do an online magazine?
much cheaper.   At
the beginning of the 1990's, when Pemmican began, the
desktop publishing "revolution" drove printing costs down.
It didn't take print shops long to recover, however,
and prices have been steadily rising since the mid-90's.
Print shops, of course, feel that they have to raise prices
because the price of paper, ink, labor, everything, has also
gone up, and if they are to keep the same profit margins they
have to pass these costs on. As an independent poetry magazine,
Pemmican wanted to keep publishing the good work that
was being largely ignored by the mainstream presses.
But, because of limited means, there came a point when the
skyrocketing costs of print production could no longer be
justified.   By bringing Pemmican to the Internet,
costs are reduced to a more manageable level.   Going
online is one way the independents will be able to continue
to follow their visions.
copyright the same for an online magazine as for a print magazine?
works the same in the cyber world as the print world. The
problems and concerns of writers are addressed in the same
manner. Questions of ownership, reprint rights, and so on,
function in the same way. For more information, take a look
at The Copyright
did you edit my biographical note on the Contributor's Page?
When bios enter multi-paragraph status they usually get
a trim. Touting one's literary accomplishments and tooting
one's one horn is fine but sending one's Curriculum Vitae
is a bit of overkill. We encourage poets to be tasteful and
succinct in regards to their degrees, publication credits
and awards. Also, poets should be prudent when it comes to
including links. We suggest poets pick the most relevant link
and leave any others for one's personal website or blog.
does it mean that Pemmican has the copyright and I
also have it? Does it mean that I need your permission to
does not retain the artist's copyright. Pemmican only
asks for First North American Serial Rights. You do not need
Pemmican's permission to reprint. (However, Pemmican
does ask that poets who have work in Pemmican refrain
from republishing that work for the first six months it is
online.) Like many online magazines, a copyright statement
is made on every page in order to establish two things: (1)
a stated copyright for the artist or artists represented and
(2) a stated copyright for the page itself, as in: the graphic
content, programming, meta-tag content, domain name, etc.,
which is the intellectual property of Pemmican. If
you don't make a statement on every page concerning your rights
and the rights of the artists, you can be looked at as fair
game by thieves who will lift your work right off the page.
They might anyway but this gives you a legal precedent to
take into court, should it come to that.
says it requires accepted work to be in MS Word or Word Perfect
format. But when I send an attachment, you say you are unable
to open it. Can't I just send you the poem and have you type
Sorry, but no. Because of the size of the magazine, volume
of daily submissions, and level of correspondence, it is simply
not possible for the editorial staff of Pemmican to
transcribe accepted submissions. If we did that with every
single thing accepted we would be here 28 hours a day. Pemmican
is an online magazine, the primary contact point of which
is email. Most print magazines require that poems be submitted
typed or printed on 8 1/2 x 11 paper and sent in a standard
envelope. Sending in origami folded poems hand written
on ruled legal paper in tiny envelopes and expecting special
treatment is not something most poets experienced in small
press publication would consider acceptable--or sensible--practice.
Online magazines have their formats as well. Pemmican
requires that accepted work be in MS Word and that it be sent
by attachment. Attachments are not hard. For those poets unfamiliar
with how to do attachments, a modest amount of research via
any search engine will tell you everything you need to know.
Pemmican will be glad to be of help but poets are responsible
for following the required format.
sent an attachment but you say you are unable to open it.
The most common reason is that, rather than the attachment
being in MS Word (or some other familiar word processing software),
the file type of the attachment is actually something else.
an attachment to be in MS Word, for example, the file must
be saved in MS Word format. That is, the file extension
must be .doc. Also, sometimes people turn off their file
extensions--never a good idea. The upshot is that people think
they are saving their poem as a Word document but it's possible
they may not be. They'll never know unless they can see the
file extension. If the file that your poem is in ends with
.doc (as in: myPoem.doc), it is an MS Word document. However,
just to reinterate, sending Pemmican an attachment
for a file that we can't open isn't helping anyone. Insisting
that we continue to try, or throwing your hands up helplessly
and claiming the boon of being a cyber-klutz is likely to
reduce your options of publishing online.
accepted my poems--but I'm having a terrible time with attachments
and just can't seem to get it. What can I do?
said all of the above, Pemmican recognizes that contributors
to online magazines come from all skill levels. We will work
with you and try to help. That requires patience and persistence.
