Stealth Publications by John Morgan

A while back I wrote a piece on acceptances and rejections, and I just realized that I’d left something out: publications that occur without our knowing about it.

This first happened to me around twenty years ago. I was sitting schmoozing with a group of writer friends in Fairbanks when the subject of a new anthology of Alaskan writers came up. Everyone seemed to know about it except me. I was a bit chagrined.

“Haven’t you seen it?” someone asked.

“No.”

“That’s strange, because you’re in it.”

“I am?”

The Alaska Reader: Voices from the North was just out from Fulcrum Publishing. I emailed the editors and asked if I could have a contributor’s copy. They duly sent me one, and sure enough a poem of mine, “December: for Spirit,” was included. There had been no invitation to submit, no acceptance letter, no contract, but here it was in a handsome new book, so I couldn’t really complain.

The issue of stealth publications came up again recently when I was Googling for reviews of my latest book, The Moving Out: Collected Early Poems. I’ve experienced stealth reviews in the past, but this time I didn’t find any reviews I hadn’t seen before. But I did stumble on the fact that a poem from that book called “America” had appeared in Verse Daily two years ago. How had I missed it? I’m guessing that they notified my publisher, Salmon Poetry, and that in the rush and chaos of small press publishing, Salmon neglected to send me the word. In any case, I’ve been boasting about my discovery on the web for a week or two and it inspired this addendum to my earlier pieces on acceptances and rejections.

One more thing. In that earlier piece I mentioned a poem of mine that had been taken by a distinguished literary magazine but, due to a change in poetry editors, was never published. That poem was “America.” In case you’re curious, here’s a link.

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