Category Archives : Publisher’s Blog

Announcing ENVELIT – Envelopes of Literature!

The Poet’s Haven is pleased to announce the launch of a long-awaited, long-in-the-works program:


Envelit is a subscription service that brings our readers an envelope stuffed with books of poetry and short fiction every other month.  Think of it like a “Loot Crate” full of books from the best small-press publishers around.


The first shipment will arrive in mailboxes this April.  There will never be more than one book from a single author in a shipment, and we won’t repeat authors for at least one year.  Each book in a shipment will be from a different press.  (Also, not every shipment will have a Poet’s Haven title in it.)  Books included in our shipments will be stand-alone titles: you won’t get stuck with a book that is number 7 in a 12 part series and have to track down all the earlier books before you can read the title we sent.  Plans are in the works for shipments selected by guest curators, and we are planning to have books make their debut in Envelit shipments before being available to the general public.  Perhaps the biggest thing we’re going to do different than other subscription box services is that we will announce what is in the upcoming shipment and give you time to request a substitution if you already own one of the titles.  As exciting as it is discovering what is inside a blind shipment, it is very disappointing to open a subscription box and pull out something you already have.  If we’ve selected a title you already own, let us know and we’ll get it switched out with something else from our inventory.


To subscribe, head over to!

Digest Calls and Deadlines

The submission window for “The Distance Between Insanity and Genius” closes in a matter of hours. The deadline for “Darker Than Fiction” has been set for January 7th. The next Digest call, “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…” has now gone live, and has been given the deadline of May 26.


I learned something as the submission windows for “Strange Land” and “The Distance Between Insanity and Genius” have closed: 75% of the submissions will be sent during the final 48 hours the call is open! These calls were open for several years, with only one or two submission coming in each month, and the plan was to close them once we had accepted enough to fill the book. When I decided that “Strange Land” needed to be released at the same time as Herb Kauderer’s “Flying Solo,” I set a close date and suddenly submissions were rolling in and we ended up with so many awesome pieces that the planned 36 page book grew to 64 pages. As I type this, there’s 23 hours left for “Distance” submissions, and on Friday alone more than 100 pieces were submitted. Lesson learned: set a deadline right from the start.

Poet’s Haven Surpasses 50 Print Book Titles

The Poet’s Haven recently published three new books; “Flying Solo: The Lana Invasion” by Herb Kauderer, “The Poet’s Haven Digest: Strange Land,” and “Becoming Bubbe” by Mala Hoffman.  While setting up for Summit StageFest last weekend, it occurred to me that we had just surpassed 50 print titles.  Going by the order the books were printed, Herb Kauderer’s book is our 50th release and Mala Hoffman’s book brings us to 52.  (This includes The Poet’s Haven Digest Issue Zero and the five VENDING MACHINE anthologies.)


This brings a big smile to my face, as I make plans to celebrate this press’ 20th anniversary in just a few months’ time.  :-D

The Poet’s Haven Digest: Strange Land – CALL ENDING APRIL 30

The Poet’s Haven Digest’s call for our upcoming “Strange Land” anthology (featuring poetry and stories about extraterrestrials and their view of us earthlings) will be CLOSED on April 30th.  We are working to have the book completed by late May or early June.  If you are one of those folk who have to wait until the last minute, that time is now.

Author Series Submission Call

It is April, and that means The Poet’s Haven Author Series is open to manuscript submissions.  The call will remain open until May 13.


We also still have calls open for The Poet’s Haven Digest: “Strange Land” (aliens), “The Distance Between Insanity and Genius” (super-villains), and “Darker Than Fiction” (real-life monsters like serial killers, etc.).  All three of these are close to having enough material to close the calls, so if you’ve been thinking of submitting something please don’t delay.

Poet’s Haven to be at AWP Bookfair, debuts 4 new books

The Poet’s Haven will launch its 20th Anniversary celebration with a table at the AWP Conference & Bookfair in Washington DC!  We will be debuting four new books (three Author Series titles and one Archive Series title) at table 144-T.


