Sunday, September 30, 2007

SCR Selection Process

Friday, September 28, 2007


What happened to the Goat?

Waiting for Shit Creek

There's a really good read over at Christine Klocek-Lim's Autumn Sky Poetry if you need a poetry fix: work by Annie Bien, Robert Bolick and others.

Or you could just gaze at the moon...


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Some of the poems I couldn't do without

A selection of the poems I consider essential to existence in the Universe as we know it:

Anon - Tom O'Bedlam's Song
Cad Goddeu from The Book of Taliesin
Gaius Valerius Catullus - Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus
Gaius Valerius Catullus - Odi et amo
The Battle of Maldon
The Táin Bó Cúailnge (prose plus verse)
Scéla Mucce Mac Dathó (prose but really a poem)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Geoffrey Chaucer - General Prologue to the Cantebury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer - The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale
John Skelton - The Garland of Laurel
John Skelton - Speke, Parrot
John Skelton - The auncient acquaintance, madam, betwen vs twayn
John Skelton - Knoledge, acquayntance, resort, fauour with grace
John Skelton - The Tunnyng of Elynour Rummyng
Thomas Wyatt - They fle from me, that sometyme did me seke
Christopher Marlowe - Doctor Faustus
William Shakespeare - Sonnet 129: Th'expence of Spirit in a waste of shame
William Shakespeare - Sonnet 27: Weary with toyle, I hast me to my bed
William Shakespeare - King Lear
William Shakespeare - The Phoenix and the Turtle
John Donne - The Extasie
John Donne - The Valediction Forbidding Mourning
Andrew Marvell - Bermudas
Andrew Marvell - To his Coy Mistress
Andrew Marvell - The Garden
John Dryden - Alexander's Feast
William Blake - Auguries of Innocence
William Blake - London
S.T. Coleridge - The Frost at Midnight
S.T. Coleridge - This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison
S.T. Coleridge - Kubla Khan
Lord Byron - Don Juan
John Keats - Ode to Autumn
John Keats - The Eve of Saint Agnes
Christina Rossetti - Goblin Market
Lewis Carroll - The Walrus and the Carpenter
Lewis Carroll - Jabberwocky
Paul Verlaine - Clair de Lune
Arthur Rimbaud - Au Cabaret-Vert
Arthur Rimbaud - Le Bateau ivre
Arthur Rimbaud - Chanson de la plus haute tour
Gérard de Nerval - Desdichado
Emily Dickinson - Because I could not stop for Death
Emily Dickinson - I heard a fly buzz when I died
Matthew Arnold - Dover Beach
Robert Browning - The Bishop Orders His Tomb
W.B. Yeats - Under Ben Bulben
W.B. Yeats - Sailing to Byzantium
W.B. Yeats - Running to Paradise
A.E. Housman - Tell me not here, it needs not saying
T.S. Eliot - The Waste Land
Robert Frost - After Apple Picking
Robert Frost - The Need for Being Versed in Country Things
Robert Frost - Out, Out
John Crowe Ransom - Captain Carpenter
Federico García Lorca - Canción de jinete
Federico García Lorca - Muerte de Antoñito El Camborio
Laura Riding - Tillaquils
Laura Riding - Cure of Ignorance
Laura Riding - The Map of Places
Laura Riding - Laura and Francisca
Robert Graves - Pure Death
Robert Graves - The Terraced Valley
Robert Graves - The Fallen Tower of Siloam
Robert Graves and Omar Ali-Shah (trans) - The Rubaiyyat of Omar Khayaam
Dylan Thomas - The Hunchback in the Park
Kenneth Slessor - Five Bells
Kenneth Slessor - Captain Dobbin
Seamus Heaney - Blackberry-picking
Seamus Heaney - Requiem for the Croppies
Seamus Heaney - Death of a Naturalist
Seamus Heaney - Exposure
Ted Hughes - View of a Pig

This list and others at Dr Whup-Ass's Bitch-Ass Poetry Round Up.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Mais où sont les Shit Creeks d'antan?

Almost a year has gone by since issue #1 of The Shit Creek Review first gushed forth into the fine, wide meadows of the Muses. The founder/editor, Paul Stevens, moi, undertook the enterprise in a moment of light-headed mindless facetiousness back in September 2006, and merrily anounced the incipient flow of Shit Creek waters thus:

Submit! All your bases are belong us!

