Friday, July 15, 2011

Paddling with The Shit Creek Review


Thanks to everybody who turned out for "The Breastplate of Moses" talk and reading. I was pleasantly surprised by both attendance and interest. Good questions, too.

* * *


I have never submitted to The Shit Creek Review before... Did the name put me off? But I recently learned that it was founded by that marvelous founder of poetry 'zines, Paul Stevens. Naturally, I had to submit, if only out of my great love for The Flea.

Here's what wiki says about the name:  The ezine was originally started by Stevens as a joke based on its name Shit Creek Review, which is a not-so-subtle ironic allusion to the many literary magazines which use the formulaic title "X Creek (or River) Review", as well as incorporating a play on the Australian colloquialism "Up Shit Creek in a barbed wire canoe without a paddle" (meaning to be in serious difficulties), made famous by Australian comedian Barry Humphries...

You may find the current God(s) issue, edited by Rose Kelleher and Angela France with help from guest editors Ann Drysdale and R. Nemo Hill, here.  You may find my poem, "The Fool as Gilgamesh" (yes, it's another The Book of the Red King poem), right here.  Here is a bite from the poem to entice you, even though a taster on Shit Creek does not seem alluring:

When I ran off to the forest, I was
Looking for a favorable message,
I was looking for signs and omens,
I was searching for some news of dreamtime.

They are, it seems, looking for a new editor. Perhaps you are a poet and would-be editor looking for an outrageously-monikered 'zine. That would be a match made in a no doubt curious place. 

"May the creek be with you!"

* * *


I have a lot of new poetry books on my bedside table. Some are Phoenicia books since I will have a book with Beth Adams' press soon. And I bought copies of books by everybody on the Mezzo Cammin panel at West Chester, and that cleaned me out of book money for a while. Then I have bought several older books that I wanted--the Thomas and a complete or near-complete Causley. It's not as pretty as the Godine collected, but it has more poems. I picked up the Hacker at a local bookshop. And one of these was a gift from the poet, so that was lovely. I want to get some other West Chesterian books when I stumble over a pot of money. Think I might find the end of the rainbow if I keep wandering around day-dreaming. After all, I've already fallen down the stairs...

Luisa Igloria, Juan Luna's Revolver
University of Notre Dame, 2009

Dana Gioia, The Gods of Winter
Graywolf Press, 1991

Julie Kane, Jazz Funeral
Story Line Press and West Chester University
(The Donald Justice Prize of West Chester University), 2009

Kim Bridgford, Instead of Maps
David Robert Books, 2005

Kim Bridgford, Undone
David Robert Books, 2003

Kim Bridgford, In the Extreme
Contemporary Poetry Review Press
West Chester University, 2007

Rhina P. Espaillat, Where Horizons Go
New Odyssey Press, Kirksville, Missouri, 1998
T. S. Eliot Prize

Annabelle Moseley, A Field Guide to the Muses
Finishing Line Press
Georgetown, Kentucky  2009

Leslie Monsour, The Alarming Beauty of the Sky
Red Hen Press, Los Angeles, 2005

R. S. Thomas, Collected Poems 1945-1990
Phoenix Poetry, UK, 1993

Charles Causley, Collected Poetry 1951-2000
Picador, UK, 2000

Marilyn Hacker, Selected Poems 1965-1990
W. W. Norton 1994
National Book Award

Ren Powell, Mercy Island: New and Selected Poems
Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2011

Clayton T. Michaels, Watermark
Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2010

Rachel Barenblat, 70 Faces: Torah Poems
Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2010


  1. Please do not fall down any more stairs. The elusive pot of gold will be of no use if you break your neck in the acquiring of it. (Besides, it's probably not on the staircase!)

  2. Hi Clive--

    I guess you are up--and here it's about 3 in the morning, and I am off to bed. Silly, those stairs. Daydreaming me, as usual.

  3. Another fascinating journal, Marly. If I had any clue at all how to be an editor of a journal, I would put my soon-to-be unemployed self out there. However, I do not really want to edit a magazine by that name, funny though it is.
    I would send them some poems, but sounds like there's nothing to send them to just now.
    Glad your talk went well. Now please watch your step. I don't want you to be laid up reading those books with a broken leg.

  4. Robbi,

    Evidently they are conspiring to put out the next issue with the original editors plus Ann Drysdale, a UK poet.

    I had ignored it for years because of the name... did not realize what it was. But I am often out of the loop!

  5. It's all about Marly day on susangalique!

  6. All? That is rather initimidating! I take a nap before Scout camp (final shenanigans coming up, so must hie me forth) and "all" appears! Shall putter over.

  7. So where can one find out the theme for the next issue? The page on the current one said they were on hiatus.

  8. I imagine it will be posted after they work out their plans for who and how it will be edited...


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.