Sunday, March 22, 2015

eight of nine

Since the post at the end of January I have received notification from all of ONE of the NINE magazines to which I sent work. That's just shy of eight weeks so far for eight of them. Huh. Based on the old days when I was sending work out regularly I expected to have heard from, oh, three or even five by now.

The single response was the sad but popular "these don't meet our needs."

One should not really count the days like this. The goal of the professional is to keep work circulating, to put poems out there without fretting over the fate of any particular batch. You hear when you hear, or you make up a cut-off date and figure any batch that's been out past that date is effectively rejected and you move on.

So I'm not a professional? Yeah, no.

Sending out work for me is emotionally fraught and it's not easy to face that kind of inner turmoil. The world is the world, of course, and goes on about its business without taking an individual's feelings into account. No editor should be worrying about my feelings; they should be doing what they do as best they can, putting in an interesting order work they think of value.

I won't make any money out of this. That's not what's going to happen, not even if I suddenly start getting a zillion acceptances. And the people who make magazines are barely getting by so they can't afford to pay contributors anything, except rarely. It's not about the money.

What is it about? Being part of the conversation? If current literature is a conversation, both with readers and with other writers, then, yes, I want my voice a thread in the weave. I read my contemporaries and it seems to me my work is not out of place. Even if it were, or when it is, I would still want to be noticed. That's ego, isn't it? Yes. But if you think what you say is worthless, you hold your tongue.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

the envelope of love

I just walked nine batches of poems over to the post office. Last time I did a serious mailing only a handful of literary magazines were reading email submissions and they were snarky about it. Today I found in my research most have ceased reading work received in physical form. The old self-addressed stamped envelope is looking endangered.


Online submissions are easier and cheaper for writers. I look forward to sending more work out that way.

I created a physical mailing because that’s the way you were taken seriously. Up to now. And because I wanted to take the process seriously. It’s been ages since I really committed to sending work out. Assembling the whole package — addressing the envelopes, the SASE, the stamps, the cover letter — it’s dispiriting. Especially, of course, when the hope and eagerness is bitten away at by the fat SASE of rejection. The times I have sent out work in the few last years I asked in my cover letter that the manuscript be recycled and NOT returned. The pages were often not something that could be sent out again anyway, what with editors’ pencilings or the puncture marks of staples or just the wear of handling. And if the submission came back pristine, that was its own kind of discouragement. Better the slim envelope of rejection than the fat.

Here’s hoping for the svelte envelope of love.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

really, truly

My last post - May of this year - reproduced the last rejection I received. I had sent a batch of poems to the magazine 6 X 6, published by Ugly Ducking Presse in Brooklyn.

Yesterday that batch of poems got rejected again. This is what the editors said this time:
Thank you for your recent submission. We truly enjoyed reading your work. Unfortunately, we didn’t find it to be a good fit for 6 X 6. We wish you the best with your future writing.

I included a SASE, but asked them to recycle the manuscript rather than return it. I’m guessing whoever was in charge of throwing stuff out either forgot to or was reluctant to. When it came time to review poems for a new issue my poems were still lying around and got included in the considerations. Since there was no SASE the editors spent their own money on a stamp and envelope to send me the bad news. Nice of them, eh?

In the first rejection they “really enjoyed … some truly amazing moments.” This rejection they “truly enjoyed [the] reading.” Considering the silence that’s the usual response even to published work, I got a pretty good deal. Two letters claiming to have gotten pleasure from my poems.

Friday, May 30, 2014

“I think you’re a really great guy, but I’m just not that into you.”

