Questions & Answers
I am not normally comfortable with blanket submission requests for a "few" of my poems. If there's a poem in particular you would like to publish, please request it. And as I am somewhat sensitive to the environment in which my poetry would be appearing, I will likely be interested in seeing a copy of your publication before agreeing to be published in it.
As far as the other poets associated with or published in the VOiCE, I cannot speak for them, nor submit their work for publication without their permission. If there is a specific poet's work besides my own that you are interested in, I can forward your request for a submission.
The on-line database isn't really a database as far as the Internet is concerned... What you see is sort of an "entry form" that is used to append your data to a special text file, which I can then import into the 'real' VOiCE database and use to add new people as well as update information for people already in the VOiCE database. So yes, anyone can use the 'database' to inform me of their updated information. There's even a selection box where you can indicate whether you're submitting your information for the first time or just updating the information that I already have.
As I get hundreds of submissions every month, it's quite impossible for me to acknowledge the receipt of every submission. When you use the on-line submission form, if there isn't any error, and you see the "thank you for submitting page", then I received your submission. I do notify via e-mail everyone who is appearing in the new issue.
Also know that all works are considered for submission. Very few submissions are rejected outright (though obscenely bad spelling or grammar will increase the likelihood of that happening). And even if I don't use your submission right away, it will go into a file I have and be considered for future VOiCE issues.
The VOiCE is, at the moment, strictly a small independent publication. I don't have any employees, only volunteers. I am currently located in Southern California.
A very good question! The VOiCE does not have the advantages of a large distribution network. For most areas of the world, the VOiCE relies on volunteers willing to shell out a few dollars to make copies of the VOiCE and hand them out to their friends and fellow artists and poets. To become a distributor, you need to let me know (preferably via the on-line form and an e-mail). As a distributor you promise to make and distribute (at least) 10 copies of the VOiCE in your geographic area. This "distributor" status lasts six months or one year (depending on the length of a commitment you think you can make), though you can at anytime cease your obligations as a distributor (by updating me on your status). When the six months or year is up, you'll need to verify your desire to continue being a distributor by telling me so. That's all there is to it.
Easy, I send you one! Even if you have not subscribed to the VOiCE, if I've printed one of your submissions, and I have your current mailing address, I will send you a VOiCE.
Purposeful punctuation errors are always at the discretion of the writer, but if I tried to prognosticate whether every error I saw was artistic or unintentional, I'd never get the VOiCE out in a timely manner. If the contributor in some way indicates to me that an error was intentional, then I will not correct it. If there's a handful of errors, but it's a really good poem, then I might fix them and use it anyway. If there's only one or two obvious errors, I don't mind fixing them.
For more information on this topic, check out the submission guidelines...
Okay, okay, all right, here's the scoop: I've always been kind of jaded when it came to Valentine's Day, due to the fact that I've never been able to celebrate it properly (with someone). So, in February of 1996, I had this nice big stack of poetry submissions, some beautiful nude photography, and some passionate artwork.
I decided that for the month containing that wonderful holiday, the VOiCE would have a theme: not love, what most people associate with Valentine's Day, but sex, which (in my views at the time) was what it was really all about. It was a very fun, light-hearted issue, that featured works from all walks of life (sexually). It was very campy, very sarcastic, and a little erotic. I had so much fun with it, I immediately called it the "First Annual Sex Issue", when, at the time, I wasn't even sure there'd be a second. The second sex issue, somewhat reflecting the maturity the VOiCE was gaining at the time, approached the matter a little more seriously, without losing the fun parts. It touched on everything from pornography, dating, rape, separation, flirting, phone sex, and seduction.
No! The VOiCE was started as a print publication, and will always predominantly be a print publication. The purpose of this web page is to expand the visibility and reach of the VOiCE, not to replace it. So if you'd like to check out the whole thing (beyond the free on-line preview), you're going to have to sign up on the VOiCE Mailing List. I'll mail you an issue, and if you like it, I'd love for you to subscribe; if you don't or can't, that's okay, too.
The answer, in short: all kinds. The whole point of the VOiCE is to try and represent as many points of view as possible. I try not to take myself too seriously, and regularly attempt to shake things up. Nothing's too deep or too corny. I print the dark scary stuff that makes your mother worry about why you read "filth like this," and I print the pretty flowery stuff that makes you want to light a few candles and nuzzle into your lover's neck. The premise of the VOiCE is NO CENSORSHIP, because that's what I believe in. Period. For a look at some of the visual submissions that have been printed check out the art gallery. For an example of what kinds of poetry I've printed in past issues of the VOiCE, you can check out the ever-growing Anthology area or take a peek at a few pages from this month's issue.
The VOiCE started out as two pieces of 8.5" x 11" inch paper with print on both sides, folded length-wise, for a total of 8 tall & skinny pages. Perfect for poetry, since they tend to be a little more narrow than normal text. The first issue was so popular, that the second issue immediately grew to 12 pages. In 1996, it grew to 16 pages. With the February 1997 issue, the VOiCE grew to a total of 20 pages. And then in June, I changed the fold to be width-wise instead of length-wise, which gave me more flexibility in the layout.
The first issue of the VOiCE was printed in August 1995. Distribution was about 50, and limited to two coffee shops in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Last month, a thousand issues were printed. I personally distribute free copies throughout southern California. Over two hundred issues were mailed all over the world!! Largely due to the visibility of this web site, the VOiCE is spreading all over the country, from California to New York, from Florida to Canada. (It's not the quantity that counts, it's the quality!)
Well please, by all means ask it, and I'll try to reply to you within a few days. If it's information that other's might want to know, I'll also post it here!