They say it's worth exactly what you pay for it. So, in our consumerist society, when something is free, let the "buyer" beware, a maxim I follow faithfully myself. There is, however, at least one assumption in that thought.
I've been giving it away free for 20 plus years. Every time someone sends me an envelope of poems following the guidelines for submissions, they at least get a free issue of Lilliput Review in return.
So, this is bartering, a system of exchange if you will. The issue is not really free - a stamp must go on the envelope, a SASE must be sent in return. However, what is happening here is important if you are a poet with some forethought. You get a chance to have a poem accepted for publication and, if not, you get a tiny magazine with 20 plus poems for "free." This might give the poet a better idea of what the editor is interested in (you wouldn't believe how many poems I get that are over 20 lines, never mind the 10 line limit - but that's another rant).
I'll show you my poems if you show me yours ...
That's how barter works. Doing this for 22 years I've given away thousands of "free" issues, connected with poets, found new subscribers, and published some dynamite poems. Did I mention the mag is not in the red, and never has been.
Hmn. Am I giving a few people some ideas?
In addition to this, on the web side of things, there are three ongoing projects that result in free issues to those who participate. The Near Perfect Books of Poems project, the ongoing Issa's Sunday Service project, and the Wednesday Haiku feature on the blog.
And, as always, you can just send a SASE (standard business size, one 1st class stamp) and get a free issue.
All of this must result in a real minimal circulation, I mean nobody's going to buy what they can get for free, right? Well, right now Lillie has a subscriber list of nearly 300, as large as its ever been.
You know what they say - the first bag's free ...
This week's featured poem is from Lilliput Review, #165, from November 2008. This fine translation of the magnificent Yannis Ritsos is by Scott King. It speaks for itself.
The Shadow of Birds: 41
I'm not listening to you—he says—
I find the hill beautiful
the tree beautiful
the shadow of birds on the grass
in the water or in the mirror
whatever you say
my part isn't diminished
in the river
or in the rose.
translated by Scott King
when might I become
grass...or a tree?
translated by David G. Lanoue
Send a single haiku for the Wednesday Haiku feature. Here's how.
Go to the LitRock web site for a list of all 110 songs