Poems to Quarantine With: National Poetry Month in a time of pandemic (#1 Recently Published Poems)

What's this now?

This is an anthology, of sorts. But first:

 That was a crazy National Poetry Month! In previous years I'd focused on producing during National Poetry Month (US) but since production of poems isn't an issue for me these days, I decided to read read read, and watch a ton of poetry videos. The series started out informal but as it took shape I got into a rhythm and took more seriously things like not repeating any literary journals in the 'recently published' poems, digging up interesting and different topics within poetry, sometimes embracing themes or authors. I found videos that were on youtube for over a decade and were under 20 views that actually had good content. I noticed that Ace Boggess and Derek Annis and Kai Carlson-Wee among a number of others seem to be publishing far and wide the last few years. My brain was enthralled and exhausted.

There is just so much poetry out there that I didn't make a mark, let alone scratch the surface of even just stuff published online in the last couple years, and there are so many print magazines that I didn't touch!

Viva la poetry! 

What I did do was read poetry every day until I found at very least 3 new poems in 3 different journals that met a nebulous set of criteria including entertainment factor, poignancy, accessibility (not always 'easy to understand' but poems that weren't overly obfuscated/puzzling in order to reach a nice wide audience—though my soft spot for surrealism allowed some more enigmatic poems to sneak through) and linkability—there are a lot of good journals that are on the ISSU platform, or release their journals as one large document instead of individual pieces, but because it's tough to ask readers to find page 133 of a pdf doc or on the issu slider, those issues were excluded. And sometimes I even skipped good poems because they were the 4th of 5 poems or something similar, only a could times requiring the reader to scroll past a single poem by the same author to get at the one I wanted them to see.

But there is SO MUCH POETRY, were I paid to do it and didn't have a million of other projects and responsibilities, I could post similar activity packs every day for a year before I started really struggling for material.

If you missed the series, every day I posted new 'activity packs' with 4-8 (mostly short) videos relating to poetry (usually either readings, video visualizations, clips of interviews or talks), 3 poems published online within the last couple years, 3 older or 'classic' poems, at least one writing prompt, and some games and fun activities like Literary Mad Libs, Word Finds, Anagram/word scrambles etc. This is a compilation of all the 'poems published online within the last couple years' poems featured. At the end are links to all the different literary journals featured, as well as their submission guidelines.

I read at least 10-20 poems for every one I selected, and I am a fan of a really wide variety of poems so if you don't like one poem, just pop on to the next one, you'll find some that you really enjoy, I promise. Stay tuned for "Better Than the Movies" in the future, along these same lines.

The Poems

Day 1
"Chronic 2001" by Matt Muth in Sundog Lit 16.
"Sugar or Blood" by Campbell McGrath in American Poetry Review Vol. 41 No. 1.

Day 2
"Lord of the Flies" by Dorianne Laux in Rattle's Poets Respond March 17, 2020.
"The Turtle Cure" by Cherene Sherrard in Blackbird Vol. 18 No. 2.

Day 3
"The Tree in the Midst" by John Shoptaw in Poetry Magazine April 2020.
"mountains before mountains were mothers" by Aimee Herman in Cream City Review Vol. 43 No. 2. (and listen to the audio)
"The Weight of Him" by Laura Foley in One (from Jacar Press) Issue 20.

Day 4
"Tin" by Matthew Murrey in Apple Valley Review Vol.14 No.1.
"Over 100°, La Mesa" by Zebulon Huset in Maudlin House March 17, 2020 (Sorry).

Day 5
"For Lillian, Whoever She Is" by Matt Morris in Frigg Magazine Issue 54.
"Sparrow Shadow, Florida" by John Hazard in Atticus Review January 22, 2020.

Day 6
"Back in the Good Old Days" by Derek Annis in Bluestem Spring 2020.
"House is the Word My Doctors Used for My Body" by Emma Bolden in National Poetry Review Issue 15. 

Day 7
"Recuerdo: Mexico, 1997" by Esteban Rodr√≠guez in Gordon Square Review Issue 5.
"The Cafe" by John Drudge in Black Coffee Review Spring 2020.
"The Last Train" by Finola McDonald in Flock Issue 22. 

Day 8
"Elegy with Trees" by Alyssa Jewell (audio in link) in Yemassee Journal Volume 25 Number 1.
"Well, Really" by P Claire Dodson in The Mantle Issue 10.
"black winged and blue" by Harlow Crandall in Green Briar Review Winter 2020. 

Day 9
"Ghetto Gold" by Carolanne Conerly Griffin winner of Gemini Magazine's 2020 Poetry Open Prize.
"The Water in the Water" by Johanna Dong in Tinderbox Poetry Journal Volume 6 Number 3

Day 10
"Habit" by Gail Martin in Barnstorm November 29, 2019. 

Day 11
"What Comes Easy" by John Blair in Roanoke Review 2020.
"Defunct Words and Phrases Thanks to the Coronavirus Crisis" by Emily Flamm in McSweeney's Internet Tendency April 7, 2020.
"When You Are Invisible, You Can Say Anything" by Valentina Gnup in Lascaux Review, 2019 Poetry Prize winner. 

Day 12
"Blur" by James Croal Jackson in Pacifica Literary Review 15.2. 

