Dear readers and patrons of our little magazine,
I am regretfully announcing our decision to definitely close submissions for Yorick Magazine. This was not an easy choice to make. This was not a digestible idea at first. This was not how we pictured Yorick at the end of 2013.
But there should be no tears but smiles at the finish of this road. Admire yourselves for having the bravery to submit your work and extend your mind to ours. When the magazine began, I had no expectations that there would be such a community to follow this jester of an experiment. I have more faith in the online literary world than I ever had and ever knew. Thank you.
Thanks also to Lauren Wainwright for your layout, design, and graphic productions for this magazine, as well as being a great manager to our staff. You were a fantastic help and a backbone for Yorick.
Thanks to Olivia Errico, Dean Terrell, Sam Levenberg, and Ed Jameson for your amazing work respectively editing, “social-mediating,” writing content for Yorick, and producing The Skullcast. You were a bliss to work with.
Thanks to Jeremiah Walton for your indelible efforts to promote and support Yorick. Cheers!
Thanks to the other literary publications that associated with Yorick, especially The Gap-Toothed Madness, for your ability to share the literary space we tread online.
And, so importantly, thanks to Cody Steinhauer for the wonderful idea. You didn’t know it at the time, but your drunken plans for a magazine brought all these people together.
The website will stay up as long as WordPress exists. The online issues, too, will remain as long as Issuu.com exists. When we find the funding, print issues of the Summer and Fall 2013 issue will be sent out to contributors.
It was a pleasure serving you all.
by Jeremiah Walton, Guest Writer
Busking is street performing in hopes of obtaining tips from passing pedestrians. A vast array of musicians, poets, painters, jugglers, tarot card readers, and other acts compose the majority of the busking community. The performers are generally passionate, taking their work to the streets in hopes of snaring passing ears. This is a living for some.
Before reading this article, please note: no one obtains fame through busking. The minuscule amount who have, or will, are rarities of circumstance. Making connections and socializing with others will help you build a career. Busking won’t.
I busk to make an income while traveling. I perform poetry and distribute books for Nostrovia! Poetry, W.I.S.H. Publishing, and Underground Books. I set up a cup a couple feet away from me so it invites others to throw money in, but is close enough for me to prevent thievery. I’ll usually have a cardboard sign with suggested donations for the books.
In the right communities, with the right people, it can bring in a substantial income. Other days, my cup remains empty and passers tell me to get a real job. You will deal with this shit regularly. People peoplin’.
Slam poems, or generally accessible poems, are better received. Your fleeting goal is to attract an audience to throw money into a little cup at your feet, not to perform the Howl of this generation. It’s a business, a really fun and horrible job, especially when this is how you are making a living.
Performing in public streets is vastly different from performing at open mics or slams. Rather than having an audience ready to go, you have to fish for one. Your ocean is of concrete and full of organisms that do not care what you have to say. And, unless you’re busking for fun, you’re not just fishing for people, but for what’s in their wallets (ah, that infectious dollar bill giving Us fishes reason for gills).
In Buffalo, NY, I busked out front of a cafe in Elmwood. One of my poems caught the attention of a man, and, for a couple poems, I had an audience of one. Before leaving, he dropped $20 in the cup and bought a book. In 3 hours, I had a couple dollars short of $60. That’s not bad.
The next day I made ten dollars in two hours, and had to get creative (a euphemism for selling fake flowers to couples).
Location and time are essential. The first day, I was up at 8 a.m., when the cafe was busiest, and had a large audience passing. The line would extend right out of the cafe to where I had posted up at some points. I had people trapped as my audience (cross walks near stop lights work for this to).
The second day, I arrived at 2 p.m.. The cafe was closing, and pedestrian traffic had slowed.
Location also brings up the concept of territory. Buskers habitually have particular locations they prefer. Harvard Square in Boston is plagued by buskers, and many of them do this every day for a living. That gives them reason to be territorial; it’s how they eat, buy their smokes, and consume other pleasures and conveniences.
The best thing to do is be respectful. Don’t post up right next to the man trying to sell jewelry. He’s trying to make a buck too, and you’re stealing attention from his work. There’s a musician on the corner with the most traffic, and a crosswalk and stoplight. Don’t go to the other side of the crosswalk and start screaming poems. The audibility of your whining and his whining will mesh into this gooey noise of empty cups.
