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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Sunday Review

Following the deaths of more than 30 people at Lonmin platinum mine, David Subacchi offered a sobering start to the week with Massacre in Marikana.

And, after Waiting in Line with Kay Weeks, it was All Out Before Tea, as Abigail Wyatt, turned our attention to the busy fingers of Kevin Pietersen, the cricketer accused of sending vile texts.

E R Olsen’s Shield, Wall and Fortress provided a haunting reminder of the unrelenting ferocity of fighting in and around Aleppo, as rebels continue to take the fight to Assad’s forces.

From the prospect of social change through conflict, to the unappetising prospect of social engineering, as Michael Gove tinkers with the examination system. An activity that Mark Thompson sees as Education Deformed. Rose Drew ended the week, drawing our thoughts to gun control in the USA, with Now Back to You.

Last week, we asked you a question after one particular poet suggested, after having work rejected, “Do me a favour. Don't put in the web page you are looking for some work as you are getting short of stuff.” The poet in question went on to question our editorial integrity, “I think you are excellent at drawing attention to the situations and wrongs which occur in countries abroad, but show a reluctance to upset the upper classes of this country. I must add I am not alone in this opinion.”

Though, the dialogue ended with a positive statement, “I still believe you have a great web site and an excellent idea.” Well neither Clare or I would argue with that. I should emphasise at this point, our decision to reject the works, was based on the poet consistently failing to include a link to the story behind the poems, despite several requests from us.

So, having asked you, is it helpful to get a 'heads up' if we're low, or is it just annoying because we may still not use your poem, we waited for a response. As it turned out, we weren’t exactly overwhelmed, but Hamish Mack commented, “It's your blog, you run it how you want to. I would go for keeping to your submission rules, even if you are getting low, it keeps the playing field level (he said managerially). And the head-ups are good motivational tool for me.”

E R Olsen emailed his thoughts, “By the way, I support you concerning maintaining standards even when the supply of work is low.  You’ll recall that I submitted something at that time, and I had every expectation you would maintain editorial integrity.  Please continue to do so.”

It’s really helpful to get feedback from readers and poets alike. Whether it’s here, in the comments box, on our Facebook wall, or on Twitter @poetry24blog, we'd appreciate your views about the blog and/or the poems that we publish.

In any event, don't forget to send us your poems!

Have a great week.

Martin and Clare.


  1. I think it's a great idea to let people know when submissions are low but you shouldn't then compromise your standards and people shouldn't expect you to! I think some people have unrealistic expectations about their chances of acceptance.

    1. Thanks for you comment! We'll probably still do a shout out on FB when we're especially low!

  2. If letting us know that you are low on submissions is the prompt for some poets to get on and write then I see no reason to stop dropping hints. Of course you should have editorial control and not compromise; your rules are clear enough. I recall having to 'tweak' one of mine at your suggestion.

    It's strange and rather sad that poets don't get many encouraging comments here. I always comment if I feel I have something to say, sometimes it's enough to say you've enjoyed it! I can't say I read every poem with the same interest. I must admit to being put off by the layout sometimes. Poems should be single-spaced I think, but may be that's just me. Some poems I read several times over as I have enjoyed them so much and they have stayed in my memory. My favourite was one last year about a shipwreck being discovered and the the thoughts of the drowned sailors.

    I also enjoy the Poetry 24 Facebook page and the fact that we can all contribute to that.

    I hope you get lots of feedback, and I look forward to hearing the results of your poll.

    1. Thanks, Little Nell - for your comment here and those I know you make on the poems. We've had many more comments by email too and it's great to get feedback!

      Layout is the one thing Martin and I disagree a bit on - I say they should be single spacing unless the poem is tiny and begs for space, Martin likes to keep them as they are sent to us