Tuesday, February 14, 2023

“The City in the Cup” in Columbia Poetry Review

I just discovered that the 1998 issue of Columbia Poetry Review that includes my poem “The City in the Cup” has been scanned and posted online. 

Here’s a link.

If you’re curious what else got published that year, here’s a link to my LuvSet post.

Thursday, February 02, 2023

a few words inserted in the boilerplate rejection

Most literary magazines want to consider a batch of poems all sent together. Recently I sent poems to Grub Street, a lit mag that wanted five poems but they wanted each uploaded individually to their submission manager, each poem thus being considered apart from the others. One of the poems was rejected within the week, another shortly after, the third after a month. Two more lingered long enough for me to get hopeful. I got the rejections this morning, two months after I uploaded them for consideration. 

Rejections are friendlier these days than they used to be, on the whole, telling the poet the editors read zillions of poems, not to be discouraged, blah blah blah. I read the boilerplate rejections even though they always say the same things. One of this morning's rejections included a phrase not included in the other: "we found your style to be fun and engaging." The poem was overtly joky, so it was a rare instance of an editorial response that wasn't boilerplate. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

new year’s resolutions 2023

In last year’s new year’s resolution post here at LoveSettlement I mostly talked about writing. That’s what I tend to think about when I think about resolutions because most of the other things in my life aren’t things to make resolutions about. I don’t make resolutions about better diet or more exercise because I eat good food as best I can and I do as much exercise as my body will allow. If I were to make a resolution it might be to get to the gym again. I am still nervous about being around people expelling a lot of breath, droplets in air being the main transmission factor for covid. The rigamarole of going to a special building downtown and changing my clothes in order to make myself tired and sore is also relatively hard to motivate myself into. I like walks around the neighborhood, even straight up the hill, and I’ve added pull-ups to that routine by stopping by a park playground and finding a bar to hang from. I have a regular yoga practice. So not going to the gym doesn’t mean I’m not exercising.

I don’t set writing goals either. I write, or I don’t. I work on projects or whatever comes. What I need resolve to get done is the marketing. I need to push myself to send work out. In 2022 I was surprised to learn that a poet friend with two books and various accolades has not been sending her poems out to magazines. So I proposed we form a mutual support group for submissions goals. We’ve been doing this for six months or so, each month setting a goal for number of places to send to. Then we check in to see how it went. We don’t set high goals, but for my friend going from none to four was a big step. I tend to set my goals low then exceed them, but when I was answering only to myself I was setting my goals high and straining to reach them, which was discouraging.  Having a friend congratulate me on meeting my sub goal has been a real boost. 

So long as your work is going around you place stuff. Mostly the response from editors is rejection, of course. Having rejection be the primary aspect of the process is a resolve weakener, so adding a friend’s encouraging voice — and in turn encouraging her — de-poisons the atmosphere. If my friend is amenable, I would continue this through 2023. 

Another poet friend talked me into setting up a Twitter account: @lovesettlement … I did that at the beginning of October, then I read articles on how best to use Twitter. And I did all that just before Elon Musk bought it and started destroying it. I tweet links to old blog posts — and the stats for the blog posts always show 8 - 10 fresh visitors. Whether that means anyone new has stopped by to read is ambiguous. A number isn’t a reader. It may be some sort of software feeler, a bot. I don’t know. Should I bother anymore? Should I hook up with Mastodon? Some other Twitter-like site? Unresolved!

I am working with publisher AC Books to bring forth Autobiography of a Book. This year? Hope so! Supporting Book will be a task — seeking reviews, scheduling readings, figuring out what else one can do. Getting into that stuff will require resolve, but is it really any different from pushing oneself to do other things that need to be done but which one doesn’t readily want to do, like paying bills or renewing the passport? So would this count as a New Year’s Resolution? 

Then there’s assembling manuscripts. I have a lot of work in notebooks and in computer files that can be organized. I have a chapbook manuscript out to a publisher. I sent my book-length poetry manuscript out to another publisher late last year. So: assembling manuscripts, researching publishers, sending those out. Resolved! Ugh. I mean, Whee!

I am glad the world continues to open up. I am adding live, in-person poetry events to my calendar. I’ll get myself to open mics again. Being around people at poetry readings is something like socializing and socializing is necessary, if hard for me. The main way I’ve gotten Thousand out into the world is by trading it for other people’s books or zines. So I remind myself to bring copies along to literary and small press occasions. 

There is always something to do. I remember my mom saying something like that. True enough. People to see, things to do.