Now, onto confidence. Confidence is key. Know your poems. They don’t necessarily have to be memorized, but make eye contact with your audience, and those passing by. Direct your poem at them.
Be loud, be the applicant (poet) of force (poem) upon external objects (people) to cause movement (soul).
Also, if no one is gathering around (per usual), and no one is paying attention (per usual), directly ask people, “Hey! Want to hear a poem?” This direct interaction can either have them brush you off, or have them stay, listen, and potentially donate or attract others’ curiosity. You have nothing to lose except opportunity.
Practice consistently. You will fuck up, as you’re a human. Read at home, read to your friends, read to the mirror, and then read to the streets.
Busking will help with your confidence and performance at open mics and slams, and vice versa. It’ll help you grow, realize the beautiful insignificant you are, and humble you.
Or it’ll boost your ego tenfold and you’ll be a dick.
BIO: Jeremiah Walton is a traveling poet going across the United States performing at slams and open mics. He’s 18, was raised in N.H., and manager of Nostrovia! Poetry, W.I.S.H. Publishing, The Traveling Poet, and an editor at UndergroundBooks. Jeremiah blogs at Gatsby’s Abandoned Children, where most of his chapbooks can be read free. Jeremiah promotes poetry to the youth, hoping to broaden the community, and promote creating for Self.
Dear people who cross the digital expanse and pray their submitted work gets in,
You are the champions of the literary world. If you do not view yourself as “equal to” or “greater” than the literary magazines you support, then you are looking at this culture all wrong. What is a magazine without its submitters? What does it really mean to submit?
Let’s look at the definitions of “submitting” for a moment:
v. sub·mit·ted, sub·mit·ting, sub·mits
1. To yield or surrender (oneself) to the will or authority of another.
2. To subject to a condition or process.
3. To commit (something) to the consideration or judgment of another.
4. To offer as a proposition or contention: I submit that the terms are entirely unreasonable.
(Courtesy of http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Submitters)
If applied to writers, the first definition imagines the submitter as a small kingdom who yields to an empire greater than itself. So, by this definition, writers are lesser than and must abandon themselves and their values for what they perceive as the greater good. Of course, by obeying the empire, these writers can bring glory and fame to their name.
That’s a disgusting perspective to have, but we’ll continue.
The second definition is more appropriate, though it seems to waylay the emotional ability writers have and need to submit their work. It is not just a “condition” or “process.” This definition forgets that it’s a love for the work. It’s a respect for the work. Therefore, it’s a love, respect, and need for the writer.
As the fourth definition doesn’t seem truly applicable, the third definition ascends to be our best bet. Writers committing (prose or poetry or artwork or photography) to the consideration or judgment of a magazine. Consideration seems to have a more positive connotation than judgment. Yet, while this is the most salient definition of “submitting” for the writer to bear in mind, the question for all writers to consider is “Does this magazine have the authority to judge my work?”
I will be the first to say that literary magazines do not and should not carry the pomp they brag of. The word “magazine” comes from the French word magasin, which translates to “storehouse.” Does the word translate to “publication that reaps the benefits of its contributors and is more important than them”? No.
Moreover, a storehouse must be filled with goods to function. Without the goods, there would be no storehouse. However, without a storehouse, the goods cannot be distributed. Nonetheless, I believe the ones who share their goods with the world are the better people at the end of the day.
Do I contradict myself by posting a shameless advertisement of Yorick as the picture in this post? No. It’s my job to shamelessly advertise my magazine. It’s a storehouse for crying out loud. How else are Greek citizens going to know to come here for their oil and fleece skeins?
I’ve talked with several individuals in the immediate literary community who are committed to caring for submitters. Jeremiah Walton, of Nostrovia fame, is continuously working to create projects like The Traveling Poet so that writers have more opportunities to be heard. Brittany Wright and Richard Barnhardt at The Gap-Toothed Madness have created a newsletter for their submitters and contributors detailing new ways to submit work. It’s magazines like these that appreciate the writer.
So, submitters: you are not the worthless creatures you believe yourselves to be. You are not the mercenaries who struggle to make a living by providing service to an emperor. You are the artifacts that the acolytes struggle to collect. Some artifacts are undiscovered, some are found and made public.