Lucy Chau Lai-Tuen - Ungrateful - A Paper Daughter  Janet Snell - Twice Told Tale  Bruce McRae - Hearsay  John Burroughs - Water Works


If you’re in DC for the conference, come meet publisher Vertigo Xavier and talk about what’s coming up from The Poet’s Haven!



Build Your Own Holiday Bundle!



The Poet’s Haven’s “pocket-size” books make great stocking-stuffers!  From now until January 1st, get 10% off a purchase over $20 or 20% off a purchase over $40 with free shipping!  Use the coupon code “bundle10″ or “bundle20″ on your shopping cart.  (Discount only applies to single books published by The Poet’s Haven: does not apply to consignment sales or already discounted bundles.)

2015′s Pushcart Nominees

The Poet’s Haven has submitted its nominations for the next Pushcart Prize.  From this year’s publications, we have selected:





(While, yes, I do think it is egotistical to nominate one’s own poem for the Pushcart award, the Pushcart anthologies are only sold in print, so I’m hoping my anti-eBook rant will provide the editors with a laugh.) :-)

Stardust Poetry show series on hiatus…

The Stardust Poetry event series will be going on an indefinite hiatus.


Karma Cafe recently changed owners, and the new owner changed the cafe’s hours.  While the cafe may be willing to stay open later for events that were previously scheduled, I have held off promoting the next show while waiting for confirmation of this.  Unfortunately, between my day-job hours and the, I’m sure, overwhelming task of taking over the business operations at Karma, contact has not yet been made.  There is no longer sufficient time to confirm features and effectively promote the show that was scheduled for July 18th.  As such, I have made the decision to put the show on hiatus.


I do not know what is going to happen next.  The event details may get worked out with Karma, I may begin the search for a new venue, or I may take this opportunity to set up something completely different.  Stay tuned…

Poet’s Haven’s 2014 Pushcart Nominees

The Poet’s Haven has submitted these six nominations for the 2015 Pushcart Prize:


“Vampire Desperately Seeking Lady Friend” by Kristina England from The Poet’s Haven Digest: We Only Come Out at Night


“Homelessness” by Azriel Johnson from Poemaholic


“Dream-Laden” by Mark Sebastian Jordan from Murder Ballads


“I Say” by Caira Lee from Slaying With No Dents in My Afro


“Residue of Dreams” by Jennifer Polhemus from Women Dancing


“Black Hipster Stand-Up” by AKeemjamal Rollins from forthcoming The Lynching of the God Ghost



Updates on Submissions

I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails asking about the status of submissions.


I am WAY behind on reviewing and posting submissions to the galleries.  Day-job and offline world responsibilities have severely limited the time available to me (see my post about Stardust Poetry’s new schedule).  With the move to Submittable, you can log in to your account there to see the status of any submissions you have made.  Once your submission has been reviewed and decided upon, the status will be updated.

Stardust Poetry changes, Chapbook Submission Call, VENDING MACHINE 5

The Poet’s Haven’s call for chapbook manuscript submissions has been extended until July 5th. Go to the “Submissions” page (linked above) for full details and a link to submit your manuscript.


The Stardust Poetry open-mic series will be taking a hiatus for the next few months. The show will be getting retooled a bit before returning in October. The show will now be held on the third Saturday of October, January, April, and July. (That’s quarterly, every three months, just not in the same months as season changes.) The show will be staying at the wonderful Karma Cafe.


This year’s VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for change event will take place at Karma Cafe on Saturday, November 22nd. That’s the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Features are to be announced.


Speaking of VENDING MACHINE: the call for submissions to this year’s anthology will be going live on July 1st. Submissions must be received by October 4th. VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change is a special poetry anthology published annually by The Poet’s Haven themed around Gandhi’s quote “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” The book is edited by T.M. Göttl and Vertigo Xavier. The book is not available for sale, but is instead offered in exchange for donations to the Poetic Provisions Food-Drive.




