A lot of shit has gone down since the last issue. I got a job. I had a heart attack. I have a new website (richardvargaspoet.com.) I have a new collection of poetry scheduled to be published and released in April. So you’ll understand if this issue missed its deadline.
I’ve always struggled with not being able to compensate contributors with more than a complimentary issue. Based on my own experience, the few times I actually received monetary payment for my work always made a difference. The fact that so many artists do not get paid for their work in this country says a lot about the society we live in and its priorities. But that’s a long conversation we’ve all had at one time or another, best held over a bottle of good wine or a six-pack of cold beer.
And while I wish I could pay all the poets what I feel they deserve, and can’t, I’m going to do what I can, with the help of two of this magazine’s most prominent contributors and supporters. I take great pleasure announcing that with this issue, the 1st Annual Gerald Locklin Poetry Prize has been awarded to Daniel Crocker, for his poem “The Big-Boobed Blonde.”. The prize of $300 was funded by Prof. Locklin, and he picked the winning poem from all poems accepted for this issue.
The next issue will feature the introduction of the 1st Annual Margaret Randall Poetry Prize, also funded by the internationally known poet, photographer, activist, feminist, and author of over 100 titles to her name. She will also judge and pick the winning poem from all the poetry accepted for the Summer 2014 issue.
And I will be funding a $50 Editor’s Choice award from now on. The poem I picked for this issue is “The Hardest Thing About Loneliness,” by Terry Wolverton.
Prize money may vary from prize to prize, issue to issue, but on the other hand, I’m not running a scam, asking you to cough up some cash, whether your poem gets accepted or not. I’ve played that game, feeling like I’m buying a lottery ticket. After a while, I got the feeling that most of them are rigged. (Just my opinion, folks. We all have them.) The Más Tequila Review considers you eligible for prize consideration if your work is good enough to get accepted, because, as I’ve always said, “it’s all about the poem.”
This issue also includes something I’ve never considered publishing until now. It opens with an excerpt from a paper presented last August by Mitsuye Yamada, to the 2013 Haiku North America Conference, held in Long Beach, Ca. I still have my copy of Mitsuye’s first poetry collection, Camp Notes and Other Poems, Shameless Hussy Press, 1976. The poems are about her family’s relocation to an internment camp, and their struggles to maintain their daily lives and culture in the harsh conditions Uncle Sam provided them during WWII. Her paper, titled “My Father’s Senryu,” is about her father’s poetry and the influence it had on her at such an early age. Jack Kaichiro Yasutake’spoems are testimony to surviving against stacked odds, and coming through the other side with human spirit still intact.
And a special thanks to Alexis Fancher, poet, photographer, and poetry editor for the L.A. based online magazine, Cultural Weekly. At my request, she emailed my call for submissions to many of the poets on her contact list, resulting in another issue packed with writing by some poets you’ve heard of, and many you haven’t.
Enjoy. Keep on writing. Keep on reading. TMTR makes a great gift, buy some copies and spread them around.
Until next time,