Whether admitting it or not, the acolyte, a wretch in torn cloth, dreams only of finding the best.
by Steve Burns, Guest Writer
WARNING: This post is risqué and groovy.
Suddenly her bra’s off and the boobs are out. Maybe some fella’s schlong dangles momentarily on-screen. Either way, it’s happened and both parties who are watching this raunchy scene don’t know how to react. Typically, postures shift or someone clears their throat. You’ve been there when wobbly-bits enter the room, and you’ve endured the post-sex cool-down. These are three minutes and forty-five seconds you’d care not to watch (publicly) again. This is film, however.
When a poet uses the words dick, pussy, cunt, or cock at a reading before an already intently listening audience — something else happens. Ears perk up; smiles crack. My experiences at readings have shown me that poets use these suggestive terms to call attention to something larger than the words themselves. I first heard Ian Davisson read his work at Milano’s Pizzeria as part of CA Conrad’s Milano’s Reading Series. Davisson read his poem, “May 4th, 2012,” which says, “ask the right questions/you’ll be my friend forever/it’s a secret/boner in everyone’s/cup of coffee.” Combined with Davisson’s blunt, quivering delivery, folks around me immediately nodded, smirked, or sent consenting murmurs towards the front of the room where he read. I thought: “Ian uses the word boner in a really interesting way.” Sexualized terms can be abrasive, hauntingly absurd, and, at times, quite charming — Davisson’s work revealed this to me.
“May 4th, 2012” comes from a manuscript titled Summa Cum (appropriate, no?) and, in its entirety, is a ruthlessly lonesome, gnawing piece that flows from one shattered line to the next. A broken sexuality and paranoid isolation is the poem’s driving force; the phallus is at its core. Davisson begins his poem in hiding: “there’s a part of sleep/where you forget/it’s wonderful.” Sleep seems to be Davisson’s only solace. Unfortunately Davisson “won’t sleep tonight” because “I is for ian or/I is for issues.” “Ian” and “issues” are practically interchangeable, equally (painfully) alive. “[S]omeone,” says Davisson, “sleeps/inside me/leaves before I wake up.” It’s this someone who’s “a ghost/on [his] back.”
Davisson’s agony is most evident, however, in his sexually charged lines. On a restless night Davisson writes, “held my dick so tight/must have busted/something/lonely/out.” Here “dick” is being abused, exclaiming loneliness; this is not pleasurable. Davisson’s not sure what’s been released; he’s only certain it feels like isolation. Even “lonely” and “out” sit singularly on the page, unaccompanied in the line. “I’m paralyzed,” says Davisson. The issues Davisson faces have likely been assuaged by “Dr. Verdi” in the past, but in “May 4th, 2012” Davisson “can’t make it this week.” It’s safe to assume that Dr. Verdi is a counselor or therapist—“ask the right questions”—yet Davisson’s difficulties are not so confidential. “[I]t’s a secret/boner in everyone’s/cup of coffee,” writes Davisson. A boner, usually a private phenomenon, is poking obtrusively through everyone’s everyday beverage; it’s not a secret because it’s prodding everyone outright. “I love her,” says Davisson, “I’m sorry/there’s no reason for it/but I do/tell my relatives/I’m ok.” These fragmented lines, which illustrate Davisson’s attempts to calm concerned relatives, struggle to remain cohesive on the page. The “boner” renders assurances useless.
Davisson concludes that he “love[s]/knowing the stuff/that eats [him] alive.” After all, were it not for that stuff, we might not have this wonderfully compelling poem.
Check out more of Ian Davisson’s work here.
Steve Burns works and writes for Philly-based APIARY Magazine. He’s currently enrolled in Rutgers-Camden’s MFA program. His poems are weird. Also, he’s pretty tall.
By Sam Levenberg, Staff Writer
Hello again out there!
First of all, thanks to everyone who submitted to the Summer 2013 issue of Yorick! Alex and Lauren sent responses to all who submitted, so check your emails if you sent in work. Expect the full issue to be produced by mid-August. Contributors’ copies will be sent out in the coming months.
