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  #21  
Unread 03-23-2021, 02:20 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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They are upfront saying they prefer work that's anti-Russian and anti-Chinese communism, any form of socialism and for something they call beauty. They took one of my anti-Russian communism things, my first and last to them.
But there is no Russian or Chinese communism to be opposed to and that is why it's so silly. Russia is full of thieving capitalists who only have to stay in Putin's good graces to continue to maintain the imbalance of wealth, and although the party controlling China calls itself the Chinese Communist Party that has about as much relevance to what they're doing today as the name Democratic or Tory or Republican. The Cultural Revolution was sixty years ago. I have a few friends who have made loads of money working with Chinese capitalists over the last decade so, while Fox and the other propaganda arms of the Republican Party make a point of emphasizing the name Chinese Communist Party, they are no more communist than Trump is honest.
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  #22  
Unread 03-23-2021, 02:45 PM
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Kevin Rainbow Kevin Rainbow is offline
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This is what they say in the submission section:

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We accept submissions on any theme you may choose; however, we recommend these themes:

(1) The negative effects of communism and socialism on the West: Communism, including its first phase (socialism), is an ideology based on destroying harmony among social classes and eliminating traditional beliefs and moral values. It has led to over 100 million deaths—more than the first and second World Wars combined. Despite this, the ideology continues to manipulate America, Europe, and the West in general, and its crimes have still not yet been fully exposed or understood. We encourage poetry that exposes it in any of its forms.

(2) Human rights in China: In a globalized world where many products are “Made in China,” the human rights violations there are essentially in our own backyard. Particularly heinous is the persecution of the peaceful meditation practice Falun Gong, including the forced removal and sale of practitioners’ organs. Also included on the long list of offended parties are democracy advocates, human rights lawyers, bloggers, Tibetan Buddhists, Catholics, Christians, and many others. We encourage poetry that exposes the abuses of human rights in communist China.

(3) The beauty of classical arts: Classical arts, found in the realms of literature, fine art, architecture, music, dance, and so on, cherish a clear sense of beauty and the mastery of traditional techniques. At their best, they inspire us with their lofty ideals, strengthen the basic moral foundations of society, and, of course, delightfully entertain us. Yet, today, classical arts are often neglected and treated as boring or out of style. We seek poetry that celebrates the beauty and power of classical arts. “Classical” here is in the broad sense and refers to arts or methods from the Romantic period or earlier, or approximately pre-1870.
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  #23  
Unread 03-23-2021, 02:51 PM
John Riley John Riley is offline
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This may have had some relevance in 1955, but I'm sure they would have then, as they do today, ignore all the totalitarian nations that preserve the ruling classes and the social orders that exist on the backs of wide and deep poverty.
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  #24  
Unread 03-23-2021, 03:42 PM
W T Clark W T Clark is offline
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Originally Posted by Kevin Rainbow View Post
This is what they say in the submission section:

Oh dear, how pathetic. From what I've heard about John Whitworth, it seems he deserves better.
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  #25  
Unread 03-23-2021, 04:44 PM
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Kevin Rainbow Kevin Rainbow is offline
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What's pathetic about being upfront and honest about having a political and moral position?

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From what I've heard about John Whitworth, it seems he deserves better.
That's subjective. Flowers die, poems aren't perfect, memories can be distorted, etc. . All gifts and attempts at honouring someone's memory have imperfections. How do you draw the line and determine that only one standard is acceptable and deserved?
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  #26  
Unread 03-23-2021, 07:16 PM
Max Goodman Max Goodman is offline
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Originally Posted by Kevin Rainbow View Post
I didn't say it was "brilliant", but brought up some critical points about the last couplet, and my comment was received very politely.
Point about online civility taken, Kevin.

I do wonder whether your civil criticism would have been found acceptable without those feints toward praise of the poem. Your post there is skillful.
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  #27  
Unread 03-23-2021, 08:40 PM
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Andrew Mandelbaum Andrew Mandelbaum is offline
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We accept submissions on any theme you may choose; however, we recommend these themes:

(1) Obsolete political scapegoating, especially those pieces that can combine the demonization of the non-existent with displays of the total misapprehension of historical moments.

(2) Human rights struggles from places we don't really know or interact with that can be used as a screen to place in front of the human rights abuses we actively support and salivate over.

(3) The beauty of our own portfolio: Idiosyncratic arts, found in the realms of extra rhymey patriotism, Christain rock, goose stepping, prison design and so on, that cherish a clear sense of mimicry of the archaic and a Hobbsean sense of our fellow mensch. At their best, they inspire us with their lofty ideals, strengthen the basic moral foundations of society, and, of course, delightfully entertain us. Yet, today, fascist arts are often neglected and treated as defeated or out of style. We seek poetry that celebrates the beauty of power . “Classical” here is in the broad sense and refers to arts or methods from the Riefenstahl period or earlier, or approximately pre-battle of Stalingrad.
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  #28  
Unread 03-23-2021, 10:13 PM
Michael Cantor Michael Cantor is offline
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Nicely done, Andrew.
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  #29  
Unread 03-24-2021, 04:23 AM
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Sarah-Jane Crowson Sarah-Jane Crowson is offline
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Bit of an aside but it might be worth thinking that:

The site is ad-supported so every bit of traffic you drive there will add to their page-view stats and potentially bring them sponsors (although I’m not expert on how this works). So be careful, or you're unwittingly supporting them.

It reads like a grooming site for right-wing extremism in places. But ultimately, for me, it looks like a peculiarly poor poetry journal, some okay work, some terrible work, placed at the very low end of the online market, out to make money partly through preying on vanity/the vulnerable. Suspect the anthologies are print-to-order, profit-making, and include lots and lots of authors who are keen to see their work in print. It also looks to have its own thriving community and all the hierarches/customs that occur naturally in any kind of space.

Their Duotrope stats (although these can be very volatile and not reliable) show they reject about half of the submissions offered to them. So they have some kind of selection process. It might be an ideological selection process rather than a poetic technique-based process, though. Accepting half of submissions is a HUGE amount of acceptances in context, anyway, for something that's relatively established. Usually that kind of stat is for start-ups, as fewer people know about them and so they're solicited subs from friends.


Putting it within the wider narratives of open submissions/metrical poetry journals is tricky for me to do accurately - you will all have better knowledge of this space - but it seems to me that Able Muse is the highest, most critically selective side of a continuum (D/T stats reflect this, too) and this journal at the lowest. There’s a gap in the market for something in the middle. A good online journal specialising in metrical poetry that is more selective, with robust editorial process (and is less politicised!) They exist for wider poetry-markets, that kind of higher-level print/online hybrid.

I am enjoying the particular bitterness - not quite vitriol - but stronger than citric acid - in Whitworth’s poetry very much. I hadn’t read him before.

Last edited by Sarah-Jane Crowson; 03-24-2021 at 04:30 AM.
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  #30  
Unread 03-24-2021, 09:14 AM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is offline
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One thing you could say for them at least is that they have periodic contests, like an annual poetry competition, riddle poems, and ekphrastics. There may be others, too, though I can't say for sure, since I haven't looked lately.

Last edited by Martin Elster; 03-24-2021 at 09:17 AM.
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