Ping-Pong Free Press follows in the footsteps of its literary parent, Ping-Pong magazine and therefore sees itself as a current and vital part of that same impulse. It represents a living connection to the centers and peripheries of contemporary literary culture, both in the USA and beyond. As such, we are not looking for writing that is pretty.
Miller himself was not a pretty writer. But he was vital. That is why even when Miller was hardly read in the U.S., Kenneth Rexroth describes himself meeting “…miners in the Pyrenees, camel drivers in Tmelcen, gondoliers in Venice” who all asked, “Do you know M’sieu Millaire?” Ping-Pong Free Press will not be censored, will not bow to whimsy, will speak loudly in the face of injustice, will support those artists whose voices are sometimes silenced.
Thus American writers who exist, as Miller did for so much of his career, just under the radar of the mainstream literary world, will be represented by Ping-Pong Free Press.
And just as Miller was and is as much an international literary figure as he was/is an American one, so too does Ping-Pong Free Press seek to reach beyond our shores in order to bring unknown, or lesser known, writers from around the world into more prominence in English.
Ping-Pong Free Press understands itself as furthering Miller’s legacy by tapping into the contemporary literary and artistic milieu. The writers and artists represented in the magazine Ping-Pong are heirs to Miller’s legacy, and were Miller alive and writing today, these would be his peers and contemporaries. It has been argued, accurately, in my opinion, that were Miller writing in 2016, he would be no more a part of the mainstream US literary world than he was in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60’s. He was not a writer for the market. He would be denounced as vulgar, as obscene, as barbaric as he was then.
The work to be published in Ping-Pong Free Press is similarly not written for the market, but for the ages. It is challenging, it asks much of its reader. It’s not easy. It is, though, a vital continuation, and contribution, to Henry Miller’s literary legacy.
Our next poetry book contest opens September 7th, 2016, and ends on April 15th, 2017. All writers in English are eligible, regardless of publication history. The editors of Ping Pong Free Press will not be screening entries – all submissions will be screened by this year's judge, Brian Henry. Our entry fee is quite low and writers who submit to our contest will get a discount if they would like to purchase the winning book. We had many wonderful entries this year, and we encourage those who submitted this year to submit their manuscripts again, as the judge is different.
Submissions must be in English, and have between 48 and 88 pages of poetry. Please use Times New Roman font, 12 point, and 1 inch margins. If your poems require special formatting, submit a pdf. We accept pdf's and word docs, including docx. Please use page numbers and a table of contents. The first page should have the title of the submission and your contact information, and the second page should have just the title of the submission. We do not need bios or acknowledgments at this point. The poems may have been previously published in journals, magazines, books and chapbooks, but the majority (more than 50%) cannot have been published by any one source at one time. That is, we will not accepted books that have been published before as books, including online publications.
The winner of the Ping Pong Free Press Second Annual Contest will win 500 dollars and 10 copies of the finished book. Two finalists may also be considered for publication. We follow CLMPs guidelines. No former or current students of the judge may submit.
About This Year's Judge:
Brian Henry is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Static & Snow (Black Ocean, 2015). His poems have been translated into Croatian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, and Spanish. Henry has co-edited the international magazine Verse since 1995, and his criticism has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times Book Review, Times Literary Supplement, The Kenyon Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Boston Review. His translation of Aleš Šteger’s The Book of Things appeared from BOA Editions in 2010 and won the Best Translated Book Award. He also translated Tomaž Šalamun’s Woods and Chalices (Harcourt, 2008) and Aleš Debeljak’s Smugglers (BOA, 2015). Henry’s poetry and translations have received numerous honors, including an NEA fellowship, a Howard Foundation grant, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, the Cecil B. Hemley Memorial Award, the George Bogin Memorial Award, and a Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences grant.
Submit your unpublished manuscript. You can simultaneously submit, we do, even if told not to. But please let us know if they get accepted somewhere else, and congratulations in advance if that happens (insert smiley face emoji). You should hear back from us in 2-3 months, it'd be sooner but we have full time jobs and do all of this for free because we believe in you and your poems. Because what you have to say matters and if you do not say it exactly as you want to, it will not exist in this world. So say it. We are listening.
We are not interested in the cult of the popular.
We were picked last for basketball, if we showed up to our P.E. classes at all. Check out the kinds of poems we love here: Poet Republik.
And keep writing! It is most important for your voice to be heard.
Hot sun-dried possum in a can,