Sunday, January 01, 2023

2022 in publications

A quick list of the places that included something of my work in 2022:




Rejection Letters


haiku kontinuum

brass bell

Sparks of Calliope

Crowstep Journal





Sparkle & Blink / Quiet Lightning

Bullshit Lit

Poetry Super Highway

Lost Paper

Over the Transom


Trash Panda

Thieving Magpie

A Special Mention in their poetry category from the 2022 Pushcart Prize Anthology for the poem “Personal Testimony,” which was nominated by Marsha de la O and Phil Taggart, editors of Spillway when the poem appeared there. “Personal Testimony” was also later included in Quiet Lightning’s Sparkle & Blink

I am working with AC Books to bring forth Autobiography of a Book as a real book. An announcement with full details coming soon. 

Monday, December 26, 2022

Three poems at Thieving Magpie

Three poems have posted at Thieving Magpie:

“Without Gravity” 

“Good News / Bad News” 

“Vacation Rental”

They appear as part of Winter 2022/2023 issue #20. 

The editors say they “take their art and mischief seriously” and seek to publish those who do.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Sometimes …, a Lost Paper collective piece

Zee Zahava edits Lost Paper, a blog in which she posts collaborative/collective works. This month’s piece is a collection of sentences beginning “Sometimes …” Zahava does not credit each sentence, only listing at the end all the writers who contributed. 

My sentences are two:

Sometimes I need to take no medicine at all.

Sometimes at night the moon is too bright to look at directly.

Follow this link to read them in the context of the Lost Paper piece.

Friday, November 25, 2022

four haiku in Trash Panda

Trash Panda, vol. 3, summer 2022, contains four of my haiku. The magazine is hard copy subscription only, and the editor does not sell individual copies — and is already out of the issue anyway. Too bad. It’s a handsome magazine, and it was a good read. 

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

“100 Lines” in Otoliths

“100 Lines”

appears in the issue 67 of Otoliths.

It’s a big issue. Lots of poetry &c., most of it by people I don’t know. But I do spot some familiar names, especially happy to see those of friends, acquaintances, poets whose work I follow: Alan Catlin, Dale Jensen, Richard Kostelanetz, Caleb Puckett, Sheila E. Murphy, Eileen R. Tabios, Kit Kennedy

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Autobiography of a Book in Over the Transom

The new issue of Jonathan Hayes’s hardcopy literary magazine, Over the Transom, has arrived. Issue #30 includes six of Autobiography of a Book’s brief chapters:

in which the book invites the reader in at the creation

in which the book pleads, then scolds

in which the book opens up and shows you its parts

in which the book evicts a tale

in which the book passes out blessings like money

in which the book moves quickly through gender to sex

Jonathan Hayes had read earlier published excerpts and asked me if there were any chapters still available. So I sent him a bunch. I have been working with a book publisher on Autobiography of a Book, so these excerpts will likely be the last published separately.

Over the Transom also includes a tribute to Don Skiles, as well as writing by Glen Chestnut, Mel C. Thompson, Klipshutz, and Simon Perchik, among others. Simon Perchik died this year. Perchik’s short poems always contain surprising turns, although I have yet to really fall in love with one. Maybe they stay too abstract for me? When I’ve looked for role models in how to be a poet, Perchik has enticed. He published everywhere. He was methodical about sending work out. I don’t gather that he developed relationships with other poets, though. He remained an outsider. I don’t know whether that’s what I want, exactly, but I certainly feel like an outsider. I have this possibly naive sense that writing poems is what is important, and that somebody somewhere will read the poems if you just put them out there. I have some evidence for this belief, but I think I cling to it because I’m no good at schmoozing or networking.

Perhaps apropos, these lines from Don Skiles as quoted in Over the Transom

“I feel certain there are many writers, told in myriad ways their writing is of no significant meaning or use, who face this serious and continuing crisis, the nausea, every day. I want to say to you here, my friend, to continue, to go on …”

Over the Transom is available from Jonathan Hayes, jsh619@earthlink.net

Over the Transom, 120 San Lorenzo Blvd #3, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Glenn Ingersoll in Pushcart Prize Anthology

No, I did not get a poem in the latest Pushcart anthology. But we’ll get to more about that later.

Last Wednesday (10/20/22) I attended an SF LitQuake event featuring poets from the 2022 Best American Poetry anthology. I sat next to James Cagney, a friend from our early SF po scene days (the 90s). I said to James, “I was thrilled when I saw that you got a poem in there.” James: “Not half as thrilled as I was.” No doubt.