Okay, now that the news bulletins are out of the way, the explanation. The change to the Stardust Poetry schedule was announced more than a week ago at the final monthly show and then briefly posted on Facebook with the words “More details and explanation will be announced as soon as I have time type up a press release / blog post.”


The fact that it has taken nine days for me to get this typed up is a big part of why this schedule change is necessary. Those of you who know me offline know the turmoil my life has been in the past two years. For those of you who aren’t aware, here’s a brief recap: in July 2012, the day-job I had held for many years ended. Our operation was moved to a different facility in another state. The job market in my area is rough these days. While I managed to land a few “temp-to-hire” gigs, “temp” always proved to be the key word. (My father calls them “temp-to-fire.” He’s absolutely right.) This past December, I landed a gig that requires me to work an afternoon/evening schedule. While I am still working through a temp service, six months later I am still in this position. No word on when (or, really, if) I will be made a permanent hire, but six months have gone by and I am still there. This job has both long hours and a long drive. My old job was only five minutes from my home: this job requires nearly two hours of driving every day. This is severely cutting in to the time I need to do everything here at Poet’s Haven. As the schedule is evening hours, I have had to take time off (something not encouraged for contingent workers) for the Stardust shows these past six months. Moving the show to a Saturday schedule will allow me to work my full “day-job” schedule.


Once upon a time, I had a super long list of local poets I wanted to feature. Unfortunately, the number of poets we have featured has outpaced the number of poets getting added to the list. Having a show on a weeknight also makes it more difficult for not-so-local poets to come headline an event. Going to a quarterly, Saturday schedule should make it easier to line up features.


With my “day-job” hours now in the evening, I have not been able to attend many poetry events. This has allowed me to see the big problem currently plaguing our local poetry scene. When I would be in the audience of five or six different shows each week, I would see just about everyone in our scene somewhere or another. Only being able to attend certain weekend events now, what has become telling is the faces I do not see. Our “community” has always been fractured into little cliques. Each clique attends a show or two in its circle, but refuses to venture out of that circle. Several years ago, this was what I set out to break down. I wanted to do shows that would draw people from every poetry clique. For a while, we were successful at this. Then something slowly changed and our shows developed a clique of their own. I don’t want to loose our loyal audience, but something needs to be done differently to make our shows the big EVENT that EVERYONE wants to attend. It is my hope that a less routine schedule will help us accomplish this.


Again, as I have indicated here, time is a big issue for me right now. When the day finally arrives where being a publisher and slam team manager can be my sole, full-time job, I will again seek to host multiple shows each month. I just don’t have the time necessary to do everything I want to do here. It has taken me a long while to realize that I need to focus on quality over quantity. I would much rather produce just five shows each year and have them be the best shows in our region.

New Author Series Releases, Submission Announcements

The Poet’s Haven Boutique is pleased to have added new Poet’s Haven Author Series books by Dianne Borsenik, Caira Lee, Jennifer Polehemus, and Alex Gildzen as well as The Poet’s Haven Digest: We Only Come Out at Night!


More books are on the way.  If you would like to ensure you get each book as soon as it is released, we now offer subscriptions:-)


We have been getting e-mails asking this, so I thought I should say something on the blog: The Poet’s Haven is NOT having an open call for Author Series manuscript submissions this month.  While we have had our previous open calls in April, I am still working through the manuscripts submitted last year as well as trying to catch up on submissions to our Digest calls and the online galleries.  The current plan is for a manuscript call to be opened up in June.


Also (and I’m sure anyone looking at this website does not need to be told this, but…): The Poet’s Haven does NOT accept submissions via postal mail.  We have not accepted postal submissions since 2002.  As much as I love finding poems in my mailbox, whether I find the time to read them or not, none of them will be published on the site or in any of our Digest publications.  If you wish to submit work to The Poet’s Haven, please follow the guidelines and use the forms linked on the “Submissions” page.

