This poem is the second to be published from a series of personal poems about healing and recovery. Two years ago my son (21 at the time) was in a horrible accident in which he was hit on his bicycle by someone in a pickup truck in downtown Salt Lake City. He nearly lost his life. Recovery was difficult, but he made it through and I’m grateful every day that he’s still here with us. It took me a long time to begin writing about the incident, even now, the writing and processing continues.
Contrary is a paying market and is currently open to submissions until March 1, 2018. They publish fiction, poetry, and commentary.
I was curious how and why this magazine began, so I asked Poetry Editor Shaindel Beers a few questions to find out. See my interview with Beers and a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Contrary Magazine.
BEERS: Jeff McMahon and I started Contrary in 2003, and we’ve evolved a bit since the early days, but our goal is to publish the best work we can find, whatever the genre.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Contrary Magazine originally started?
BEERS: If I remember correctly, I think it was started on a whim. Jeff and I were both on University of Chicago email lists for alumni, and he mentioned to me that my name would look great on the cover of a book. I had just been published in a literary journal and asked him if the back cover counted and sent him a copy. He must have liked my story because he emailed that he’d been thinking of starting a journal and wanted to know if I would co-edit it with him. Fifteen years later, here we are.
The internet was pretty new-fangled then, and we had a lot of writers who were reluctant to publish online, so it’s been amazing to see the shift over the years of online journals becoming more and more popular.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
BEERS: All I can say is send us your best work. There are so many poems that are just a gut-punch. They get you right there. For me, that’s what does it. We publish fiction and creative nonfiction as well. Frances Badgett is the Fiction Editor, and Jeff McMahon edits Creative Nonfiction. They might have something more intellectual to say, but since you’re interviewing me, I’ll just leave it at we’re just looking for work that blows us away.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
BEERS: We get a lot of phenomenal work, so this is a tough question to answer. The work that doesn’t make the cut is often work that just needs to be pared down. It might just have too much clutter for me to get the essence of the poem. I like poems that take chances. I know they’re out there. Keep sending them.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
BEERS: There are so many good ones. I really like Tahoma Literary Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Iron Horse Literary Review. I think it’s important to read widely and to see who is publishing diverse voices and work that you find exciting.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
BEERS: All of the links are here: http://contrarymagazine.com/submissions-2/
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
BEERS: Our “Contact Us” form is right here: http://contrarymagazine.com/contact/
DEADLINE: March 1, 2018
FORMAT: digitally online
SUBMISSION FEE: None
PAYMENT: For original commentary, fiction, and poetry, Contrary Magazine pays $20 per author per issue, regardless of the number of works or nature of the submission. Reviews and Contrary Blog posts are usually unpaid. Author must email us an invoice within six months of acceptance for the payment to be processed. If no invoice is received within six months of acceptance, author forfeits payment, but all rights remain in force. Upon receipt of invoice, payments will be made through Paypal.
FORMS: fiction, poetry, and commentary
DUOTROPE: If you subscribe to Duotrope, click here to read their interview with the Contrary editors.