Buddhist Poetry Review is “a quarterly online journal dedicated to publishing fresh and insightful Buddhist poetry. [Their] vision encompasses the full spectrum of Buddhism, and we welcome submissions from authors who write from any perspective.”
I was curious how and why this poetry review began, so I asked founder and editor Jason Barber a few questions to find out. See my interview with Barber and a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Buddhist Poetry Review.
BARBER: Buddhism can be seen as a religion or as a philosophy of life. Either way, it promotes a letting go of ego-driven desire in exchange for a mindfulness of the present. Poetry, in a Buddhist-sense, is an attempt to put into words what we find when we are mindful. BPR is, in essence, a platform to display this practice.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Buddhist Poetry Review originally started?
BARBER: We started Buddhist Poetry Review as a way to provide a platform for anyone writing poetry from the perspective of Buddhism. There were some online publications dealing with poetry from an Eastern perspective, but few dedicated to poetry written from a strictly Buddhist-bent. This seemed like a real opportunity to fill a niche, given the ancient roots of poetry writing within the tradition of Buddhism.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
BARBER: Our target audience is anyone who wants to learn more about or be inspired by the kinds of thoughts prompted by mindfulness.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
BARBER: BPR is always on the lookout for poems that are deeply concerned with the human condition, and with the kinds of mindful perspectives that help to improve that condition for the individual and for humanity in general. We are not looking for ego-centric or vulgar poems that pretend at some kind of no-etiquette-required enlightenment. Concern for the feelings and sensibilities of those who will read your work is a prerequisite for publication in Buddhist Poetry Review.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
BARBER: Stream-of-consciousness, almost directionless, poems grounded completely in the present moment. These kinds of poems often put us in the presence of a joyous and mindful interest in the world, which is exactly why Buddhist Poetry Review exists.
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with Buddhist Poetry Review?
BARBER: We are ecstatic when we receive positive feedback from both readers and contributors, and we use this positive energy to motivate our work with BPR.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
DEADLINE: March 25, 2020
SUBMISSION FEE: None
SUBMISSION METHOD: Submittable