“INHUMAN” Award Nominations!

Joshua_Gage_-_InhumanCongratulations to Joshua Gage, who has been nominated for both the 2014 Best Chapbook Elgin Award AND the 2014 Best Short Poem Rhysling Award!


The Elgin nomination is for Josh’s Poet’s Haven Author Series chapbook INHUMAN: Haiku from the Zombie Apocalypse, and the Rhysling nomination is for one of the haiku appearing in INHUMAN!  To celebrate this, we have marked the book down to just $5 (plus FREE SHIPPING) through the Elgin voting period!  (Markdown ends on August 15.)















stocking-stufferThe Poet’s Haven Boutique is having a STOCKING-STUFFER SALE!  Through the end of December, all “pocket-size” books are marked-down $1.00 off the cover-price, plus FREE SHIPPING to the USA, Canada, and Mexico!


This sale includes:


Give the gift of poetry this holiday season! Galleries Open to Submissions

The Poet’s Haven online galleries are once again open to submissions!


For the time being, we will be using Submittable to manage submissions. This may change somewhere down the line (if we can find a secure, open-source alternative).


Just click the “Submissions” link in the navigation above to see the guidelines and list of open calls.

Poet’s Haven announces nominations for 2014 Pushcart Prize


It was a tough decision, having to narrow all the great work published by The Poet’s Haven this year down to just six choices for nomination.


The Poet’s Haven has nominated the following pieces for the 2014 Pushcart Prize:



VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change 2013

This year’s VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change event will be taking place next week at Karma Café in Canton, Ohio!  I’m pleased to announce that this year’s VENDING MACHINE anthology features poetry by: Lynne Albert, Dianne Borsenik, Steve Brightman, Skylark Bruce, John Burroughs, Shelley Chernin, Mike Finley, Ken Gradomski, Chuck Joy, Lori Ann Kusterbeck, Geoffrey A. Landis, Miranda Macondios, Marc Mannheimer, William Merricle, Rebekah Moss, Jen Pezzo, Kenneth Pobo, REDD, S. Renay Sanders, Kathy Smith, Zach, and Beverly Zeimer, with cover art by Eileen Matias!


The book will be available on November 15th at the special VENDING MACHINE: Poetry for Change event at Karma Cafe in Canton, OH.  To get a copy of the book, please bring a donation for the Poetic Provisions Food-Drive to the show.



Update on Gallery Transfer

Okay, so the goal was to have the site all ready to relaunch on Halloween. Today marks The Poet’s Haven’s 16th anniversary (not counting the two-or-so years before that where we operated as “The Haven” on AOL). Unfortunately, more complications arose while transferring the database from the old site. As of right now, there’s about 16 short stories that won’t transfer and will have to be reposted manually. I’ll have to figure out which ones they are. There’s also several other stories that aren’t displaying correctly due to WordPress’ CSS based formatting handling certain HTML coding differently than a plain HTML display like the old site had. I’ll have to fix them manually as well. I’ve also encountered some issues with line spacing that will have to be fixed site-wide. Several of my old blog posts have been removed as they were essentially double posts of podcast pages, and it just plain looked bad when browsing the site without any category filter turned on. All-in-all, the remaining issues to fix here won’t take too long.  Oh, and while several new poems have been added to the site, there’s still about 90 more old submissions I need to decide on.  That’s what I would have been finishing today, if the database transfers had not proven to be so problematic…


What WILL be a bit longer in the finishing is the new submission system.  I’ve only been able to find one open-source based script for this purpose, and it will need quite a bit of rewriting and customization before it can be used here.  It also hasn’t seen any updates from its original author(s) in several years, which might lead to the same problems with it as what happened with the old Poet’s Haven galleries.  If you know of any open-source (or other no-money-needed licensing), PHP/SQL based submission management scripts, please let me know.  I would like something that works like the Submittable site, only installed locally (on this server) and without needing either an annual fee or for authors to pay to submit work.