Poetry Super Highway is a an online publication and resource for poets and writers. They publish two feature poets each week and host an online broadcast once a month in a poetry open mic format. You can call in and read your poetry live and hear other great poets, along with spoken word recordings, and related poetry announcements. They also run annual special projects, including The Great Poetry Exchange, poetry contest, prompt a day for poetry month, and more.
I was curious how and why this poetry site and community began, so I asked founder Rick Lupert a few questions to find out. See my interview with Lupert and a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Poetry Super Highway.
LUPERT: Poetry Super Highway is one of the oldest poetry websites. The name is a play on information superhighway, an early term used to refer to the internet. Its mission is to expose as many people to as many other people’s poetry as possible. To that end, besides publishing 2 poets online every week, we orchestrate a handful of annual creative projects including a poetry contest in which everyone gets a prize just for entering (in addition to cash prizes for the winners), The Great Poetry Exchange, in which poets are invited to participate in a circular exchange of poetry books (send a book and you’ll get a book), The E-Book Free-For-All, in which poets offer their poetry e-books for free to download for a 24-hour period, an annual Holocaust Remembrance Day poetry issue, and a poetry writing Prompt-A-Day published during National Poetry month. We invite all poets to participate in our projects to help further our mission of exposing their poetry to as many people as possible, as well as to encourage people to discover poetry and poets that may not already be on their radar.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Poetry Super Highway originally started?
LUPERT: Originally Poetry Super Highway started as just a section of my personal website. I didn’t intend it to be a separate publication, but had the idea that one of the keys to a website being successful, was having content that was constantly being changed or updated. So I reached out to people who I knew, mostly in the Los Angeles Poetry community, and asked them to send me links to their poetry websites to include on mine. These section started to grow quickly, and is still updated every single week. I then asked if anyone wanted to send in poetry for inclusion on my website in what I called “Poet of the week.” It turns out if you put out a call for poetry submissions a lot of people are going to respond. Because of the volume of incoming work I had to quickly switch from 1 to 2 poets a week, and since 1997 I have maintained that weekly schedule. Everyone we have published since 1997 is still in our online archive. The sections of my personal website grew so quickly I realized that this needed to be it’s own separate website, so I created Poetry Super Highway, no longer as just a section of my personal website, but has its own entity.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
LUPERT: Anyone with any interest in poetry is who I hope will stop by. And for that matter, anyone who doesn’t yet realize they have an interest in poetry is welcome too.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
LUPERT: I think the best way to get a sense of what we’re looking for is to read through our current and past Poets of the Week. You’ll see a wide variety of styles and themes represented. We don’t have any set rules on what we’ll take or not take, but you may notice certain patterns or themes in what is put up. We publish work by established poets, first timers, and everyone in between. The only hard and fast rule is to follow our published submission guidelines.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
LUPERT: We’re lucky enough to receive a large volume of submissions and always have a lot to choose from representing different styles. I can honestly say there’s no specific wish for more of anything specific. Keep sending in great work!
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
LUPERT: I’m a fan of Rattle, Red Fez, Chiron Review, Poetic Diversity, Unlikely Stories, Cultural Weekly…oh I could go on. Actually a special shout out to the Academy of American Poet’s “Poem-a-Day” project published at poets.org and available as a daily email. I subscribe to the daily email and love that one of the first things I get to do every morning is discover a poem or poet I wasn’t previously aware of. Oh, okay, an extra special shout-out to our sister-site Haikuniverse, that publishes a “haiku” or micro-poem every single day. (Also available as a daily email – www.haikuniverse.com )
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with Poetry Super Highway?
LUPERT: My favorite part, without a doubt, is being able to develop and foster a worldwide network of poetry colleagues. I especially love, when I’m lucky enough to travel somewhere to do a reading, when someone comes up to me to introduce themselves, and it’s someone whose name I have known for years through Poetry Super Highway involvements, but who I’ve never had the opportunity to be in the same room with. I love those real, human connections.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
LUPERT: Our submission process is done through a form which can be found here: http://poetrysuperhighway.com/psh/poetry/submission-guidelines/
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
LUPERT: We definitely encourage folks to make sure they’ve read our submission guidelines before contacting, but in case there’s a question we didn’t cover there, send me an email at Rick@PoetrySuperHighway.com
DEADLINE: Always Open
SUBMISSION FEE: None
SUBMISSION METHOD: Online website form