According to Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, “Daily newspapers no longer review poetry. There is, in fact, little coverage of poetry or poets in the general press”. (Can Poetry Matter, Dana Gioia, 1991).
John Timpane, Philadelphia Inquirer Commentary page editor, adds: “Today, in my opinion, most newspaper people are afraid of poetry. They’re afraid readers won’t understand it, especially poetry they (these newspaper people) find “hard” or “experimental.” It amounts to a fear of the verbal. (Kelly Writers House, 1999).
One could argue Gioia and Timpane’s claims today, as print media seemingly loses ground, with technological advancements in communications, and as the art of poetry and its society becomes increasingly associated with academia, thereby making it less user-friendly to the general public.
However, there is, even today, life in the press. This article addresses the newspapers that currently
accept poetry from the people; listed below are the following newspapers in the United States, (compiled by Melanie Simms) that presently accept poetry submissions.
(If anyone has information on additional listings, please e-mail them to Melanie Simms at [email protected] or contact her at her website at [http://www.poetmelaniesimms.net]).
Current List of Newspapers that Publish Poetry:
Philadelphia Inquirer: Contact: John Timpane at [email protected]
The York Daily Record: Contact: Bill Diskin: [email protected]
The Oregonian: Ask for the Poetry Editor or call: 503-221-8100
The Santa Cruz Sentinel: Contact: 831-423-4242 and ask for the Poetry Editor
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Contact: 412-263-1100 and ask for the Poetry Editor
The Christian Science Monitor: Contact: 617-450-2000 and ask for the Poetry Editor
Clearly this current list is small (albeit still in development) which only forwards the concerns of the American public that “poetry in the newspapers” is a dying breed, but thanks to the “die-hard” efforts of these remaining voices in today’s newspapers, America still has hope to see the art rekindled.
Every poet and citizen who appreciates the art has an opportunity and obligation as well to assist. The newspapers depend upon its readers. Share your voices of concern so that the press realizes that Dana Gioia, John Timpane and your humble author are not alone in their desire to see poetry in the news again. You can do so by contacting your local poetry editor and requesting a poetry article be developed, or, if you’re creatively (and financially inclined) start a poetry column of your own from your own small newspaper press.
Let the voice of the people be heard in the art of poetry and thrive once again in the newspapers!