The Shit Creek Review is calling for submissions for its #1 Edition.

Printed on cheap, low quality pixels, edited by a dodgy incompetent (Paul Stevens), and read only by The Editor, his family and friends, and his cat Geoffrey, as well as by googlers seeking the word "shit", The Shit Creek Review will nevertheless publish new poetry of reasonable merit, especially, but not exclusively, in the category of Yuma. It will make an impressive addition to your list of publishing credits.

Poets should submit 1-5 poems, together with brief biographical details, in the body of an email to:

The rest is History. Or Legend. Or possibly total Bullshit. But The Shit Creek Review flows on, relentlessly stranding poets well up its farthest reaches, usually in a barbed-wire canoe and always without a paddle.

There have been turbulent eddies along the way: The Doubters, who said all would shun the name they deemed vile; The Limericks Overboard Affair, involving Caledonian nefariousness; Renaissance man Jack Conway's epoch-making discovery that the editor, who had declared himself from the start a dodgy incompetent with a readership of 4 ½ souls (since expanded to 9 ¾) really is a dodgy incompetent, and the famous Death-Grapple that resulted therefrom, ending in the accidental submersion of Conway beneath the green and slimy waters, from which he has not yet re-emerged; the strange disappearance of Nigel Holt into the Deserts of Uthgurz-Grimme in hot pusuit of a Goth gerbil; the mysterious retirement of Don 'Achilles' Zirilli to his tent; Artist-in-Resident Pat Jones' possession by the Benevolent Demon Quandoparamucho-Miamoredefelice-Carathon; the appearance of the Magna Mater in the guise of Angela France; and Paul Stevens' official certification as a Lunatic, for which he is now receiving regular Electric Shock therapy. Then there was the laying of the Egg-like subzine II, which cracked asunder betimes, the I from the I, and therefrom crawled The Chimaera, scrambling forth from the Creek to canter away across the hills and vales and yon. But some say that II is not dead, but will rise again.

These transient little disturbances have not impeded the vigorous flow of the mighty Creek, which races forward Tsunami-like to be-drench and be-mire all that tries to stand before it. It is testament to the widely-flung name and fragrance of our Creek that poets as famous as William McGonagall III, great-grandson of the famous William Topaz McGonagall (1825-1902) have submitted verses for publication in The Shit Creek Review.

So here's to another fertile year ahead! Beginning, appropriately, with The Shit Creek Horror—coming soon!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Print vs Pixels

I have a very high regard for the poetry of Mark Allinson, and remarked to him in an email that I believe his poetry should be more widely circulated. His reply included the following observations, which raise an issue that I know is of concern to some poets who have expressed a reluctance to submit work to internet poetry magazines, maintaining their own preference for print venues.
Paul, as you know, the present poetry world is very small. Compared with the world of prose, it is in the nanosphere.

So when you say "more widely circulated", that seems to me to mean that I should be trying to get my stuff into paper mags with circulations of 1500 or less!

Even the great POETRY (where I don't submit) has a circulation of only 30,000.

Whereas, in an e-mag, like our beloved SCR, my work has the potential to be read online by BILLIONS—yes, I know that is only potential—but still!

If we want to interest readers in poetry, especially formal poetry, why not use the most readable, accessible medium the world has yet seen?

Publishing in the small "prestigious" mags is merely parading before one's peers (and their immediate families)—if ordinary readers read them, their print-runs would be 10 times their present size.

(Poetry by Mark here, here, here, here, here and here.)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


U shudnt be callin us midlife Hoodies innit. Orright les give one of yr poems a good ol kickin then.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Don't Panic!

Don't blink, either. Or breathe. Just stand very still and wait.

Accept and Decline letters are going out even as you read this. Editor Stevens is strapped to his computer, red-eyed, pop-eyed, hairy tongue a-loll, mouth a-froth, head steaming, elbows jerking wildly, St Vitus' marionette, hands flailing, typing frantically away through the long list of Submitters, notifying them of the fate of their beloved poems. His magic fingers are a blur of frenzied prestidigitation as they rap out a dazzling keystroke hypersyncopation which resolves into a streaming blizzard of emailed notifications, each one bearing joy or despair, Heaven or Hell, mild boredom or slight irritation. And one such notification will reach you very soon—provided, of course, that you submitted work in the first place. It will come. Patience.