So in the past I’ve talked about my favorite literary magazines and the pleasure I find in my own and others’ poetry. What ties magazine love and poetry love together, though, is that both exist because people write poetry (including, I hope, some of you!). So, anticipating that someday I’ll read in some literary magazine a cornucopia of good poetry that brings me delight—some such that will be written by you, members of the blogosphere—I have three suggestions on going about submitting and possibly having your poetry accepted.
1) Know what kind of poetry you write. I think this is the most important part of submitting your poetry, because every magazine is looking for something different. If you write humorous, nonsensical poems and submit them to a magazine that’s looking for deep, emotionally heart-wrenching poems, you’re going to get rejected. So know what kind of poetry you write, and then try to find magazines that publish those kinds of poems. It’ll greatly enhance your chances of getting them published.
2) If what you’re looking at is a smaller, less well known magazine—like 32 Poems, vox poetica, or Circus Book—then your best bet is to go online and find out when their deadlines are and then directly email the editor. Many times these editors don’t get a whole truckload of submissions, at least compared to bigger magazines like Paris Review, so hearing from someone who is looking to get their poetry out and about is a joy for them. I’ve had two or three email conversations with editors of small magazines, and one thing they always mention is that they love hearing from new poets and reading their poems; they never know what to expect and are often amazed by what they read. So, in short, take initiative and don’t be scared to email an editor.
3) Compared to smaller literary magazines, hulking magazines like the Paris Review and The New Yorker receive thousands of submissions by their respective deadlines. So, emailing an editor of a magazine like that is impractical because it’s unlikely they’ll get back to you. However, there are online databases for writers that can greatly help you in your submissions to these magazines. One of the most well known is called Duotrope, which not only lists a large number of magazines both big and small, but also provides statistics on how likely it is that anything you submit will be accepted and how long it can take for different magazines to respond to your submission. For up-and-coming writers, as well as those who are more experienced, websites like Duotrope can be a great help for finding the magazine that’s right for you. In sum, utilize online resources to their fullest extent.
That’s all I have for now. Hopefully what I’ve give is useful to those of you who are looking to expand your poetry throughout the wide, wide world.
So long, and thanks for all the fish,
Dear Storywriters, Storyhearers, and Pythonians,
The Summer 2013 reading session is over. To those who submitted, wonderful work so far. We’re still evaluating your pieces and will come to a decision. To those who didn’t submit, shame, forsakenness, misdeed upon your household! Or your wifi. Whichever affects you more.
You can always submit to our fine little literary magazine at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you missed the deadline for the Summer 2013 issue, why not submit for the Fall 2013 issue?
Do it. This is a warranted challenge. So is the following:
As we run from attack dogs and march in tune, we realize that submitting work is a tough process. It’s equitable to raising children and sending them off into the world to get jobs—except your children can get rejected and you have to revise them to make them perfect.
Sounds pretty dystopian to me.
But it’s what writers do. All storytellers need to strive to find their medium. We don’t all have the honor of telling our tales to a tribe by the fireside in the desert. We don’t all have enthusiastic grandchildren who honor us with their ears. What we do have is the Internet.
The first magazine I successfully submitted to, Postcard Shorts, is a sweet affair with remote flash fictions that take your mind away for a few minutes, roughly. It’s an enjoyable publication and a reminder of why we write. Escape. A chance to travel to a new world, one not too far away but not so subtly in an inaccessible dimension.
That’s a lie. We submit to become famous. You want to be in an echelon where strangers will glorify your work and your friends will say, “Wow, I grew up with that chick, and now she’s a famous novelist/ short story writer/ poet? I really suck.” However, you can always relieve non-writer friends by reminding them that your pay affords the pens and paper you write with.
So escape and fame. What else? Here’s a thought: we’re all writing to concoct the same dream with different pieces, chemicals, people. A complete story, with a beginning, middle, and end (unless you’re one of those absurdist-surrealist compatriots, and to you I say write on). Detective solves a mystery. Lovers solve the mystery of love. Gloomy poets solve the mystery of isolation with more isolation. It’s completeness we seek; passengers on the same boat, towards the same lonely island, we take up different cabins believing we’re original.
Can you submit before the vicious dog reaches the fence in three seconds?
Yes. Absolutely yes.
Remember that even though our songs sound different, they follow the same tune. Go buy yourself some caviar, you peasant. You’ve earned it.
