Submitting Myself

Starting last year I began seriously working on my own poetry again, making it a priority. I had an idea, and wanted to see it through the same way I have with my translations. And I’ve been really satisfied with that. So now that it’s been through my editorial-brain wringer a few times, and I’m sure I’m not going to embarrass myself, I’m starting to think about places to send it. And that’s a hard question.

I’m thinking about starting with journals I read, which seems somehow scarier than sending it to journals that I respect but don’t read. Because reading a journal, I think, is an intimate process. You get to know not just the work in the journal, but the editors. I think about the editor/s a lot when I’m reading journals, possibly more than most people. Not in terms of “what can I write that they’ll like” but “oh, this issue fits together this way, isn’t that wonderful!”. Like each issue can be somehow read deeply enough, or broadly enough, or reverse-engineered in some way so that I feel at the end of it that I know something interesting and intimate about the editor. And so now I feel like a weird stalker, like “I know all this stuff about you, but we’ve never met.”

Submitting to a journal I read feels like seeing someone I have a crush on at a party, and trying to introduce myself. Like that. Of course, not at all like that since I’m married and don’t have to deal with that anymore, but like I remember that feeling.

Anyways, those of you who submit, do you tend to send your work to journals you read and like, because you read and like them, or to journals that you respect but don’t read? And why?

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