From the Editor’s Desk
  Kate Bernadette Benedict

Poems of Gall

For those who may have missed our submission guidelines for this theme, we asked for “poems that draw their inspiration from states of mind or experiences that are the opposite of sweetness and light . . . that are unconcerned with decorum, uplift or redemption . . . which do not soar but rather dig, thrust, keen or shudder. ”

We were fascinated by the poems that poured in, many more fine ones than we could have accommodated. Poets are daring. We confront what we were taught to avoid: the wrathful, the rancorous, the fierce, the unforgiving, the raw. Of course, the discipline of putting the raw into poetry cooks it just a bit, not for palatability—a galling poem will not be palatable—but to transform something amorphous into a more tangible state, so it may be contemplated; perhaps even enjoyed. For there is something enjoyable in trespass and transgression; one shucks off the daily niceties and goes a little postal.

I just used a contemporary slang expression (“going postal”) but let’s not forget that there is a long tradition of writing around the theme of gall, one going right back to the Bible, as contributing editor C.E. Chaffin points out in his introduction to our gall theme. Come one, come all, to gall.

Call for Submissions

We are now reading for the Bumbershoot annual, online August 1, and for this we seek light verse, verse that is more seriously funny, and poems about, and by, animals. We’d also like to feature poems about the internet, so if you have some on that theme, do give us a try. Deadline: July 15, 2010.

The next release of Umbrella, Fall-Winter 2010-11, goes live November 1.  Our theme will serve as a counterweight to the current gall theme; it will be hope. The reading period opens on August 15 and closes October 10; please check the guidelines after August 15 for more specific information.

Our sister publication Tilt-a-Whirl, a “sporadical” which publishes on an irregular basis, reads on an ongoing basis and seeks poems written in repeating forms only. Please read the journal for more information on the type of poems sought.


This Issue’s Art

The striking images of the women dancing with a fire umbrella were snapped by Grant Palmer, a photographer, writer and engineer. After living all over the globe, he now resides in Burbank, California. His work has been seen in the Mensa Bulletin, the Huffington Post and Tattoo Highway. Visit his studio home page.

We also gratefully acknowledge Josh Lynn, a professional wedding photographer who contributed a lovely image for the latest cover of Tilt-a-Whirl. Visit his site for more information.


A perhaps strange-seeming link appears on our submissions page. We were approached for this bit of advertising and decided to say yay, in order to bring in a little (did I say little?) (yep, wee) revenue. Your editor trusts that her readers will enjoy their role in making this contribution to a good cause. Contributions are always welcome!

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