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  • Writer's pictureNew Note Poetry

"New Notes" on Our One-Year Anniversary (and a special announcement!)

A year ago today, I put out the website and first-ever submissions call for an idea I had: a forward-thinking poetry magazine with a bold, unique aesthetic direction. I scrambled whatever remaining cash I had to get this idea started because that was all it was at first: an idea. One that I only came up with a few weeks ago talking to my collaborator, Brenden Sica. One that, for all intents and purposes, could have been a recipe for disaster but ended up being one of the best decisions I've made.

There's so much I want to say about New Note Poetry entering its first year in circulation, but in keeping true to our name, I'll keep it brief as a series of "notes." I hope that as years go on, we will continue adding "new notes." (Okay, enough puns).

  • New Note Poetry resonates with people across the globe, something that still astonishes me. As of writing, New Note Poetry Magazine is read, on average, by 1,200 readers per issue. Our top readers are from the USA, UK, Canada, India, Australia, Nigeria, Japan, Singapore, Ireland, and the Philippines. Nothing makes me more stoked than knowing poetry lovers around the world are on the hunt for fresh, exciting, and new, which is exactly what New Note Poetry wants to offer.

  • I have no prior experience running a magazine or being an editor. Everything I learned about publishing and editing I learned from being a published writer. Essentially, I approached managing New Note Poetry as "How would I, as a poet, liked to be treated by a magazine?" and went from there. I'm glad it's working. I've received wonderful responses from poets saying New Note is their favorite magazine simply because of how we treat our contributors. This magazine is nothing without our amazing poets, so it's the least we can do.

  • We have received over 1,100 submissions in the last year. The interest in New Note Poetry's mission was more in-demand than I thought, and I am thankful to see so many forward-thinking poets willing to share their work through us. We've published poet laureates, seasoned poets, and first-timers alike. My philosophy has always been "poem over the poet" as an editor. Pushcarts, PhDs, and Best of Nets are great, but a great poem is a great poem in the end.

  • I started New Note Poetry with two models: the magazine and an online-only chapbook publishing label called Noteworthy Chapbooks. Unfortunately, due to low sales and high upkeep, Noteworthy Chapbooks went defunct this year. I learned big lessons from that experience, however. Bruce Lee can summarize the biggest one: "I do not fear the man who practices 1,000 kicks one time. However, I do fear the man who practices one kick 1,000 times." The magazine is that one kick I'll gladly do 1,000 times and then some.

  • I always envisioned New Note Poetry as a community where our standard language is poetry, which is why I held our first livestream poetry reading back in May to great success. I'm happy to announce we're doing it again! Come join us for our 2nd reading livestream featuring poets from our Summer/Autumn Issues.

So, where do we go from here? I still have big visions for New Note Poetry, and I hope to keep it running as long as I'm still alive and kicking. No matter where New Note Poetry heads, I will remain grateful to every reader, contributor, and supporter of this spur-of-the-moment idea I had.

Thank you for joining us in our first-ever anniversary celebration. Continue to read, write, or listen to poetry, whatever you do. Don't be afraid to mix a little jazz in there, too. Poetry is the jazz of the written word, as we say. Go out and make "new notes."

I'll see you at the reading livestream! You know the website.

Nathan Nicolau


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