This has been a hugely busy window month: I have received the most poems ever.

I think I’ve been useful to some poets, annoying to others. I really hope I haven’t upset anybody. I have seen some excellent writing, some I was baffled by, and a great many pantoums. Pantoums are the new villanelle. (Josephine Corcoran, is this your fault?)

And where has all the punctuation gone? (Andrew McMillan, is this your fault?)

But the window is closing.

If you were sending poems by post, they needed to be on their way by today (Friday 26th) because Sunday is the last day, so they need to arrive Saturday.

If you are sending poems electronically (see new option on submissions page), you’ve got till Sunday night. But bear in mind that the recipient (me) is knackered.

WrapperRhymes have also been arriving, which is great. But the poets are not very good at reading the rules. Do take a look at the original Tumblr site to get the idea. 

Poetry is often strengthened by specific constraints. In this case the constraints are formal (it must rhyme) and physical (you have to write on the back of some wrapping, probably a biscuit or chocolate wrapper or similar, and this means you haven’t much space and you may need a special pen). We have had rebel entries on boxes of tissues, paracetamol, toothpaste etc. So rebelling is possible, but do it deliberately!

Enough already. I still have poems to read. But my hand is on the latch.

I will be at the pamphlet fair at the Scottish Poetry Library tomorrow afternoon, 12-4.00 pm, 27 July, with Pimms. So if you’re near enough, do come along.

4 thoughts on “THE WINDOW IS CLOSING”

  1. Brilliantly helpful to me, thank you for robust and often surprising feedback. Never annoying! I am cross about the pantoums. I thought I was being original. Although I didn’t send you any of mine. Thank you, again. 🙂

  2. Josephine don’t worry — I was teasing you. And everybody needs to know how to tackle a pantoum sooner or later, so it’s good for people to try them. And a lot better than a sestina! 😉

  3. Dear Helena, Every edit an ‘oh yes!’. And general advice on ‘how to be less baffling’ – so helpful. Thank you, thank you. H

  4. Really encouraging comments and illuminating edits. Very helpful. Turnaround time was exceptional. Thank you, Nell, for providing a fabulous service for aspiring poets.

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