Every single submission of mine to poetry magazines has been rejected – to date, for the last three years; but acceptance had become a rarity since 2010. A list of repeated rejections includes all the standard, Arts Council subsidised, UK journals, and all US magazines and reviews. Only those poems that have been specifically invited by editors have been published. I conclude that submission is a scam. Submissions that demand payment are a cash cow for the magazine. I have heard the same story from many older poets. Complaints to editors have been ignored. A bas les magazines. Poets, never submit!
To The Poetry Review:
Dear Sarah and Maurice
Your last communication brings the number of my poems that have been rejected for publication by your review to twenty-six. This is since 2014.
Birth of the Dance
Lord of Storms
The Frustrated Poltergeist
Flesh and Blood
Out of Touch
Beyond Unreasonable Doubt
How I am
It appears that you feel that my writing is inappropriate, which is sad, since I first published in The Poetry Review when I was twenty-two and Derek Parker was its editor. I also had a long poem accepted when Eric Mottram was the editor. I acknowledge that, appended to your rejections, there are invariably kind words about how much you enjoyed reading what I sent you. Perhaps you feel that my work will discomfort your readers, who are less sophisticated than you are when it comes the cutting edge. But what an indictment that would be of your subscribers. Anyway, I am sure you feel, as I do, that enough is enough. I will not call upon you to again go to the effort of mustering the blandishments that accompany your rejections.
The list of shame includes: Ambit (multiple rejections), Granta, London Magazine, Poetry London, Poetry Review (multiple rejections), Magma, Poetry, Seneca Review, Nashville Review, Paris Review, Watershed Review, Ponder, Poached Hare and many others.
I have been able to publish in The Wolf, Poetry Salzburg Review, the Spectator, The High Window, Journal of Poetics Research (Australia), The Fortnightly Review and others – in each case, at the invitation of the editor in the first instance.