Note This

29 Nov

My new friend (at least in the small world of literature) Brian Doyle, whose recent works(Mink River and Bin Laden’s Bald Spot) I have extolled in this space and others, has taken to sharing some of his amusements with me. Brian, among other things, edits Portland Magazine. In that sinecure he he has created a number of form letters so as to pursue his work with, uh,greater efficiency:

A Note on Submissions

We do not accept poems about cats, guns, cats with guns, or guns used on cats, however delightful the prospect of the latter would be. We do not accept poems in which French words suddenly appear, or the poet praises one or more breasts of his or her acquaintance, including his or her own. We do not accept poems about God unless the word God does not appear. We do not accept poems about poems. We do not accept poems about the artistic process, the arduous nature of eliciting poetry from the trammeled soul, the agony of poetry, the primacy of poetry among the written arts, or anything whatsoever to do with poetry. We approach the reading of poems having to do with nature or landscape warily, as if hunting elk with a bow, but we have in fact accepted several. We relish poems about sports if they do not draw any sweeping conclusions about character, personal and/or national, or use sports as metaphor. We accept poems about insects. We do not accept poems about religions, unless the religion is reduced to human proportions, which is where religions all started to begin with. We accept poems about birds. We accept poems about food. We look favorably on poems in which wood appears in any form whatsoever. We accept poems about chess. We do not accept poems about cars and driving and the vast American yearning and loneliness as represented by cars and highways. We do not accept poems about poets. We do not accept poets with poems. We decline to lunch with poets no matter what the ostensible context for said lunch. We approach lunches with novelists warily, keeping both hands on the old wallet. We do lunch with essayists, in a heartbeat. We decline to meet with artists to see their vast and inchoate portfolios. We do not publish poems about dance in any form. We decline to read or entertain work of any kind in which the author or artist specifies his or her copyright with that little copyright mark. We decline to read work from authors or artists who use only lower-case letters in his or her names.


Brian Doyle
Editor, Portland Magazine
University of Portland

Currently reading Ghosting by Kirby Gann (Ig Publishing)

2 Responses to “Note This”

  1. yoga-adan November 30, 2011 at 1:08 am #

    maybe a poem about an insect playing chess? while fishing? 😉


  1. “Written in Celestial Prose” « ourmaninboston - August 31, 2012

    […] may recall that I have been a vocal enthusiast of Oregonian Brian Doyle based on his first novel Mink River and his latest story collection Bin Laden’s Bald […]

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