The end of the 2019 Poetry Challenge and a break from compiling the Poet's Express newsletter gave me some space and time to breathe life into an idea that had been lurking around in the back of my mind for a while now.
For the last year or so I've been submitting my poems to various literary journals to the sound of crickets or an occasional form rejection letter. You know the ones, thanks for your contribution, enjoyed your work but it's just not for us. I know my work isn't up to their standards yet but I keep plugging away, hoping one day I'll be good enough. There are so many poets wanting to get published and the standard is so incredibly high that at times it feels like I'm digging a hole with a teaspoon or trying to scale Everest dressed in a pair of runners and shorts.
Not one to be deterred by rejection and putting my impatience to good use, I've decided to create my own literary journal especially for emerging and aspiring poets who cannot get their work published by the major journals. The Pocketry Almanack is A7 sized, fits neatly into the palm of your hand and only publishes work by poets who have received at least three rejections from Australian journals.
I had originally planned on creating an online journal but it somehow morphed into a print publication. With my background in making and experiments in bookbinding it really isn't so surprising. I really like the zine scene with its punk / sci-fi roots and handmade ethos. The Almanack is a nod to them as well as to the old fashioned word of printing. It's one piece of A4 paper folded to create an instant book. The idea for the single piece of paper format came from this interview on the What Editors Want podcast, my all-time favourite podcast.
Designing the Almanack and playing with paper was so much fun. The one page book is an ingenious design. Fold Fold, fold, fold and then cut but not too much. Pull apart and then bring together, crease the edges and you are done.
Inside the pages will be six poems with an illustration on the back. If you're interested in checking out my new project, head on over to Pocketry. Submission are now open for the first issue.