Monday, 11 March 2013

Changming: March Updates

* since feb 1, i have had 29 acceptances (19 for feb); in particular, one of my poems was recently accepted by Threepenny Review, which is ranked among the' top 50 best literary magazines.' the only other one of them that accepted my work is Barrow Street, and that was in 2009. among the 'top 20 best online magazines,' 4 of them have published my work so far: Exquisite Corpse, Cortland Review, Mad Hatters' Review and Shampoo. quite ironically, 'best' canadian magazines seem to have a conspiracy against publishing my work. although they sometimes do give me positive feedback, they never publish my poems. it is interesting, though, that i have been lucky enough to be included in 'best canadian poetry' two times already - here i mention all this not to show off my hard-gained achievements, but just to record the way i have been trying to capture the hills one by one.

* finally, after more than 40 years i am beginning to publish poetry in chinese! when i was in high school, my dream was to become a poet and swordsman, like Li Bai, but i never got a single line published in china though i wrote a lot of poetry in chinese. last monday, on march 4, 10 of my poems were published in Overseas Chinese Poetry Magazine. ironically, it is only after i have become widely published across the english-speaking world that chinese publications start to accept my poems, and most of them are originally written and published in english as my second language! this seems to suggest that my poetic talent, if any at all, was born to be recognized first outside my mother tongue. as of right now, there have been 1,084 pageviews and 102 comments, not bad for OCPM. after all, i have had my boyhood dream fulfilled - pasted below are the links to my poems published in chinese up to now::

-New World Poetry 《新大陆诗刊》
-Ivy Poetry  《常青藤》
-OCPM 《海外诗刊》
-World Poets Quarterly 《世界诗人季刊》(to appear in may)

at this moment, i cannot help recalling the many insults in addition to 'injuries' i have suffered intellectually:
1) when i was in grade 5, my language art teacher felt even embarrassed when he mentioned my lousy writing skills;
2) sometime in 1969, my mother's superior refused to lead me a book to read -  he sarcastically said i recognized few chinese characters;
3) in senior high school, my math teacher made fun of me in a harsh and hostile way for no reason, though i soon proved to be the very best math student in the class (which consisted of more than 50 students);
4) one of my high school friends said my memory was too poor even to remember a two-character phrase for a comic performance, but later i managed to memorize a whole dictionary;
5) when i wrote my first master's thesis 1981, a famous linguist in beijing made this sarcastic comment: "young man, be more practical; given your topic, i could write 3 thick books!"
6) to continue my dream about becoming a poet, i approached a well established poet living in beijing after i finished my oral defence for my ma thesis in 1982, but the poet was so dis-encouraging that i felt deeply hurt as well as profoundly self-disappointed;
7) soon after i began to write and publish poetry in english, i tried to seek some advice from a very active american poet, and this is the general comment he made: "In general I would say that you have been quite successful in your 'experiment' with English language poetry - and congratulations on the fact that many of these poems have been published" (dated nov 23, 2005). probably because this was made in the context of much negative criticism, i took the comment as a highly sarcastic one and thus felt just as deeply hurt as my experience with the beijing poet.
despite all the dis-encouragement and even insults i have faced since my teenager years, i have never given up my boyhood dream, and now i feel comforted about the fact that i have had much poetry published in both english and chinese. be that as it may, i will never call myself a poet, for in my case, it is perhaps my persistence more than my poetic makings that have made me an extensively published poetry scribbler.

* operating Poetry Pacific  turns out much more demanding than i thought previously. because of my technical deficiencies, there are many things i wish to do but cannot. for instance, i want to begin publishing the magazine in print form on a pod basis now, but i have to spend much time to learn how to do so first, while my health condition prevents me from sitting in front of the screen for more than an hour each time.  in fact, my poor computer skills have given me much headache. during a computer crash, i lost all my records, and have never been able to recover them. as a result, i have to deal with a great deal of trouble. another challenge we are confronting now is that we have relatively too few submissions to choose from. hopefully we can improve the situation by finding a good volunteer-webmaster to help promote our magazine.

* a chinese poetry publisher has proposed some joint venture. soon or later, i will start my own publishing house. for one thing, 'best' chinese poetry needs to reach english audiences, and vice versa...

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