Welcome to the

Roger Dutcher Home Page

This site still very much under construction. However, if you haven't been here in awhile, I have updated old links and added new ones.

For a bibliography of my published writing (mostly poetry), you can find the most complete list here.

Magazine of Speculative Poetry with Speculative Poetry Links

Friends

Music & Beer

Cool Sites I like

Links to sites about Beloit WI my home town.

Updated: 18 May 2004

Previous Update: 15 May 2004

Created: 27 January 1998

[SFF Net
              Member]

The Magazine of Speculative Poetry

PO Box 564

Beloit WI 53512

Founded in 1984, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry has been publishing the best speculative, science fiction, fantasy and horror poetry by: Michael Bishop, Brian Aldiss, Jane Yolen, Robert Frazier, Bruce Boston and many others. A subscription of four issues is $19. A sample issue is $5.00.

Click here for the complete guidelines for MSP, or you can get them by sending a #10 SASE to the address above.

Although a bit awkward, you can go to the Locus Index to Science Fiction and look at the contents of past issue of MSP.

If you are interested in speculative poetry here are some sites you should look into:

Science Fiction Poetry Association has been around for over twenty-five years. It covers all aspects of the speculative poetry world in its newsletter, "Star*Line."

Ultimate SF Poetry Guide is a work in progress outline to the world of speculative poetry.

SciFaiku Manifesto

Friends and fellow SF Poets (with web pages):

Terry McGarry

Mark Rich

Music:

Favorite artists are:

Beer:

Favorite beers are:

Berghoff Bock

Grolsch

Guinness

Leinenkugel's Creamy Dark

Red Hook Double Black

At all the sites above you have to confirm you are over 21 to enter the site.

Cool Sites I Like:

Bibliofind a source for locating out-of-print books, now run by Amazon however. Try also Alibris and Abebooks.

Locus Online and SF Site there are two of the best sites for SF reviews and news..

Strange Horizons a SF website where I am one of the poetry editors.

Toad Hall has tons of books, even more music on vinyl, comic books, old pulps and much more. I have been going here for years. Now you can check out a small portion of their stock at Bibliofind.

Steve Clifford's Beatles website has lots of information about the Beatles. Try it out. I have just started to check this site out.

The Magazine of Speculative Poetry
PO Box 564 Beloit WI 53512

Editor: Roger Dutcher

Guidelines for Poets - Summer 2004


Introduction:
MSP was founded in 1984 by Mark Rich and Roger Dutcher. Mark published one the first speculative poetry magazines, "Treaders of Starlight". Roger published "Uranus," another speculative poetry magazine. Finding themselves in the same city, they naturally founded a new magazine. MSP went 13 issues with both as editors when Mark, having found success in his writing, decided to "move on," both literally and figuratively. MSP has been edited by Roger since then.

Basics:
3 cents a word, $5.00 minimum, $25.00 maximum on acceptance.
First North American rights.
All rights revert to the author(s) upon publication, except for permission to reprint in any "Best of" or compilation volume. Payment will be made for such publication.
Poets receive a copy of the issue in which their poem(s) appears.
Return time of 1 to 8 weeks. Usually 1 to 2 weeks.
No simultaneous submissions; I do not use reprints.
Subscription: four issues for $19. Single issue $5.00. Both postage paid.
Poets from countries other than the USA should indicate if they prefer payment in US currency or in US postage stamps and what denominations would be preferred.

What MSP wants:
I want more than just images. I want a poem to take me someplace I haven't been before. Have a fresh look at an old trope. I am more concerned with a good poem first, then a speculative poem.

Speculative poetry: Speculative poetry may be described as the equivalent in poetry to speculative fiction, that interesting confluence of post modernism and science fiction in the late sixties and early seventies of Britain and America. Authors associated with this movement include: J.G. Ballard, James Sallis, Pamela Zoline, Keith Roberts, Brian Aldiss, Samuel Delaney, Thomas Disch, and the poets George MacBeth and D.M. Thomas.
Speculative poetry can result from several approaches. One might be called projection: we imagine ourselves viewing from other perspectives than our own or simply being another being--for instance, we might be a tree, an alien sentience, perhaps ourselves five years from now. A second approach is simply that of the extended metaphor: science fiction has created a rich vocabulary of images and ideas, many of which might be utilized in generating poetry. Other approaches may be used and the poems themselves may range from the meditative to the narrative to the lyric. What is most important to remember is that speculative poetry is a species of imaginative literature, and that it is a new species. Each poem in part defines the field as it is written.
I will leave it to others (or to another place) to argue whether speculative poetry is separate from or inclusive of, yet more than, science fiction poetry and the other identifiers we use, fantasy and horror. "Slipstream" seems to be a term that is similar. Literary has been used to describe the type of poetry I use.

Science fiction poetry: The bulk of what I publish, based on science (soft or hard) and speculating on or exploring that science for an outcome we, in our current world, have not discovered yet. How do we react to, manage in, the world you have constructed. Was it Ray Bradbury who said SF doesn't predict the future, it tries to prevent it.

Science poetry: Read Diane Ackerman, Pattiann Rogers and Loren Eisley for an idea. The poem should still convey a sense of wonder. Not just nature poetry. Astronomical poetry with an edge perhaps. Speculation on contemporary science perhaps.

Fantasy poetry: I don't see enough fantasy poetry. What does MSP want? Fantasy from the realm of myth, fairy tales, and contemporary fantasy like Tolkien, Susan Cooper's "Dark is Rising" series, Le Guin's "Earthsea", McKillip's "Riddle Master" series, etc. Jim Dorr "Flight From the Tower" in a previous MSP fits the bill. I don't mean horror, dark fantasy or sword & sorcery. Once in awhile MSP sees Beowulf "like" poems, epic in length, no, I don't mean these, either, and not just because of the length. Just because there is an elf doesn't make it fantasy and an elf on a motorcycles with an assault weapons is not my cup of tea. In contemporary settings I enjoy the prose of James Blaylock and prose and poetry of Charles de Lint.