Dear Wendigos and Other Beasts of Folklore,
I hope you’re doing well out there in the Blogosphere. I’ve heard it’s cold sometimes.
The poems, stories, artwork and photography we’ve imprisoned in our first issue from this year are screaming to get out and into your heads! If you haven’t seen our literary brig, go to our ISSUES section and take a gander at our literary magazine.
Here’s the fun part of this post—and definitely not the self-marketing in-your-face advertisement blurb—as I’d like to make a shout out to some literary œuvres de grandeur (see that! French!) that you should know about. They’re all very, very cool publishers of the best, the best of the best, and the best of the best bests, and deserve 96% of your attention. The other 4% can be zoned out. That’s totally fine.
Click on the pictures to visit their websites!
1. The Gap-Toothed Madness
This lit mag based in Sacramento, CA is already a strong contender as a fantastic and sophisticated compilation of work from around the world. One of their featured writers is actually a Yorick alum, Fred Pollack, one of our Spring 2013 issue’s poets. With amazing cover art and a printed magazine you can order here, this publication has a lot to smile about. This madness is currently accepting work.
With a cryptic “Welcome Home” that makes me rethink where I’ve been these past two decades, Undergroundbooks.org deals in the cryptic and the utterly wonderful. Featuring eclectic poets and several neat ebooks, this online publishing house of silken onyx has scored a subterranean following as well as my heart. Some types of prose and poetry you may submit are prison diaries (if you’ve recently been to prison), poetry made through animated gifs, and children’s books, which will be tested on the editors’ children, among the more typical stuff. This underground dwelling is currently accepting work.
3. Hobo Camp Review
A four-season camp full of weathered raconteurs, this magazine is in its seventeenth issue. If you’re looking to read earthy realities and salient truths, come here. Some notable work to mention is by Melissa Prunty Kemp and James Tyner, among an amazing camp of “road-weary storytellers” that will surely send your dreams to the forest. This hobo camp is currently accepting work.
4. Miracle E-zine
Sporting gorgeous artwork, poetry, fiction, film reviews, writing contests, and other special features (I particularly like the “Writer’s Guide to Reading” in Issue 6), Miracle is a miracle—not that its talented staff and writers can put together such great work, but that we can have such a beautiful publication to grace our existence. For their writers’ group, click here. This miracle is currently accepting submissions.
5. Decades Review
This is the kind of lit review you look for when you sink back in your couch, pull up your laptop, and browse for good, meaningful writing. The Decades Review is inspiring, full of great management, interviews, and, of course, pieces of fine literature and artwork. I hope this publication runs for years. This decade is currently accepting submissions.
Thanks for reading, folks! Support these magazines with your time, love, and memory. Reading the work of others, comrades, is as important as submitting your own work.
It’s a monster of a world without friends. Even for a wendigo.
by Samuel Levenberg, Staff Writer
Heidi ho out there!
A few days ago my editor – the esteemed Alex Grover – asked me if I wanted to write a blog post for Yorick about what I like about poetry. A few things immediately popped into my head – how its beauty is only in words and how it can be about much of anything – but what I think I like most about poetry is its unpredictable nature. When looking into poetry, whether in a literary magazine, a textbook, on the internet, my own drunk scribbles or even just research about it in general, the gems I find concerning poetry always lift my mood.
Two gems in particular always make me smile when I see them. The first is a drunken scrawl I wrote about a month ago when I was having a conversation with a random girl I had just met. I mentioned I was a poet, so she challenged me to write a poem. I asked her for a word and she said to me “CRY.” I said “Okay,” and I wrote this for her:
Cold fusion does make
YES, said the hero
I almost forgot this poem, because I’d written it on a napkin and given it to her so I thought I had lost it. But about two days after this night, I was taking a look at my jeans and saw something written on them. Wadda ya know, it was this poem, and when I saw that I couldn’t help but grin.
The other gem that always makes me smile is that there are 190, 899, 322 different ways to write a sonnet (thank you John Lennard’s The Poetry Handbook!) because for a while I was of the opinion that you could only write a sonnet one of two or three ways – in English, Italian or Spenserian forms. However, after reading these numbers in Lennard’s book and doing a close reading of “Ozymandias” by Shelley, my mind was opened to the adventures that writing sonnets can hold. So, whenever I look at this number I am reminded of this, and it makes me smile.