Other poets I’ve met over the years were included and read that night — Sara Mumolo, Sam Sax. 

I thought I was going to have fun, seeing people I knew (or sorta knew) being spotlighted. But the old feelings of being overlooked, ignored, unread began to swirl. Despite the head noise I did manage to be there and to listen. James and Sam gave dynamic performances, and I generally liked what I heard from the rest. “Fun” wasn’t quite what I had, but, you know, I wish them all well and since the LitQuake event I have been reading the anthology. 

BAP guest editor Matthew Zapruder said series editor David Lehman forbade him from apologizing for the “Best” appellation, so Matthew took a moment at the beginning (no Lehman around) to apologize to the night’s audience. Matthew didn’t claim the poems included were the Best, asserting instead that they were strong poems that affected and stuck with him, and that he probably failed to see many that could have made the cut. There are poets doing great work “including in this room” who ought to be similarly recognized, Matthew said. Matthew does not know me. I have no idea whether he’s read any of my poems ever. But I could imagine myself one of the poets doing great work that he was apologizing to.

No, I don’t write poems for the fame. That would be useless. Or to achieve publication. The times I did were, well, unsatisfying. I write poems because the place of the poem is an important place for me to spend time in. Once written I send the poems out for publication because just leaving them to sit in the journal doesn’t honor them. They go out into the world looking for those persons who might find them of interest. They often wander for some time.

So the next day I am at the library shelving books and I come across the 2022 Pushcart Prize anthology. It’s rare that the branch libraries get a Pushcart anthology. The branches tend to get books the buyers anticipate will go out frequently. All us writers want to get into the Pushcart but the truth is, it spends more time on the shelf than in readers’ hands. Berkeley Public Library shelves such less popular reads in the more generous stacks at Central.  

In 2021 I got nominated for the Pushcart by two different publications. Small presses are invited to nominate poems, stories, and essays that they’ve published during the eligibility period. Each press or magazine is limited to a handful of nominations, so, presumably, they only send in their favorites. Thus it is a real endorsement for an editor to nominate one’s work. My poem “Personal Testimony” appeared in Spillway and was nominated by editors Marsha de la O and Phil Taggart. Chapters from Autobiography of a Book appeared in Witty Partition and were nominated by editors Hardy Griffin and Bronwyn Mills. I later heard from Hardy Griffin that the Book chapters had made the first cull; that is, one of Pushcart’s screening editors had decided the work was worth advancing to the next editorial rung. We heard nothing further.

I would have had to sign a contract or something had anything of mine gotten into the anthology (i.e., “won a Pushcart prize”?), and nothing like that came my way. But as an old reader of Pushcart anthologies I knew there was a section in the back of the book that listed pieces that hadn’t gotten in but that the editors wanted to praise. So there I am shelving books at the library and I see the 2022 Pushcart anthology and I pull it down. On page 463, just after the final story, and just before the comprehensive list of “presses featured in the Pushcart Prize editions since 1976,” are the “Special Mention” pages. The mentions are separated into Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry categories. A parenthetical above the list says, “The editors also wish to mention the following important works published by small presses last year. Listings are in no particular order.” No particular order — not even alphabetical. So I scan the Fiction list. My name is not there; Book was not mentioned. I don’t bother to run my finger down the Nonfiction list. But maybe Poetry? There he is, Glenn Ingersoll. In Poetry. For “Personal Testimony.” 

Well! Isn’t that cool. It would have been really cool to have the poem itself in the anthology. It would have been really cool to have had a poem included in Best American Poetry. Neither of those things happened. But getting this mention was a nice pat on the back, wasn’t it? My work was read last year, and it affected some people, stuck with them. That’s nice to know. Nice to hear about. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

short prose about t-shirts at Lost Paper

A paragraph about holey t-shirts appears at Lost Paper. 

Authors appear in alphabetical order, so scroll down to find "Glenn Ingersoll."

Lost Paper is edited by Zee Zahava who also does brass bell haiku. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

“hands down are roots to lift a well” — poetry film with Chin Keita

It seems I never put up a link on the blog to “hands down are roots to lift a well”, a poem published in the ezine concis in 2017. Time to rectify that! 

This link will take you to the poem & accompanying video that library co-worker Chin Keita helped me make. I used my iPad and filmed Chin in a cramped alley behind the Claremont Branch of the Berkeley Public Library: 

“hands down are roots to lift a well” with video

This link will take you to an ebook version of the issue of concis in which the poem appears (no video):

concis, winter 2017