Publisher’s Blog

157 posts

Website Updates in Progress…

There are currently some glitches and problems here on The Poet’s Haven website. We will be installing and applying some (long overdue) updates in the next few days that will hopefully correct everything. Please bear with us.

UPDATE: Almost everything works now.  Like any update, we still had a plethora of issues that arose, even after months of working on the CSS on our test site.  There’s still a few things that need fixed, but we’re working on them.

There’s still a lot to do for the second part of this update.  The Boutique store will be getting merged into the main site, so it all blends together.  That’s going to take a long while to complete, however, so for now the links still point to the classic OpenCart store we’ve been using since the last site update.

One thing I haven’t made a big deal of before: this update became necessary as the version of WordPress running the site previously would no longer let me add content to the site.  A security update did something last fall which crashed the add post forms, which was the final straw that led to me closing the submission forms.  I was able to post the few blog entries by manually inserting them into the PHP database, but that is not a way to add poems and stories.  Updating all the software became necessary before we can start working through the submission backlog.

Switching the store over is going to be my background project for a bit.  I’d like to focus on adding some new content to the galleries first, now that I’ve got regular posting abilities working again, before I get busy with the spring and summer book releases and sales.  Speaking of, there’s also two new books almost ready to print.

I’d also like to remind everyone that the submission deadline for the next Digest (which will feature video-game poems) is April 6th.  The next submission call for Author Series manuscripts is scheduled to open on May 1st and will be open until June 30th.  While I am still reading through last year’s manuscript submissions (something else this website update kept me from working on), I felt it best to announce when the call will be open this year before the Digest call closes.  (There won’t be any open calls between April 7th and 30th, since the website calls are still closed.)

Website will be closed to submissions…

Due to an overwhelming backlog, the website galleries will be closed to submissions effective December 14th. Once we get through the queue, we will determine when the submission forms will reopen. Most likely, we will only have the submission forms open for a limited period each year from here on out, like we do for book manuscripts.

Pushcart Nominations for 2019

The Poet's Haven is delighted to announce its Pushcart Nominees for 2019:

"One" by Crystal Clark (from From Frost to Phoenix)
"Almost Spring" by Jennifer Polhemus (from Balloons... and Other Things That Float)
"Unpinned" by Aiya Sakr (from Her Bones Catch the Sun)
"The Nobodies" by Kanishka Shah (from The Poet's Haven Digest: Darker Than Fiction)
"San Diego" by Peter Ullian (from Secret Histories and Exobiologies)

"The Phone" by Judith Baron (from The Poet's Haven Digest: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...)

This was a tough decision this year. Every book we've published has at least one piece worthy of nomination, oftentimes more than one. We also published several pieces in the online galleries that deserve a nomination. Unfortunately, we can only nominate six, but we would like to list six more "honorable mentions" here:

untitled "50" by Dudgrick Robert Wade Bevins (from My Feelings are Imaginary People Who Fight for My Attention)
untitled "stars invisible" by Joshua Gage (from Origami Lilies)
"Period" by Gregory Liffick (from Meanwhile)
"Ides of March 2017" by Sujash Purna (from Biriyani)
"$400 for Rent" by Sydney Sheltz-Kempf (from Adding Up Forever)

"Dispatches from an Ad Blocker" by TJ Davis (from the Story Gallery)

In other delightful news, Peter Ullian has been named Poet Laureate of Beacon, NY for 2019-2020!

“Dark & Stormy” progress update

Work is nearing completion for “The Poet’s Haven Digest: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…” Some medical issues caused days I planned to be working on the book to be lost. Hard decisions have been made about what to cut and all declines have been sent. Acceptance notices will be sent later this week.

“Dark and Stormy” delays…

Since we’ve gotten a number of inquiries, I felt it best to make a blog post.  We intended to have The Poet’s Haven Digest: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night… published by now.  We didn’t foresee getting five times the number of expected submissions for the anthology.  Work is progressing as fast as possible, but there’s a lot to read through and some hard decisions to make as we can only fit so many pages in a single book.  We are now aiming to have the Digest ready before Halloween, but that could change if life gets in the way.


The submission call for the next Digest will go live once work is completed on Dark and Stormy.  We also hope to have everything worked out and get the call for the next VENDING MACHINE posted soon, too.  There’s a lot of information to be shared about that when it is ready, so please stay tuned.  🙂

Congratulations to our Award Nominees!



As you can see from the above graphic (which will be the ad we run in an upcoming issue of Star*Line magazine), SIX poems published in The Poet’s Haven Digest have been nominated for Rhysling Awards!  😀


(from The Poet’s Haven Digest: Strange Land)

2018 Rhysling Award for Short Poems:
Vince Gotera – “Astro-Archaeologist’s Log”
Mary A. Turzillo – “When the Aliens Come to Tea”
2018 Rhysling Award for Long Poems:
Deborah L. Davitt – “Shards of a Fractured Soul”


(from The Poet’s Haven Digest: The Distance Between Insanity and Genius)
2018 Rhysling Award for Short Poems:
Azriel Johnson – “Villain L”
2018 Rhysling Award for Long Poems:
Jen Giacalone – “She Dreams of Tigers, or Remembers”
Jesse Parent – “Sons of Fire and Clay”


Herb Kauderer‘s Flying Solo: The Lana Invasion has also been nominated for the Elgin Award!

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.  😀

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.)