One of the more frustrating things is when we try to walk
someone through a process and they simply will not listen
or follow directions. Many poets these days teach in universities.
People who are college professors often assign difficult and
demanding research and analysis papers to their students.
College professors ought to be able to figure out how to do
attachments. Consider it a test.
Pemmican only publish political poetry?
No. Generally speaking, a good reading of any issue of Pemmican
will yield a certain number of poems that would not be considered
"political" in most senses of the term. Although
submissions of political poetry is deeply encouraged, poetry
of the imagination is also sought, including prose poems,
short poems, erotic poems (but not pornographic poems), and
poetry that might be thought of as experimental in nature.
The proportions of political to non-political work in Pemmican
will vary according to the kinds of poetry submitted during
any selection period.
it should be pointed out that people who have not published
work in Pemmican before should take the time to read
the magazine, at least enough to get a sense of the kind of
work Pemmican favors. Sadly, every year there are poets
who are too busy with their poetic careers to bother with
actually reading the magazines to which they submit work.
Then, come publication time, they discover to their horror
that--gasp!--they've fallen into a nest of commies, socialists,
activists, discontents, malcontents and social protestors
of all stripes. If you're not comfortable publishing in a
magazine that leans heavily toward political poetry, then
don't waste your time and ours.
can I print a poem from this website?
to the poem you wish to print, select File, Print , and OK
Pemmican publish books or chapbooks?
is not publishing paper books or chapbooks at this time. Occasionally,
by invitation, Pemmican will publish online chapbooks
from poets who have a history of publishing in Pemmican.
Pemmican send out galley proofs?
does not send out galley proofs.   Whether
a poem is submitted via email or regular mail, poets
expected to send finished, proofread works and that it
is the final version they want to see printed.
happens when I discover a typo in my poem?
Typos can and do happen, regardless of everyone's best intentions.
When people send email submissions, the poem is not keyed
in but instead copied and pasted into an HTML page format.
When poets discover typos in their work online, poets should
contact Pemmican, politely make clear what needs to
be changed, and the necessary corrections will be made. However,
poets need to be sure that they have sent a clean, corrected
and proofread copy, and that it is the final version they
want to see printed. One poet accused the editorial
staff of "errors" in his texts, of "putting
things in" that weren't there, "taking things out"
that were, and in general screwing his poems and bio up with
clumsy abandon. When it was pointed out that the "errors"
originated in his own texts, he further accused Pemmican
of being "defensive". Egotistical and pugilistic
poets unable to take responsibility for their own mistakes
will be invited to try their social skills out on other magazines.
It's best not to make every instance of a typo a High Noon
issue where fingers of blame are drawn. It's in everyone's
best interests to see a poem rendered as the artist intended
it and by working together we can make sure that will happen.
see that Pemmican doesn't maintain archives? Why not?
Text code takes up very little roomvirtually free on
the weband is very little trouble.
The person who asked this question was the web master for
an online poetry website that had a total of two issues archived
and they felt mighty proud of it. Pemmican's response?
Wait until you've been around for 20 years. Then see how "very
little trouble" it is.
upon a time, before Pemmican was hacked and so many
files destroyed and lost, Pemmican did maintain archives.
We had only been maintaining them for about three years but
even at that point the archives had ballooned to immense proportions,
far dwarfing any current issue. In ten years time any archive
would be vast, to say the least. Yes, web space, especially
for mostly unencumbered HTML files, is relatively low in cost--at
least for now. But someone is going to have to maintain it
and update it. Just imagine an archive consisting of hundreds
of poets and thousands upon thousands of pages of poetry files.