Day 13

Day 14
"Robocall" by Veejay Seshadri in Ocean State Review 2019.
"Music Indoors" by Adam Gianforcaro in Cincinnati Review miCRo July, 2019. 

Day 15
"Twelve Bones of Architecture" by Matt Dennison in Red Eft Review April 9, 2020.
"A Little Thing" by Rebecca Cross in elsewhere Issue 17.

Day 16
"Lumberjacks Pound Their Dead into the Ground" by Michael Mark in Cutbank Weekly Flash Prose and Prose Poetry January 7, 2020.
"Sublet, Pay-Later System" by Mira Rosenthal in Subtropics Issue 26 (Fall/Winter 2018).

Day 17
"Mental Health" by Kai Carlson-Wee in Great River Review Issue 66.
"The Museum of Trees" by Susan Wardall in Cordite Poetry Review Issue 95 (Feb. 2020).
"Plums" by Jane A Wayne in Cumberland River Review Issue 9-2. 

Day 18
"Orchard" by Jeremy Radin in Muzzle Magazine Issue 24 (Summer 2019).
"Cans" by Laura Vrcek in Coal Hill Review Issue 23 (Fall 2019). 

Day 19
“Here Comes Someone Whose Name I Should Know” by John Kenney in The New Yorker Daily Shouts April 18, 2020.
"Do You Sleep" by Ace Boggess in Isthmus Issue 9 (Summer 2019).
"The Window" by Josh Mauler in Puerto Del Sol Online April 10, 2020. 

Day 20
“Darkly,... Then Face to Face” by Tim McBride in Southern Poetry Review Guy Owen Poetry Prize Winner 2018.
"We Play Life" by Robin Gow in jubilat Issue 37.

Day 21
“Dark Star” by David Underdown in Bracken Magazine Issue VI.
"Mega Man" by James Davis in Cartridge Lit December 17, 2019.
"Through the Dark" by David J. Bauman in Citron Review 10: Winter 2019. 

Day 22
"Elegant Spots" by Dionne Custer Edwards in Storm Cellar Quarterly Volume 8 Issue 1.
"The Openings in My Life" by John Grey in Fourth and Sycamore February 13, 2020. 

Day 23
“Plucking Away” by Di Jayawickrema in Jellyfish Review April 14, 2020.
"Elsewhere" by Emily Jungmin Yoon in New England Review 41.1.
"Volley of Darkness" by Marilyn McVicker in Front Porch Review April 2020. 

Day 24
"Cocktail" by Daisy Bassen in Packingtown Review Volume 13, Spring 2020.
"Migraine" by Lexie A Reese in Peacock Journal February 2019. 

Day 25
“Body of Rags, International Bridge Between the US & Mexico” by Ray Gonzalez in Poetry Magazine March 2019 (audio at link as well).

Day 26
"Aubade with Ravens" by Jessica Lynn Suchon in The Pinch November 22, 2019.
"Self-Portrait as Land Snail" by Nickole Brown in Bellingham Review November 15, 2019. 

Day 27
“The Melancholy Sound of Fog Horns” by Stephen Dunn in Beltway Poetry Quarterly Issue 21:2, Spring 2020.
"Treetops" by Jill Mceldowney in Bodega Magazine 91, March 2020.
Day 28
“Daisies” by James B. Nicola in Stickman Review V18N2.
"Evolution Theory" by Suzanne Verrall  in Star 82 Review Issue 8.1.
"The Thing That Keeps Me" by Holly Day in Studio One Volume 44, 2019.

Day 29
“Lowcountry Elegy” by Vivian I. Bikulege in The Petigru Review Issue 13.
"At Seventeen" by Carl Boon in jmww July 13, 2018.
"Whispers of Poland" by Tiffany Stachnick in Landlocked Issue 2.1.

Day 30
"Molly Pecon Moment" by Patty Seyburn (second poem) in Ghost Town Issue 10.
"Cliff Path" by Anne Britting Oleson  in Mad River Review Volume 4 Issue 1.


The Journals

And for good measure, here are links to all the various journals which I've linked to in alphabetical order so you can do your own research! Reading poetry isn't an April-only activity, after all. I've also included a link to the journal's submission guidelines if you like what you've read and think your work might fit there well.

(Poetry was the only journal I picked from twice. An accident, but if there was any journal to choose twice from during National Poetry Month, it would be Poetry.)

Sundog Lit-~-~-(submissions)
(Their name makes it sound like a joke journal, but they're definitely worth reading. I love "Don't Tell Me to Write More Love Poems" and think you will too.)


That's it! At some point in the near future I'll edit in a little note about why I chose the poems for each day, but holy frijoles! That took a lot longer to organize, research, write and get into a post than I expected so I'm a few hours behind my planned schedule for this Sunday. I hope you enjoy the poems and maybe find some journals you've never read or remind yourself of a venue you'd seen and forgotten or maybe gotten a bad impression of for some reason or another.

As you can probably tell from, well, everything, I'm also a submitting writer and those submission fees can add up! If you got a lot of use or entertainment from this post I would really appreciate any tips you might consider shooting my way. Every dollar counts, literally, and I promise to use every penny on my own submissions. But hey, I know it's tough times for everyone so don't sweat it if you need to keep your pennies for your submissions. Believe me, I get it. I just hope you read some poems you like!