News Archive

October 22, 2008

Well, it's almost November and the election will soon be over, and maybe then this site will get out of the funk it is in.

The quiescence this site has slipped into - the consequence, I figure, of summer vacations and politics - has extended into the fall. Submissions have dropped to zero. I have had to resort to begging friends to write poems for me just so I can have something to put up every two weeks or so.

Is the war over and everyone forgot to tell me?

I am calling this the Obama/McCain effect. Poets are passionate people and passions have not run this high in a political election in quite some time. Presumably all of you are so distracted by what's going on, you haven't had the time and energy to write poetry.

After the election, submissions may resume (maybe) (I hope) (please?)

If Obama wins (which seems likely) I could be flooded with angry "patriotic" poetry and gloating "peace is at hand" tomes. Well, maybe not a flood.

If McCain wins, I imagine I will get lots of despairing, disparaging anti-war pieces from the left and exultant "We'll get those terrorists now!" poems from the right.

But you know what? Even if Obama wins this election, the war is going to go on for years. And in time, as the body count continues to rise and nothing else much changes and more and more young people experience the horrors of war, you will need an outlet for your frustration and anger and fear.

And when that happens, I will still be here.

     posted by: Charles S. Cooper

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June 19, 2008

Looks like I am going to be updating bi-weekly for a while, until we get past the summer vacation/election doldrums.

     posted by: Charles S. Cooper

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May 15, 2008

You might have noticed, if you check the site weekly, that there were no new poems last week. It is not that I forgot or was out of the country (like last time), but rather that I had nothing to publish.

Actually, that is not exactly true. I did have some poems from Robert L. Hinshaw. But I have published a lot of his poems recently, and I like to spread out poems from a particular author and/or a particular point of view. This site is about diversity of opinion.

Submissions have fallen off lately, although readership is still growing. I attribute the drop off in submissions to two causes. First, it is approaching summer break for most colleges. A lot of my contributors are creative writing students or college professors/instructors. When summer comes they are busy with other things.

Secondly, we are entering the silly season in politics. A lot of people who would have expended energy spouting off about their feeling on Iraq, are busy working for political candidates, or, at least, optimistic that the election might make a difference. Writing poetry is far from their minds.

Also, it is not helpful that my plans to solicite poetry for the site through postcards and internet solicitations fell afoul of my uprooting myself and moving to a new home, and my accursed volunteering for various charitable organization since the start of the year. I resolve to more diligent about promoting the site to poets, especially in the fall when the school year begins.

On the positive side, readership is still increasing. I get a lot of new readers from the Google ads I run, and we are building up a core of people who like the site and return occassionally to see what is new. Don't forget that you can subscribe to the RSS feed so you know when the site is updated.

     posted by: Charles S. Cooper

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October 17, 2007

Why Are We in Iraq? reached a milestone recently. Last week we published our 100th poem, "Identifying With The Enemy." This week our 101st poem was written by a native Iraqi who now lives in the United States.

This project is now over a year old. The first poem was put up in August of 2006; and the first poem from someone not a personal friend of the editor was published at the end of September last year.

There have been 192 poems submitted to the site, of which 114 have accepted with four waiting in the queue to be reviewed.

We are now receiving enough submissions we can publish more than one poem a week. Those times when we publish just one poem a week, it is because we feel the poem is too powerful to be published with other poems. An example would be the two poems published this week and last.

By the way, next week we are planning to have a Joe Schilling festival - Joe being one of our most prolific contributors - and publish a number of his poems all at once. We are not doing this just to clear out the queue; Joe's poems are very inter-related. Come back next week and you will see what we mean.

We had hoped when we started this project that it would be short lived. A year or two at the most. Unfortunately, it appears this site might go on indefinitely. So, send us your poems, tell us how you feel, and we will tell the world.

     posted by: Charles S. Cooper

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May 3, 2007

You know what panic is?

About three weeks ago the submissions to the site stopped. At first I thought it was just a lull, maybe spring break in the university creative writing classes which are the source of a lot of my poems. Maybe I need to send out more postcards soliciting poems.

I have been stringing out the poems I accepted, hoping that some new poems - anything! - would be submitted. Alas. Nothing. Last week I posted the last poem I had in the queue.

What to do? What to do? Write a poem myself? Beg for poems from friends? Dig through the rejection pile seeing if there is anything I overlooked and write a desperate email asking for forgiveness? Admit that maybe this project is a failure?

Fortunately, before I did anything stupid, I checked to see if the submission form was working properly. I sent a test message on the web site. An hour later, after obsessively checking email, I discovered it wasn't working.

A quick trip with the browser to the web mail application at my server host yielded eleven submissions that never made it through to my email program. (Twelve, if you want to count the submission that said "Ithink you guys are gay.")


After a few hours of struggling with the computerized adversary, I finally got the emails to download to my computer. So, once again, democracy is saved. Or at least we have backed it up.

My apologies to those have been waiting for a response from me about their submissions. Those are going out today.

     posted by: Charles S. Cooper

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