Poetry Archive: OPA Anthology of Poetry, 2019: Spirit of Nature, Call for Submissions / Second Light Featured Poets for May

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”  Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

THE POETRY ARCHIVE “extends an open invitation to you to participate in the upcoming OPA ANTHOLOGY of Poetry 2019 “SPIRIT OF NATURE”. The expected date of publication of this Anthology is 10th JULY 2019. We’ll be really obliged if you would contribute to this anthology with at least three poems along with your current profile picture. You can also add your short Bio written only in 3rd person narrative. Submission of poetry to our mail address will be considered as the explicit confirmation of your permission to publish your copyrighted materials in OPA ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY 2019. Please do send your contributions attached only in one single MS-WORD file with your mail at the earliest.”

Deadline: 10th June 2019

The email address for this ANTHOLOGY is opa.anthology@gmail.com
* .pdf file is not acceptable!

Thank You,
The Editorial Board:
Our Poetry Archive.

Thanks to German poet Aprilia Zank for sharing this lead with us.  You can read some of Aprilia’s wonderful work here on The Poet by Day:

THANK YOU to Dilys Wood, Anne Stewart, and Myra Schneider for including me in Second Light Live Featured Poets for May with my poem One Lifetime After Another. The other featured poets with whom I am honored to be included are: Angela Croft, Clare Crossman, Fokkina McDonnell, Jenny Hamlett, Lynne Wycherley, Mimi Khalvati, Pam Zinnemann-Hope, Sue Wood and Vivienne Tregenza. Great little collection for your evening read and my apologies to Anne for not catching her email announcement until this late date. Second Light Live is the website for Second Light Network of Women Poets (UK). SLN publishes fabulous anthologies and “ARTEMISpoetry” one of my fave poetry magazines.


Strange and Beautiful Flowers: Poetry Translation Centre … and “East Meets West” anthology call for submissions

There are many fine poetry sites but Poetry Translation Centre (PTC) deserves special note. It’s a good place to stop and spend time among poets from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The world-wide poetry community is certainly diverse but we in the West tend to miss a big chunk of it.

At PTC there are poet biographies and photographs along with a sampling of poems in the poet’s first language, literal translations into English, and final translations.

PTC hosts a shop where you are able to purchase the poetry collections of your favorite featured poets. These are books you’re unlikely to see on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, or in your local independent bookshop. There are also some very excellent feature articles.

“The Poetry Translation Centre was established by the poet Sarah Maguire in 2004, to introduce new audiences to leading poets from around the world, as well as better understand and celebrate the diverse communities who have made their home in the UK. We focus on poetry from Africa, Asia and Latin America, working collaboratively with poets and translators to bring new work to English-speaking audiences in the UK. International poets we have worked with include Coral Bracho, Mohan Rana and Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi.” MORE

A visit to PTC is definitely recommended. You may find to your delight a whole new world opening up to you,  a world of strange and beautiful poesy.

“What if you slept
And what if
In your sleep
You dreamed
And what if
In your dream
You went to heaven
And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower
And what if
When you awoke
You had that flower in you hand
Ah, what then?”

― Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Complete Poems


“GRABBING THE APPLE” … or how a regional (New York) anthology of women poets was created and successfully launched


Thanks to poet, writer and anthologist, M. J. Tenerelli, for sharing this story with us today.

Several years ago I did a show for the Northport Arts Coalition highlighting the work of well established women poets. I thought at that time that pulling together a collection of passionate, local women’s voices in a book of poetry would be a wonderful thing to do. There were so many talented women I knew on the New York circuit, giving profoundly moving performances, sharing really fine work. Two years ago my friend and co-editor, Terri Muuss, suggested that we get together and produce what became Grabbing the Apple, and anthology of New York women poets. And so a two-year project began.

The idea behind the book was to share what we believed was the unique voice of the New York woman, informed by place as well as a particular confidence, savvy, and passion. Terri and I wanted the book to serve as a conduit for these women, allowing them to define themselves as opposed to the traditional definitions existing in male-created literature, including the bible. Eve from Eve’s perspective.

First we needed a title. We wanted something that reflected the concept of women defining themselves. We turned to the original story of creation in the bible, where the mother of us all begins the downfall of man by plucking an apple from a tree. With Grabbing the Apple, we believed we had a title that turned that creation story upside down. Yes, the first woman, embraced wisdom, and that did not make her a monster but rather a heroine and a role model. The poets in the book define themselves and the lives and concerns of women, forcefully and without shame. We felt the anthology’s title embodied that. And of course “Apple” brings to mind New York.

