Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry is a beautifully designed print poetry journal seeking poems “written by authors whose work is informed by the Catholic faith. We publish poems on the basis of their artistic merit, rather than on the basis of the author’s professed creed or because the subject matter is explicitly Catholic.”
I wondered how and why this poetry journal came to be, so I asked Editor Mary Ann B. Miller and she kindly replied. See my interview with Miller and submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry.
MILLER: Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry is an independent publication, affiliated with the Department of English at Caldwell University, Caldwell, NJ. and edited by Mary Ann B. Miller, editor of the anthology, St. Peter’s B-list: Contemporary Poems Inspired by the Saints (Ave Maria, 2014). Our associate editor is Lois Roma-Deeley and our assistant editor is Marjorie Maddox. Advisory Board members are Susanne Paola Antonetta, William Baer, Paul Contino, Kate Daniels, Dana Gioia, Paul Mariani, Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, and Judith Valente.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry originally started?
MILLER: The idea for the journal arose during a panel discussion at the first conference on The Future of the Catholic Literary Imagination, sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, in February 2015. It is published annually each spring with a fall reading period from August 1 – October 1.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
MILLER: We publish poems on the basis of their artistic excellence, rather than on the basis of the author’s professed creed or because the subject matter is explicitly Catholic. The poems in this journal convey God’s presence in any number of ways—by exploring the intersection of matter and spirit, by depicting the struggle between belief and doubt, by questioning the faith, being surprised by it, taking joy in it, even finding humor in it. We encourage contributors to refer to our mission statement when selecting poems for submission. Past contributors include: Jim Daniels, Kate Daniels, Dana Gioia, Paul Mariani, and Marilyn Nelson.
A poem from our inaugural issue was selected for Best American Poetry 2017, and Poetry Daily selected an interview from the 2018 issue for its weekly prose feature. We nominate for major prizes.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite journals?
MILLER: Blackbird, Tin House, Notre Dame Review, Rattle, Dappled Things, Rock & Sling, The Windhover, Quiddity, Image, The Other Journal, Relief, Ruminate
HOPKINSON: Where can poets/writers send submissions?
MILLER: Please send up to five unpublished poems, each no more than two pages in length, in a single Word file, using 11-point Times New Roman font.
Be sure that your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address appear at the upper right-hand corner of every page of the file.
Include a short cover letter in which you provide a 100-125 word bio, as outlined in the submission guidelines on our website.
Attach the file to an email to the editor at email@example.com with the following subject line: “Submit poems to Presence 2019.”
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
MILLER: Mary Ann B. Miller firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE: October 1, 2018
SUBMISSION FEE: None
FORMS: poetry, poetry book reviews
Categories: Call for Submissions