Ten Questions on Publishing – Reginald Shepherd

Over on Very Like a Whale.

Here’s an excerpt:

I first sent out poems in high school in the late Nineteen-Seventies (it was an independent study project, to research literary journals and submit work to them—a useful exercise), and then desultorily did so while I was a college dropout working menial jobs in Boston in the Nineteen-Eighties. I started submitting seriously after my belated college graduation in 1988. I sent out about three hundred individual submission packets of four to six poems before I had my first poem accepted in 1991. (I am nothing if not persistent, not to say stubborn.) I’ve been working at it steadily ever since, and have now published over four hundred poems, mostly in leading journals, as well as five books of my own poetry (after submitting versions of it to contests and publishers for five years, my first book, Some Are Drowning, won the 1993 AWP Award), two poetry anthologies, and a book of essays. But for most of my publishing career I have been rejected far more often than I’ve been accepted, even after publishing several books. But I am, as I said, very persistent.

More here.


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