A few months ago I sent poems to 6 X 6, a poetry magazine published by Ugly Duckling Presse in Brooklyn. Today came this:
Thank you so much for your submission! We really enjoyed your work - it had some truly amazing moments; however, we did not find it a good fit for 6 X 6. We wish you all the best - happy writing!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Glenn Ingersoll - January 5 reading at Redwood Cafe, Cotati

Glenn Ingersoll will be reading poetry with Alan Bern in Cotati at the Redwood Cafe on January 5, 5-7pm.

musical guests: Steve Shain, bass; Nick Alvan; songs, bass/guitar

Redwood Cafe First Sundays Series
at Redwood Cafe
8240 Old Redwood Hwy, Cotati

Glenn Ingersoll has had work in magazines (Exquisite Corpse, Carolina Quarterly) and ezines (Cortland Review, Shampoo), and has published two chapbooks, "City Walks" (1999) and "Fact" (2013). He was one of the coordinators of Poetry & Pizza in San Francisco, a reading series benefiting nonprofits. He works for the Berkeley Public Library. erkeley Public Library.

Alan Bern has published two volumes of poetry with Fithian Press: No no the saddest (2004) and Waterwalking in Berkeley (2007). He is currently at work on two books: one based on the theme of Sacred Mountains and the other dedicated to his parents. Alan is a storyteller and performer working with the dancer, Lucinda Weaver, as PACES: dance & poetry fit to the space. PACES has performed stage-piece collaborations in Italy and Switzerland; and they have performed as well in local libraries, museums, and bookstores. Alan is also a printer and designer, and collaborates with the artist Robert Woods: they work together under the imprint of Lines & Faces, They produce illustrated broadsides and in 2014 will be printing and publishing the book dedicated to his parents, even greater distances. Alan has worked in public libraries in the East Bay Area for 20 years in a variety of jobs and is currently a Children’s Librarian at Berkeley Public’s Central Library.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Whitman-Stein Poetry Fest in San Francisco, Nov 24

Glenn Ingersoll will be reading as part of the Whitman-Stein Poetry Fest in San Francisco, Sunday, November 24, 2-4pm at the AWE Gallery, 678 Portola. No admission fee.

The Whitman-Stein Poetry Fest was founded by Ron Alexander and happens each spring in Santa Barbara. Sunday's Whitman-Stein is a reunion of Bay Area poets who have read down south.

Ron Alexander created the event to bring poetry to the contemporary LGBT community so named it after two famous American poets, one gay and one lesbian. We're here already, we've been queer a long time, get with it.

To help connect us to our history, poets & listeners alike, Ron asked the poets to read at least one poem by an older gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual poet before reading their own poems. When I read in Santa Barbara in the spring I read a poem by my mentor the pioneering gay publisher, Paul Mariah. I will be reading the same poem in San Francisco.

The other poets:

Nixson Borah (Atascadero) reads Robert Peters

Giovanna Capone (Oakland) reads Pamela Sneed

Marc Hofstadter (Walnut Creek) reads James Schuyler

Tobey Kaplan (Oakland) reads Djuna Barnes

Kit Kennedy (San Francisco) reads Sappho

Jan Steckel (Oakland) reads Gabriela Mistral

more about the venue:
AWE: A Woman’s Eye Gallery
678 Portola Drive
San Francisco, CA
across from Tower Market
in Miraloma Park
free parking at the adjacent Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran - PURPLE church
(415) 265-8237

more about the Whitman-Stein Poetry Fest:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

help from mother earth

1:10 a.m., in bed, tired of having Sundy, the shorthair, stomp over my pillow, I'm staring at the ceiling, hand on Sutra, the fat fluffy cat who snores, when there's a thump and a ripple passes under the bed. The cats tore outta there. Hm, earthquake, I said to myself. Now maybe I can get to sleep cat-free.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Glenn Ingersoll - September 2013 readings

Sept 13, Friday, 7pm
with Rebecca Radner
and an open mic
at Caffe Nefeli
1854 Euclid Ave, Berkeley
between Hearst and Ridge, at UCB's Northgate

Sept 15, Sunday, 12noon
with Jamie Asaye FitzGerald and Kathleen Winter
part of the Petaluma Poetry Walk
at Riverfront Art Gallery
132 Petaluma Blvd N, Petaluma
between Western and Washington, downtown

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

blue sky and gentle breezes

A comfortable day in Berkeley. I'm in flip-flops. Just finished a tuna sandwich here at Bel Forno, where I'm using the wifi, a few sips to go on my mocha.

