Following is information on Poets Basement at CounterPunch. I’ve served as editor since 2009.
CounterPunch is the internationally renowned political newsletter edited by Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank. Its weekly poetry installment, Poets’ Basement, has published work by Robert Creeley, Harold Pinter, Laurence Ferlinghetti, Patti Smith, and William Heyen, as well as many talented new and upcoming writers. We generally publish three poems per week: Fridays at CounterPunch.org.
For Poets’ Basement, we seek work from the leading edge of the poetic dialogue. Have something to say, and say it with precision, music and electricity. In the words of Miscellaneous Jones, “If you’re going to kill a tree just to write something on it, you’d better have something damn good to say.” … Show us creation, not imitation. Passion, not romance. Blood, not tears. Give us thorns without the crown. … Make us think. … Make us stop thinking. … Amaze us.
We are open to all genres and styles, although the painfully sentimental and dogmatically religious would have more luck elsewhere. Although CounterPunch is a political journal, poems for Poets’ Basement need not be restricted to political work. In fact, if your work is merely a political screed masquerading as a poem, it will almost surely be rejected. Simultaneous submissions and previously published work are accepted (provided that you retain the rights to any published pieces). Translations are accepted provided the original work is included along with documentation of granted reprint/translation rights. Works published on Poet’s Basement remain the property of the author. At this time, no monetary payment is possible.
To submit to Poets’ Basement, send an e-mail to CounterPunch’s poetry editor, Marc Beaudin at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, the titles being submitted, and your website url or e-mail address (if you’d like this to appear with your work). Also indicate whether or not your poems have been previously published and where. For translations, include poem in original language and documentation of granted reprint/translation rights. Attach up to 5 poems and a short bio, written in 3rd person, as a single Word Document (.doc or .rtf attachments only; no .docx). Expect a response within two months (sometimes longer due to heavy submission periods).
Poems accepted for online publication will be considered for possible inclusion of an upcoming print anthology.