And relentlessly getting bigger all the time. It's just not
a workable scenario for a political poetry magazine staffed
mostly by one person and the occasional volunteer.
if there are no archives then a work is gone forever once
it has been removed from an active state. Most readers of
online publications expect work to remain accessibly archived
(unless the journal goes belly-up, which I trust will not
happen here), and are certainly disappointed and confused
if they bookmark a poem, or return to the site expecting to
have the pleasure of re-reading it, only to find that it has
disappeared. Purely from an author's point of view, there
are times when publication credits, and the capability to
validate them, become important. The publication of any works
in your journal therefore becomes unverifiable. For other
poets whose works are not archived, the temptation to present
those works elsewhere as unpublished would be understandable.
take this from the beginning. Pemmican's author agreement
states that a work will be held online for a minimum of 6
months from the time of initial publication. At no point is
the archiving of published work stated or implied.
All rights to any work published in Pemmican belong
to the authors. Pemmican only asks that authors refrain
from re-publishing the work in another magazine for the first
6 months it is contracted to be published as original work
in Pemmican. After that time, authors are free (and
encouraged) to pubish the work elsewherewith the stipulation
that Pemmican be credited as the source of original
publication. All sorts of agreements exist out there but variations
on this one are standard and common.
Pemmican can sympathize if authors are unable to secure
further magazine or even book publication for their work after
an initial publication with Pemmican. But once Pemmican
has fulfiled the conditions of the contract we're not
obligated to do anything further to assist the poet with keeping
their work visible. Pemmican is not responsible for
fulfilling expectations and assumptions based on promises
we never made. Prior to the existence of the Internet, the
"disappearance" of work was the fate of all small
press literary magazine publication. Unless you had a collection
of back issues, there were no "archives."
Now we come to the question of publication verification. Online
magazines come and go without leaving so much as the ghost
of an electron, let alone archives. How do you get verification
under those circumstances? The same with paper magazines,
hundreds of which every year pop up like mushrooms only to
vanish without a traceand some of them are very good.
Under these conditions, obtaining ironclad publication verification
will always be an elusive goal. Most of us are honest, though,
and validation is, in my opinion, a non-problem in a world
of poets and editors largely governed by trust. For instance,
when it comes time to publish poems in a chapbook or book,
if you say you published poem X in magazine Y, small press
book publishers tend to take you at your word. Unless you're
publishing with Harcourt or Random House, you're generally
not expected to produce receipts. In my 30 years in small
press poetry publications I've never, not once, seen this
come up as an issue. I've never seen or heard of any small
press poetry book publisher demand hard evidence of publication
from a poet.
Lastly, authors who feel "the temptation to present those
works elsewhere as unpublished" would be making an unfortunate
decision. Doing so would be a violation of the publication
agreement that the author accepted. Most editors don't care
for that sort of thing for the simple reason that it shows
a fundamental lack of respect for the magazines that go out
of their way to keep poetry alive. These days the internet
makes it relatively easy to find poetry which is passing itself
off as previously unpublished. Dishonest practices have a
way of catching up with reputations.
reads online magazines?
same people who read print magazines (as long as they have
PC's or Mac's).   In other words, the same people who
always read and enjoy poetry. The average literary magazine
in America is read by less than 500 people--with certain famous,
though not necessarily exemplary, exceptions.   Online
magazines could potentially boost a readership into the thousands
do you find online magazines?
of the best ways to research a topic on the Internet is to
use a search engine.
Google.com is an example of a search engine commonly
used.   Type in what you are looking for and it searches
for everything in its range that may fit the description.
Try typing in "poetry" and you are likely to find hundreds
Pemmican website looks odd in my browser window.
there might be any number of reasons why Pemmican might
not look quite "right" in your browser window, there
are three immediate candidates: the operating system (and
the version) you are using; your monitor size (15", 17")
and the setting of its screen resolution (800 x 600, for example);
and the kind of browser you are using (Netscape, Internet
Explorer, Safari, Firefox, etc.). Any or all of these can
affect the way we "see" the Internet and its contents.
Pemmican was designed using the Firefox and Google
Chrome browsers.   Due to the number of browsers currently
available, however, and the speed with which they are updated,
it's simply not practical or possible on a limited budget
to create a website that looks exactly the same in every browser
window.  Advice on operating systems is outside the scope
of this reply, however it should be noted that Mac's and PC's
have significant differences which can cause variations in
how a website is perceived. Screen resolution, however, is
something that can be adjusted for greater comfort and flexibility.
