Friday, May 21, 2010

My poetry archive: The New Verse News

The New Verse News publishes at least one poem each day related to the current news from a progressive standpoint. The editor, James Penha, is a New Yorker who has lived in Indonesia for the past eighteen years, and has taught English at the International High School in Jakarta. He has just published a chapbook collection of Indonesian folk tales, Snakes and Angels.

Of course in a zine such as The New Verse News, topicality has to trump craft. Still, I'm impressed by the consistently high quality of its verse; there's so much bad political poetry out there. If you need to vent about what is going on in the world, give it a try; if you're new to publishing poetry, it's a good place to get your feet wet. Responses usually come within a couple of weeks.

I found The New Verse News when I was just starting to submit poetry for publication. On October 30, 2006, I sent an angry poem which I obscurely felt had a Halloweenish feel to it. Within a few hours I got a response, something like this: "Trust me, we don't usually respond this fast, but once in a while we get a poem that is just when we need just when we need it." Sanctuary was posted on October 31. It's still my favorite of the poems of mine James has published. The others are listed below, latest first:

Tea Party with Walt
Paradelle: U.S. Congress and Copenhagen
Dissolute Sonnet
Noam Chomsky Vindicated
The Two Prophets
Plus Ultra
Same Old Story

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