I wrote in my diary. I have some books to read, will probably get thru a few pages.

Browsing accommodations on Oahu as Kent & I are thinking of visiting his nephew who has a boat there. Randall and his biz partner are running scuba and snorkel trips under the name Hawaiian Diving Adventures. I've never worn a scuba mask and I'd like to give it a go.

K & I prefer a walk in the woods to a walk in the mall and Waikiki, as a seething mass of bodies, does not appeal, so we've never thought much of Honolulu as a destination. But the more I read about the island the more it seems a lot of it is rural. Plus it's not big. From one end of the island to the other travel takes about an hour, according to Google maps.

I'd be fine with a day at museums.

Monday, January 28, 2013

FACT, a book of poems by Glenn Ingersoll


50 short poem poems

by Glenn Ingersoll

The poems are philosophical, humorous, and often conscious of themselves. The book is small enough to slip into a pocket, handy for those moments stolen for contemplation or distraction.

sample poem:

I am trying to think up
a good poem. I would like it to be good
to make up for all the offenses
of bad poems. Though I suspect that's
too much to demand from my simple skills.
Even a really good poem would be able to atone
for little of the intolerance, torture, and warfare
conducted in the name of poetry.

poems from Fact have appeared in Exquisite Corpse, Lilliput Review, Shampoo, Fish Drum, and Fish Dance, and other places.

Go to Alba for four Fact poems.
Go to Shampoo for seven Fact poems.

You can read Steve Masover's response to Fact at his One Finger Typing.

Jim McCrary says, "Glenn Ingersoll is a big poet. It is always good to see what he has to say." Read more at Galatea Resurrects.

As well as a review, the poet Jim Murdoch conducted an interview with me on his blog, The Truth About Lies. Roughly summing up, Jim says, "As a body of work [Fact is] thought-provoking and deals with many aspects of the nature of poetry." In the interview Jim asked about the title; I responded: "The poems did not to think of themselves as fiction." Check out the post.

The poet Jan Steckel created a Fact page at Jan says, "I loved this little chapbook ... My husband and I cracked up reading its little masterpieces to each other."

price: $5 from the publisher
$6 from me - it's signed & includes a thank you card (while supplies last)
[as of Oct 2014, I still have copies!]

Avantacular Press
Andrew Topel, publisher
1239 6th St
Orange City FL 32763

you may also direct inquiries to the author

or send him your six dollars via the good old post office (while it lasts!); cash is keen:
Glenn Ingersoll
2015 Cedar St
Berkeley CA 94709

[updated 12 October 2014]

Monday, January 21, 2013

Thousand: Thousand

thou. Sand castle, sandpaper. Let me find you, says the wind. The dog lifts her head, ears pricked, nostrils twitching. What did she hear? Something transdimensional? A worm turning? At one end of the world a bell rings; at the other someone waits, listening for an answer. We made it to the top of the mountain. To get any higher, hail an angel. Or a cyclone. Thank you, days, months, years, for counting. There’s not a minute to lose, yet here they are, all over the ground. How many have you squirreled away? Three two-minute segments, one five-minute, one one.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thousand: Nine Hundred Ninety-Nine

body is waiting, no one in it. Will it let the breath in? The body’s not sure. Sometimes you have to say no. The breath could go back to searching. It’s always been a seeker, anyway. There are grains of sand to check under again. The telephone rings in the house. The only guest picks it up. “No,” he says. “I don’t know. I’m sorry.” When he hangs up the phone he feels bad. He goes back to his room. “You and me,” thinks the woman standing over the dog. She’s not intending to take the dog in. I and

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thousand: Nine Hundred Ninety-Eight

knack. You know how you can be so good at something it doesn’t take any thought? Typing, playing the piano, executing somersaults. When you started working on the task it was difficult, maybe seemed impossible, but you kept at it. At some point it became effortless. Your body no longer needed you to think out each step in the process. Perhaps her husband got lost. Finding a good night’s sleep had been impossible. He took a wrong turn. His breath returns to his body having not found him in the dust and ash, having searched the sands without luck. The