For example, if you are using the Windows operating system,
right-click on the desktop, go to Properties, and at the pop-up
dialogue box labeled"Display Properties" select
the Settings tab. Approximately halfway down, on the left
side of the dialogue box, you will see an area marked Screen
Resolution with a slider that allows you to adjust your screen
resolution in increments. Try experimenting until you find
a setting that's right for you.
magazines pay for poems. Why doesn't Pemmican?
terms "poetry" and "money" rarely occur
together in the same breath. Proportionately, very few literary
magazines in the United States pay for poetry. For a magazine
to pay a poet that magazine would have to have a budget which
is generated either through being subsidized in some manner
or making a profit. Nearly all poetry magazines in the U.S.
do not make a profit. However, a significant fraction of them
are subsidized by various universities and occasionally some
of them will pay a poet a nominal fee for use of a poem. Needless
to say, Pemmican isn't subsidized and doesn't make
a profit. Most small press poetry magazines actually operate
at a loss and such editorial staff as they have work as volunteers.
If your goal is to make money from your writing, poetry ain't
the way to go.
I submit a work-in-progress?
answer to that is...it depends. It depends on what kind of
work it is and what the author means by in-progress.
Serializing a long poem-in-progress is more likely to
be looked upon favorably--once again, depending on the nature
of the poem and the degree to which the part being serialization
is finished at the time of publication. When it comes to reviews,
articles and shorter poems, however, Pemmican must
reluctantly refuse. If an author is in the process of
writing a review, article or essay, or is contemplating the
writing of one, an inquiry to Pemmican concerning interest
would be the best approach and is strongly encouraged. Although
Web-based magazines have the capacity to edit text and upload
those edits to the Internet relatively rapidly, unfortunately
it has had the end result of inviting authors to send one
version after another of the work-in-progress. This is not
good for two major reasons. First: revisions and updates
increase the odds that a corrupted text will make it onto
the Internet, which then causes anxious authors to send successive
lists of corrections. Second: the editorial staff is
forced to spend long and tedious hours combing the text, corrections
in hand, becoming ever more cranky and resentful as our time
is wasted. Therefore, authors are expected to send finished,
proofread works and finished, proofread works only. It
is not the job of Pemmican to endlessly chase spelling
and grammatical errors caused by the author or burn the midnight
oil in secretarial bondage patching in new and updated words,
phrases and paragraphs here and there. Pemmican
asks that writers be respectful of our time and energies.
(Also, see the above questions on galley proofs and typos.)
I submit a poem that depends on unique formatting and fonts?
No. Each poem exists within Pemmican's
page format. The fonts of that format are either Verdana or
Times Roman. Verdana and Times
Roman are perhaps
not the most elegant of all fonts but they tend to be fonts
that are found on the vast majority of home computers. One
poet submitted a poem that mixed every conceivable font in
the universe--and believed that gumbo of typography essential
to the poem. Another poet insisted that his poem be published
using some obscure font that evoked pirate writing of the
18th century. Not only that, he wanted a background image
inserted that made the poem appear to be written on a scroll
of parchment. These are extreme examples but they demonstrate
that if every poem in the magazine were allowed to pursue
its own unique formatting and font the result would soon be
chaotic and the magazine would be unreadable. Good Web Design
depends on consistency and readability. We are not saying
that poems that use typographical effects are bad poems. Surrealism
and Dadaism are two artistic movements of the 20th century
that used layout, design, typography and fonts in marvelous
and creative ways. Modern Graphic Design owes an enormous
debt to the Bauhaus Group and Russian Constructivism. There
are magazines that cater to typographical effects in poetry.
But Pemmican isn't one of them. Work submitted to Pemmican
is expected to fit into Pemmican's
page format, not the other way around.
of my poems have long lines. Will that cause a problem within
Pemmican's page format?
It's possible. We love poetry with long lines, beginning with
Homer and ending with Thomas McGrath and Dan Raphael. But,
within the context of Pemmican's page format, a very
long line might get word-wrapped against the margin and the
clippings sent to the next line as a stray word or phrase.