Call for Submissions: We used social media, college websites and word of mouth to solicit submissions. We emailed the women poets we personally knew. The amount of work that poured in amazed us. I think the concept of the book really spoke to these writers, and they wanted to be heard. We culled 47 pieces from hundreds of submissions. It wasn’t easy. With the help of poet Matt Pasca, Terri’s husband, we instituted a blind process. Matt oversaw the email submission box, and printed out the poems for us, minus the writers’ names. Terri and I both had complete copies of the submissions to read through and consider. I don’t think we understood at the time just how long it would take to come up with a book we were satisfied with–to do right by the poets and the idea behind the book.

Reading and Selecting: I spent a lot of time with the work. As a mother with a full-time job, I spent many lunch hours in my car, and on the couch after work, reading poetry. It was far from a chore. The work energized me, moved me, and surprised me again and again. I started to feel honored to be stewarding these pieces into publication. It was often hard to choose what to accept and what to leave behind. Terri was also reading and considering. We each had a form to work with, where we gave each poem, identified only by number, a yes, no, or maybe. Then we would meet to compare our opinions.

In pizza restaurants, cafes, and often in Terri’s spacious living room, we would have “Apple” meetings. Often we agreed on what needed to go into the book. But not always. Sometimes one or the other of us would make a strong case for a poem we were passionate about. There were negotiations. It was never contentious. We respect each other as writers and editors, and are good friends. So we really listened to what the other had to say. It worked. We came up with a manuscript we could both stand behind. When it came to our own work, I picked a poem of Terri’s that I thought was perfect for the book, and Terri chose a piece that I had done. The next step was to create an order for the poems.

Terri suggested dividing the book into three parts, “Eden,” “The Fall,” and “After the Garden.” I loved the idea, but worried the poems we had wouldn’t lend themselves to the categories. It turned out to be needless worry. Whether loosely or specifically, each poem fits under one of the headings. I remember one night crawling around on Terri’s living room floor with the work spread out in front of us, moving poems around like puzzle pieces into each of the three sections. Again, there was a lot of consideration and some negotiating, but in the end we had groupings that made us both happy. We high fived each other and then celebrated with brownies! We had our poems and we had an order. We weren’t quite done though.

Finalizing and Publishing: We were our own proofreaders. There were a hundred plus pages to pour over. We wanted to get everything right. This took time, and in the end there were a few mistakes but we did our best. We proofed alone and together. We sent the manuscript to the publisher, corrected galleys, and up to the day before publication were still proofing! While we had input into the layout and design, it was the artist Janine DiNatale who created and did the layout for the front and back covers, and the publisher, J.B. Stillwater, who provided the beautiful finished book. I remember cradling the first copy sent to us and feeling like a proud mother. The final step was to get the collection out into the world.

Our initial book launch was at Cyrus Chai, in Bay Shore, New York. So many of the poets in the book came to read. For me, this was the defining moment. The poems I’d been living with for so long came to life. The electricity, love, and sisterhood in the room were palpable. The words sang. We’d accomplished what we set out to do, with more launches planned throughout the Summer.

© 2015, article and portrait (below), Mary Jane Tenerell;  bookcover art © Muuss and Tenerelli, All rights reserved

Grabbing the Apple is on Amazon where you can have a peek inside and sample a poem or two.

M. J. Tennerelli
M. J. Tennerelli

M.J. Tenerelli is a poet and a legal writer. She has worked as an editor of trade magazines and text books for the cosmetology, cosmetics and fragrance industries in New York City. She writes legal briefs for a Social Security Disability law firm and hosts a monthly poetry reading for the Northport Arts Coalition in Northport, NY. Her poetry has appeared in several anthologies, including Cat’s Breath and Estrellas En El Fuego, both by Rogue Scholars Press. Her poems have been published in a number of print and electronic journals, including The Feminist Wire; Poetry Bay; Alaska Quarterly Review; The Improper Hamptonian; Zuzu’s Petals; The Mom Egg; Blue Fifth Review; Poetry Kit; Poetry Super Highway; Big City Lit; American Muse and Parameter. She is a former editor of the art and literary magazine The Wormwood Press. She is the co-editor of the recently published poetry anthology Grabbing the Apple.