So, farewell. I wish you hope out there in the blogosphere in finding your own gems to smile at.
Sam “The Grimm” Levenberg
Intern (in turn)
Dear Scary Monsters, Nice Sprites, Ghosts n Stuff,
“I’m truly happy my work is appearing in this particular issue of Yorick Magazine, alongside the great words of other poets and writers. The magazine transitions smoothly from poem to poem, story to story, and provokes thought through powerful writing. The editors here certainly know what they are doing. Giuseppi Martino Buonaiuto & Katherine Steiger are two poets in this issue to make note of.”
We’re grateful to Walton for his flattering review and are thankful to have him on our team of contributors. If you haven’t read his work, or the works of the other lovely artists and writers in our fourth issue, click the link and give us a Facebook like!
Walton has been up to quite a bit in New England, as he’s heading a project called Poetry to the Streets, where contributors have the opportunity to have their work spread by carrier pigeon.
That’s an absolute lie. But their work will actually be circulated by Walton and a few other volunteers in the streets of New Hampshire! Placed on trash cans, lamp posts, store windows, and other places where you might not normally find poetry, these grassroots blossoms (maybe crumbs of pollen, to be more accurate) are the darlings of Walton’s mantra: “Bring the average person free poetry.”
Poetry to the Streets is managed through The Virus Is Silence, another of Jeremiah’s blogs that will be published in summer 2013. According to Walton, “The Virus Is Silence will promote poetry activists, those who creatively promote poetry, and are inspirational to us as poets. The website the blog is hosted at will feature a list of potential publishing presses, self publishing resources, and general tips and ideas for creatively promoting your poetry.”
The distribution does not have to be contained to New Hampshire; in fact, it shouldn’t be contained. It should be spread. Silently. Like a virus. If you’re interested in circulating free poems in your streets, email Walton at TheVirusIsSilence@gmail.com and you’ll receive some poems that you can print and hand out in your area. The goals are voluntarism and outreach. Visit Walton’s website, publish a blog post linking to the project, and use the weird vibrating qualities of your mouth to tell others about Poetry to the Streets.
If you want your poems carrier-pigeoned in this grassroots fashion, email TheVirusIsSilence@gmail.com with your submissions and watch as the world gains another great work.
Don’t forget to do anything that I wrote in this post! I’ll be holding you accountable. Dubstep is cool.
Dear North Koreans, South Koreans, and other Balkanized Citizens of the World,
Yorick Magazine is winding up its first harvest of the year for its Spring 2013 issue, which will be due in some time in late March or early April. We’ve gotten dozens of lovely pieces from writers and poets from around the world. If you like to submit writing to magazines, now is your chance to add your story into the frothy broth of our submission soup.
Deadline for submissions is March 18th, 2013.
We take poetry and short story submissions. We also take novel excerpts. We also take clown memoirs, disco aftermaths, parade streamers, Hawaiian treaties, and constitutions from legitimate countries (and not those threatening to blow us the hell up!)(Even though we’d do the same to you, you scary world).
If you have an eye for aesthetics, or even if you don’t, please feel inspired to submit photography. The moments you capture will be released within the confines of Yorick, so if they’re incredibly dangerous, do not worry. We do have the technology for such fine work. If it’s revolutionary, we will make grilled cheeses for the partisan warriors of the resistance.
You should submit art, too. Yorick beckons for original artwork, as the menaces of the image scribe tend to delegate wonderful nuances in image councils, who bear good will to the image world. Did you detect the metaphor their? The image metaphor? No? Yes?
Are you quibbling? Don’t! You’re doing us a favor by providing our phantasmagorical magazine with your poetry, art, photography, and short story submissions, along with the other fancies that you hide in your trunk of work. We are looking for tales in words and images (aha!), stories within walls, people in places we never thought they could roam. It’s a challenging proposition, but we mean it. We want your best, and we’ll accept your best.
Fair warning: if Kim Jong-Un submits his poetry to us, we will accept it bar-none. Sorry folks.
Remember, March 18th! March 18th! Submit everything! All of it!
– Alex, Editor-in-Chief