Poetry has its Reward

Recently I went to one of the many internet search engines and keyed in "Disquieting Muses". Along with the Plath poem, and the painting, and some guy's diary-journal, there were lots of links to us, along with some very nice compliments. It's been three years since I took over DM; at that time it was dead in the water. But with lots of sweat from excellent editors and contributors, we have, I think, turned this magazine around. DM enjoys a very good reputation and the opportunity, if ever so slight, to help enhance the exposure and appreciation of those who grace its pages. We have a strong readership base that grows everyday. We frequently get notes from people who want to be added to our mailing list, letters of thanks and compliment (which we always appreciate), and an occasional letter of suggestion (which we also appreciate).

Disquieting Muses is a labor of love. I put up the money to secure the site for DM and I do it with every good intention. My editors dedicate themselves to a rigorous schedule of reading, writing, listening, researching, and, of course, editing. No one gets paid. We make the effort for--dare I say?--art's sake. I think the effort is a good one. Last year, a reader mentioned that she enjoyed about fifty percent of our just-released issue's poetry. Perhaps she meant this as a complaint, but I found it a high compliment; after all, it's not often that I open a poetry magazine I've purchased and am interested by anywhere near one-half of the poems inside!

One way to show appreciation for those publications that do impress with a majority of the work they publish is to subscribe. Nice as it is to have hundreds of free literary magazines online, it's also nice to support the good paper magazines with that small monetary gesture. We at DM often discuss the possibility of some day taking our magazine to paper, and money is consistently the main concern. In the interim, though, we have decided to begin a search for feasible ways to offer something more concrete for contributors.

We've decided to make our first gesture The Muses Award: a $100 prize which will be given annually for the best poem to first appear in Disquieting Muses. (And we'll PAY it!) There is no entry fee. There is no special entry process. The editors will select a winner from all previously/simultaneously unpublished poems that appear in Disquieting Muses in a given year. The award will be announced with the release of the November issue.

We will, of course, continue to nominate poems to The Pushcart Prize, and we'll be on the lookout for other such opportunities. If you know of an award in which we can participate by nominating our contributors, do drop us a line and let us know. Similarly, feel free to refer poets whose work has your admiration. Two of DM's prime goals remain thus: to help elevate appreciation for the work of our contributors, and to serve our readers by offering, without charge, a magazine filled with the most interesting poetry available to us.

Dancing Bear
Disquieting Muses

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