Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Have Y'all Heard?

Octopus Books will hold an open reading period for full-length poetry manuscripts in April of 2009. Manuscripts must be submitted between April Fools day and April 30, 2009.

We prefer you submit your manuscripts electronically.

To submit, 1) purchase the $10 reading fee through paypal from the button on the Octopus Books website on the "Submit" page (;
2) attach your manuscript in an email to;
3) in the subject line of the email write your name and "Manuscript Submission."

There is no need to introduce yourself in the body of the email. Your email will be handled anonymously by an intern. Your manuscript will be forwarded in a different file without any identifying markers and read blindly by the editors and other readers. Do not include your name on the manuscript at all.

If you choose to submit by mail, send manuscript to:

Octopus Books
1031 SE 21st
Portland, OR 97214

Include a $10 check made to Octopus Books and your email address. We will still notify you by email. Also, include your name on the packaging, but not on the manuscript itself.

I know it's a drag to pay a reading fee, but at least with Octopus I can assure you the money goes straight to publishing so you should feel good about submitting your MS and supporting poetry.

Speaking of poetry, it's no surprise that it at times feels to be an insular world filled with complaint and controversy. Not that long ago everyone was blogging about presses filled with ego and mis-intent. Then there was the Issue One debacle. Recently, people seem to be hating on Zapruder for his essay on criticism (which I linked on this blog) and of course, with a feature story in the New Yorker and two less than riveting books, now it's the Dickmans. Michael and Mathew. When I lived in Portland I met both of them. I remember very little about either. One of them drove a truck. His gf (at the time?) asked (commanded) him to help me move a sofa. One of them was "infamous" for stealing kitchen appliances from Kitchen Kaboodle. Bla, bla, bla. I've got nothing for you. But Coldfront reviews both of their books this week so you should head over there and check it out.

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