get a sense of tempo, then it's not a good fit. This is a book people will read to themselves, not a stage piece. FOCUS... I like profound, but I also like fun. You have a lot of options as to what you focus on, but try to stick to a main idea within the poem. Narrative poems that actually tell a narrative in a straight forward manner would be great. We're open genre. It can be short and cutesy to deep and profound. But I shouldn't have to read it 20 times to interpret what you're saying. I've got a high IQ, a college degree in communication, and am a devoted study of the language and storytelling, if I can't understand what you're saying then you're not being clear enough. Poems that focused on a single idea related to tomatoes or type of tomato would be nice. We have probably 30 entries that list beefsteak or cherry or heirloom in a boring list. I'd love to see someone take one of those words and play with it. A lot of the poems we've received try to cram in too much about tomatoes. Pick a theme and stick to it. You are allowed multiple entries if you'd like to say more. We would really love to see stuff featuring Aztecs, not just in a drive by line but an actual focus. (Aztecs were the first culture to grow tomatoes as food). We love Italians, but we've got enough pieces that feature Italians. Tomatoes interacting with other ethnic groups would be lovely. Finally, this is not a poetry anthology, but a blend of short stories, poems, recipes, and artwork. So don't write for hardcore poetry reader, write for a general audience. (Yes, we'd love you to submit in the other categories if they appeal to you. We could particularly use more recipes and black and white artwork. We have enough short mainstream stories, but we would really love some genres like mystery, fantasy, sci-fi, and historical Aztecs and early European interactions with the tomato.) Lastly, we have a facebook page with lots of inspiration images and links to tomato history research: (Also using it to keep everyone updated on the books progress.) Thank you, hope we'll be seeing your submissions soon.



Elma Schemenauer CONSIDER THE SUNFLOWERS: 1940s-era novel about love, Mennonites, faith, & betrayal.  Info at   Order from Chapters online or Borealis Press


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