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A short post about long poems

Next month, Long Poem Magazine opens its submissions window. So if you have a poem or two more than 75 lines long, now’s your chance.

I think I can safely say I won’t be submitting, mainly because I don’t seem to have any long poems in me. I’ve never been anywhere near the magic ’40 line’ limit imposed by most competitions.

Maybe it’s because I used to be a sprint hurdler, but struggled to jog even once round the track without conking out. Maybe it’s because my hair only grows to mid-length, then stops. Maybe it’s because I can’t stop editing. Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner. Maybe.

Published inBlogMags & BlogsSubmissionsWriting

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  1. I’m so glad, Robin, that I am not the only one. I sometimes feel inadequate. But I share all your excuses (I was a sprint hurdler in my youth, honest), particularly the one about editing, editing, editing. Plus I don’t like long poems! That could be reason enough.

  2. Aha! I know what you mean, Meg – I find a long poem a bit daunting to read, if I’m honest, but I’m training myself to stick with it, and try to only start a long poem if I know I’ve got (uninterrupted) time ahead of me. I was a bit taken aback by when I opened the May edition of Poetry to find the first poem (by Frank Bidart) is 35 pages long!!

  3. […] is a 22-page essay by Donald Revell entitled ‘Scholium.’ I’m never sure of the best way to tackle longer pieces – I find the amount of concentration needed makes them impossible to digest in one sitting. So […]

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Robin Houghton 2024