Founded in April 2012 by the poet laureate of FEELING VERY UNCOMFORTABLE, Jamie Mortara, Voicemail Poems features “missed calls you actually want to hear”—it’s also one of my favorite homes for finding and submitting poetry. Consistently publishing four times per year (in January, April, July, and October), Voicemail Poems brings its readers (listeners?) both the author’s recorded call and text, making VP more intimate than most venues. It’s as if each poet were reaching out to you directly.
What I Love About Voicemail Poems:
- Diversity – Every issue features known greats from a range of communities side-by-side with talented poets I’ve never heard before! In a world where cliques can prove discouraging, Jamie and their recently-bolstered Voicemail staff—Amy, Anya, J. and Brinna—fairly consider each submission while still keeping the bar held high for quality.
- Publicity – Jamie Mortara promotes your writing via Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and Stitcher, plus an iTunes podcast—it feels awesome to see your poem getting tons of plays, finding its proper audience across a range of different media! And since issues are stretched over an entire month, each poet and their poem gets the spotlight each day!
- Community – Voicemail Poems publishes people with good hearts. Every issue is a party for all the writers and readers!
- Recognition – Old favorites are occasionally reposted as #redials!
And now I’d like to share some of my favorites. As each poem is no more than three minutes, I highly recommend you read/listen to these(!):
- “Four Sexts” by Marshall Harris
- “dan’s rib cage” by Paul Christian
- “Speed Dating” by May-Lan Tan
- “sad story #5” by Alexandra Naughton
- “Body of Water” by Rachel Hyman
- “untitled poem” by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
- “Horror Movie Haikus” by Keegan Steele
- “I don’t know what to call us” by Orion Centauri
- “Deer Carcass Canvas” by Jeremiah Walton
- “A Theory of Inflation: pantoum for Andrei Linde” by P. M. Maisano
- And lastly, by me: “Hate Song”
Voicemail Poems is accepting phone calls year-round—for more info, check out their submission guidelines!
Review by Christopher Morgan