Horror or Dark fantasy poetry: I am hard to please in this area. There is a lot of poetry written in this area. There are a lot of markets in this area. It is going to take a poem that grabs me to be accepted. It is not likely to be a vampire, werewolf or zombie poem. I do seem to have a penchant for mummies. It is most likely to be psychological horror that I will look at more closely. I am not likely to take a "splatter" poem.

Concrete or prose poetry: OK, I have not seen a lot of concrete poetry I have liked that was speculative, but then again, it seems the field should be able to produce some interesting visions. I would probably ask for a disc copy of any poem I might accept.
I won't try to define prose poetry. Shorter will be better. Have more than images.

Not much help? If you feel it is a good poem and you want to spring for the postage, try me out. MSP would publish good poems in any of the areas above. I would rather read, enjoy and accept a poem than not have it sent because of any strictures inferred or implied above.

Length, style, etc.:
A number of editors are very strict about how they want everything. You should pay attention those details if you are submitting to them. Although I have always been pretty easy going, there are some general guidelines that make it easier for me.

MSP ia a small magazine, I can't print epics, yet they still arrive now and again. I have printed some poems that run two or three pages, but it is rare to do anything longer. If you have something you feel is your best and it is longer, go ahead and send it.
No simultaneous submissions. I do not use reprints.
I am not persnickety about the number of poems you send. Send as many as you want to spring for postage on. Your acceptance is based on your poem, not on the number. Be reasonable though, not twenty or thirty. There does seems to be a correlation between a poet sending large numbers and my not liking the poetry, but that could be illusion. But, it seems a waste to send one, unless it is long, so send what you want. Three to five seems to be the most common number.
I have read poems that are hand written (usually prisoners or young people), single spaced, double spaced, with a regular font, with hard to read fonts, etc. I am not persnickety here either, but double spaced (on smaller poems) is better, and a "regular old font" is best. I don't recall ever accepting a poem that was handwritten, in a hard to read font or something out of the ordinary. Not because of the handwriting but because of the poem; again, there seems to be a correlation. My eyes do seem to require more focusing of late, so double spacing is best.

Cover letters: I like ‘em. But they aren't necessary. If you do include a cover letter, make it more than "here are my poems, I hope you like them." A practical matter is to include the names of the poems you are submitting, if the poems get separated from your cover letter, then it helps to find them. Tell me where you have been published before (you don't have to have been) if you want, it may help trigger a memory of a poem you have done. You don't need to send a complete list of every poem you have ever published, just some high spots. Tell us where you have heard of us, it helps us know which market sources produce the best results. You can tell me a bit about yourself if you like.

Your name and your address should appear somewhere on each poem, your name on each page if it is a longer poem. This is practicality, if your poems get separated from your cover letter or return envelope, I am not likely to recall whose they are. Including the number of lines/words in each poem, usually in the corner opposite your name and address, is useful as well.

Postage: You should include an appropriate amount of postage for the return of your mss., if it cost you 60 cents to mail them to me it is going to cost you 60 cents to mail them back. If you are submitting from a country other than the US, remember, I can only use US stamps. Send loose US stamps (see http://www.usps.gov/ for current rates to your country) or an IRC. I have yet to meet a USPS employee who has treated an IRC the same as another. Most of the time I have good luck with them. However they do require you and me to stand in line and to have the employee figure out what to do with them. If you can arrange a stamp swap with someone, that is nice. In the case of non-US poets ONLY, if you don't want your mss. returned, send me your e-mail address and I will let you know. My e-mail address is a work address and seriously limited re: non-work related mail.
If you send me your poems in an 8 x 10 envelope and a #10 envelope for their return, I am going to stuff them all in the #10 envelope. This can result in an envelope which is overweight for the postage on it. I don't put on extra postage, you are liable to get a postage due return.
If you don't want your mss. Returned, please state this clearly in your cover letter and/or on the mss. itself. If you don't, you will get your poems back in whatever envelope you send me.
If your submission comes to me postage due you are very likely to get it returned to you as "refused."
Submissions without an SASE or postage/IRC are held for about 2 to 3 months. If I haven't received an SASE in that time the poems are recycled.
Electronic submissions: Yes, it is the world of the Internet and e-mail, no, I don't have a computer (believe it or not.) I do have an e-mail address but it is for work and I HAVE to limit the amount of non-work e-mail I receive. I am not open to electronic submissions. With the exception of non-US poets noted above, I can not e-mail a poet about their submission.
At the moment I am not requiring or requesting submissions on disk.

MSP does not want:

Prose. Plays. Art work.
Nature poetry, animal/pet poetry, religious poetry, love poetry unless they have some correlation to one of the genres I publish. I get a fair amount of the type of poetry completely unrelated to speculative poetry, some of it is good, most of it bad, but none of it accepted.
Essays or reviews unless you query first with general idea/outline.

An Organization of interest:

Science Fiction Poetry Association, now in its 27th year. Send $18 to Bruce Boston,1412 NE 35th Street Ocala, FL 34479 Subscriptions or renewals by PayPal should go to SFPANet@aol.com. Credit card payments are accepted through PayPal. The SFPA publishes Star*Line, a newsletter, six times a year and the association administers the Rhysling Award for best science fiction poems of the year. You also receive the Rhysling Anthology, which publishes the nominated poems, with your membership.