Pirene’s Fountain is a journal of poetry published in print annually by Glass Lyre Press. Glass Lyre is an independent literary press interested in publishing poetry collections, chapbooks, select short & flash fiction, and the occasional anthology. The journal is currently open for submissions of poetry until June 30, 2020.
The journal itself is named after the naiad Pirene. As Greek myth has it, she was so grief-stricken by the death of her son, Cenchrias, that she dissolved into a fountain of tears outside the gates of Corinth. It was said that the essence of a naiad was tied to her spring; she could no longer exist if the spring dried up--this is often the case with inspiration and poetry. Pirene's fountain was one of three springs associated with Pegasus, and was sacred to the muses, who drank of the waters for fresh inspiration.
Of course, I needed to know more about how this journal was created and what they’re looking for in submissions, so I asked editor Megan Merchant a few questions to find out. See my interview with Merchant and a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Pirene’s Fountain originally started?
MERCHANT: In 2007, Ami Kaye and her friends started Pirene's Fountain in order to establish a venue where people could enjoy and share poetry at a professional level. At that time a number of journals were going online and social media had just come into popularity with literary professionals. It made sense to take advantage of both the online delivery system and a networking platform already in place.
Katherine Herschler built the original website and served as layout and design editor. Pirene's Fountain incorporated artistic elements to thematically complement the poetry. In addition to poetry, the journal also offered reviews, interviews, and showcase features for poets such as Linda Pastan, Alex Grant, Jane Yolen, J. P. Dancing Bear, Lisel Meuller, Jane Hirshfield, Dorianne Laux, Kim Addonizio, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jon Tribble, Allison Joseph, and many more.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
MERCHANT: The goal is to have a wide readership. The mission of Pirene's Fountain is the hope that we can share of each other's knowledge, and in the spirit of Ancora Imparo -"I am still learning," open our hearts and minds to inspiration.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
MERCHANT: Poems with lyricism and imagery, interesting language & emotional resonance.
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with the Pirene’s Fountain?
MERCHANT: For me, this is a two part answer. First, I love working with the staff and editors GLP. They are not only fantastic humans, but excellent at what they do. They are dedicated, author-centered, and move with integrity. I am proud to be a GLP author (I have three books published with them) and to be affiliated with such a dynamic press. When Ami approached me about PF, I jumped at the chance to come on board, not only because I really enjoy the work, but also knew firsthand that GLP is an exceptional literary press.
Secondly, I really love reading the poems that come in. I respect how hard writers work to bring poems into being, and at times how much courage it takes to submit. Beyond craft, each submission is a glimpse into someone's world and perspective--what they chose to share of it--and, regardless of publication, I feel really honored that I get to read each one.
HOPKINSON: Where can we send submissions?
MERCHANT: Writers should send 3-5 previously unpublished poems and a brief bio in the body of an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Full submission details can be found here: http://www.glasslyrepress.com/pf.html
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
MERCHANT: The same email works for questions (email@example.com).
DEADLINE: June 30, 2020
FORMAT: annual print issues
SUBMISSION FEE: None
SUBMISSION METHOD: Email