‘Would it kill the editor if he took just one of your poems?’
(my mother)

‘The poem is not quite there’
(Editor 1)

‘We loved it but not enough’
(Editor 2)

This is where you come in. You’ve written a poem. It’s been in your portfolio or on your computer for years. You’ve revised it dozens of times. You’ve shown the poem in workshops where all your fellow poets gave it the seal of approval. And yet, it has been rejected four or five times or more by journals high and low. You persist because you know this poem is good, and deserves to be seen in a reputable journal. You’ve murdered all the darlings you can and you still believe in this poem; you want it to be read.

Take heart, dear friends. We’ve been there ourselves, which is how this online journal, Salon of the Refused, came to be over a hair-tearing lunch. How could we help? How are prevailing trends feeding into the kinds of poems that are regularly accepted or win competitions? How can we widen the cultural net of poetry to include poems that might not ordinarily be caught?

We have been editors ourselves, and know that it’s a demanding job mostly done for love, so we pay homage to poetry editors everywhere, and are grateful, because without them, there would be no poetry published. But we are doing something different here. Our journal will publish any poem that has been refused four times or more by magazines or competitions, because you still love your darling. We will not refuse any poem (unless racist, sexist or otherwise bigoted); we will not edit any poem; and we certainly will not write rejection notes. If you believe in your poem, so will we.

Send us your darling, one that has been refused four times or more. While you’re at it, please send along samples of choice and entertaining rejection notes (without naming the journal or editor). We will keep them anonymous.

Salon of the Refused Poems will be published whenever we have a goodly number of poems; that is to say, irregularly.

Jacqueline Saphra
Norbert Hirschhorn