We can, for instance, indent the stray word/s by 4 spaces.
This is an old editorial trick that says, in effect, "these
words actually belong to the line above." Lest potential
contributors think this is some peculiarity of the Web, remember
that print magazines have format limits, too. Each physical
page is a kind of "container", of limited width
and height. A great many print magazines have a difficult
time accomodating long lined poems and often simply refuse
to take them regardless of their merits. We ask the authors
of long lined works to understand that any page, physical
or virtual, has its limitations. Pemmican will work
with poets to find a satisfactory solution to any problems
of line length. But if a poet really cannot bear to see the
length of any lines altered in any way, it probably wouldn't
be a good idea to send that poem to Pemmican.
sent you a political poem. I thought it was good. Why didn't
you take it?
question of why do editors take what they take can
be one of the thorniest questions of all. Pemmican
is indeed a website friendly to political poetry. Political
as in: starting with left-of-center and working leftward.
So it's possible that the poem was not of our political persuasion.
Right wing "poetry" (an oxymoron if there ever was
one), like most fascist art, consists mainly of flag-waving,
boot-polishing and saluting, and will be kicked out the door
or given a fast track to the shredder. More often, however,
the answer is that, although the poem as a political statement
works just fine, it needs more revision to be effective as
a poem. We see a lot of work that is a paste-up collection
of flat statements concerning topical affairs. If we are going
to write political poetry, we need to offer readers something
they can't get by reading an article or an essay or a blog.
A good political poem must first succeed as a poem. But
don't be discouraged. Some people send a lot of work here
before clicking with something. If you think this is your
kind of magazine and you belong in it, just keep knocking
on our door with work. Also, get together a poetry group,
take a poetry class, learn everything you can about the craft
was my understanding that Pemmican was going to publish
my story/ poem/ essay/ review this Summer/ Spring/ Fall/ Winter.
I can't find it at the website. Where is it? Did you decide
not to use it?
If your work was accepted, Pemmican has every intention
of publishing your work. It's true, there are magazines out
there which drop people's work without telling them. Pemmican
is not one of them. As sometimes publishing writers ourselves,
the editors have far too much sympathy with and respect for
writers to dump them or bump them without a word. But it's
important for potential contributors to understand at least
some of the differences between print magazines and online
magazines. With a print magazine, if you were promised a Winter
publication and the Winter issue appears and you're not in
itthat's it. There's no going back to the printer with
a do-over. The very nature of online magazines, however, allows
Pemmican to be fluid in terms of how work is accepted
and presented. That fluidity is exactly what characterizes
the major difference between a print magazine and an online
feel that this fluidity, which allows us to phase work in
over time, is the system that allows us to continue publishing
Pemmicanand keep our day jobs.
Occasionally there are confusions or misunderstandings about
when, exactly, a contributor's work is to appear. Polite inquiries
concerning the appearance date of one's work are, of course,
welcome. The editors of Pemmican will do our best to
answer questions and clarify matters to every contributor's
said that, we also need to say this: at the beginning of every
"issue", Pemmican receives a number of emails
from contributors who went to the site and since they didn't
find their work immediately want answers chop-chop. Aside
from (or in addition to) the "phasing in" of work
outlined above, we do our best to get things out in as timely
a manner as possible. But this isn't Time or Newsweek, or
even Poetry or American Poetry Review--in other words: magazines
with budgets, paid staff positions and strict deadlines. This
is not a business site, with strict contractual obligations
and money changing hands. Pemmican is an online politically
oriented literary magazine with a minuscule staff of volunteers
and organized by mostly one person. Pemmican is our
hobby, our passion, even our mission-but not our job.
We ask contributors to exercise patience and perspective and
not stand there tapping a stopwatch demanding to know where
their work is the second the next issue goes online. Very
little good will come of that. Again, if your work was
accepted, it will be published. Give it time. However,
for those writers who feel that Pemmican has failed
to honor some ironbound deadline, real or imaginary, and is
thus deserving of lectures and abuse, it is recommended that
in the future those writers find themselves another magazine
which will more fully satisfy their need for rigid deadlines.