Previously Published Poems

When and Where to Submit Previously Published Poems

Sometimes, there’s good reason to want to see our previously published poems live again. Many of us draft and develop our work in online workshops that participate in the monthly Interboard Poetry Competition (IBPC) sponsored by Web del Sol. Each month, the participating poetry boards select up to 3 poems to submit. The poems are judged by a guest poet (each of whom usually serves for 3 months) who selects a first- second- and third-place winner and sometimes cites honorable mentions. Poems that place in the competition are posted on the IBPC website and remain there permanently. I have to assume that visibility is somewhat low. The members of participating poetry boards see them, of course, but beyond that, I’m not sure how widely the winning poems are read. Nevertheless, I think most editors would consider these poems “published.”

I’ve only once submitted an IBPC poem to a journal. This was a poem that won first place. I subsequently submitted it to Soundzine (now defunct), which was an online audio journal. In my cover letter, I advised the editors that the poem had won first place in the IBPC competition and was posted at the site, but had not been otherwise published. Soundzine accepted it with no questions asked.

Another, more common reason for wanting to submit previously published poems is when they’ve been published in online journals that are now defunct. Some journals leave their archives up, with our poems still accessible, but many do not. (Note: A poem published in a print journal several years ago is pretty much lost to any potential readers, whereas when you publish online, a reader who likes your work can search for more.) I’d say that at least half of the electronic journals that have published my work are now defunct and more than a dozen have taken down their archives. I recently submitted three poems to a journal that’s open to reprints, saying that the poems had been published in 2008 in a journal now defunct with no remaining archives online. No reply yet. . . .

A search of Duotrope today yielded 205 electronic journals that publish poetry and say that reprint submissions are okay. There are also some print publications that will consider reprints. A partial list of electronic journals is below — first a few fairly well known journals that have been around for a while, followed by some others to consider. The percentages indicate Duotrope’s estimates of the percent of submissions accepted (based on reports to Duotrope, of course). Again, this is still only a partial list. You can also look at any journal’s submission guidelines to find out if they’ll consider reprints. Always check to see if they publish their average turnaround time, too.

Autumn Sky Poetry Daily (16%)                                                                  Defenestration (3.6%)                                                                                                             The Ekphrastic Review (53%)                                                                                           Light (13.7%)                                                                                                                       Lighten Up Online (21%)                                                                                                      Loch Raven Review (33%)                                                                                                      Red Fez (30%)                                                                                                                             The Road Not Taken: A Journal of Formal Poetry (6%)                                         Sleet Magazine (15.4%)                                                                                          SOFTBLOW (5.2%)                                                                                                            Terrain (6.8%)                                                                                                                      Tipton Poetry Journal (19%)                                                                                  Valparaiso Poetry Review (<1%)                                                                                   Verse-Virtual (43.6%)

Here are some others to consider:

Amaryllis — The American Aesthetic — Anomaly LiteraryJournal — Atrium — cahoodaloodaling — Clockwise Cat — Columbia Journal Online — Contemporary American Voices — Contemporary Haibun Online — Corvus Review — Easy Street — Fire Poetry — First Literary Review – East — Front Porch Review — The Literary Hatchet — Man in the Street Magazine — The Michigan Poet — Misfit Magazine — Nature Writing — Neon — The Paragon Journal — Poetry SuperHighway — r.kv.r.y. — Random Sample — Red Fez — River Poets Journal — The Stray Branch — The Sunlight Press — Writing in a Woman’s Voice (blog)


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