Rhizome Press

Quality poetry since 2002

Now Featuring Extreme Formalism

Rhizome Press is a small poetry press currently focused on publishing anthologies of extreme formal poetry written in English.

The press's preference includes close attention to vivid imagery, compressed language that is precise yet layered, strict rhyme and meter, musicality, and accessible meaning. Surprise, humor, modern topics, and radical content are encouraged, as are fresh takes on traditional themes.

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What is Extreme Formalism in Poetry?
Extreme formalism is characterized by regularity that restricts exception. Extreme poetry sticks to impeccably consistent structure: pure rhyme (allowing for regional pronunciation) that adheres to a clearly defined repetition scheme, with rhymes close enough together that they register; meter that is consistent, with exceptions only for stresses, and then rarely and only when the context calls for it, but with no added or subtracted syllables (though allowing for elision, and colloquial and regional pronunciation); and when a line is broken, the parts taken together equal a line with the requisite beats and rhyme.

Nonce forms using varied meters are still consistently structured. For example, if the first stanza is five lines, two iambic pentameter followed by two iambic tetrameter followed by a final iambic pentameter, rhymed a,a,b,b,a, then the next stanza follows the same meter and rhyme pattern, though the rhyme might be b,b,c,c,b or c,c,d,d,c, and so on. Rising and falling rhymes must be used consistently within stanzas. For example, in a poem of five-line stanzas, if lines three and five end with falling rhymes and the other rhymes are rising, all the poem’s stanzas must follow the same pattern. The stanza pattern is consistent throughout. Unlike semi-formal poetry, extreme poetry’s structure is tight and precise.

*** Extreme Formal Poetry Anthology (not yet titled) (deadline April 15, 2021)
Poets may submit up to ten extreme formal poems of at least twelve lines. (The editor welcomes the max ten poems.) Preference is for poems shorter than eighty lines and line lengths that will fit the book's formatted page width (to be determined later during the production phase). Each poem must be titled, not numbered. Please do not submit sequences, though you may submit two companion poems if the pair has a title and each poem has its own subtitle. If the editor chooses only one of the two poems, its subtitle can become its title. Each of the two paired poems counts toward the max of ten poems. Include at the bottom of your submission file your bio (err on the side of too much, which can be edited). Attach your poems and bio as a single file in .doc, .docx, .odt, or PDF format only in a single email with
[your full name], formal poetry anthology as the subject heading. Emails containing additional attachments, links, images, or more than ten poems will likely be discarded without being read.

Poems may be previously published and may be published elsewhere at any time if accepted for the anthology.

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Extreme Sonnets II (submission period June 1 to October 1, 2021)
Poets may submit up to ten extreme sonnets. (The editor welcomes the max ten sonnets.) Each sonnet must be titled, not numbered. Sonnets should be the traditional fourteen lines (stanzas are fine) in iambic pentameter, generally with a weaving rhyme scheme (not stacked running couplets) of pure rhymes (not slant or eye rhymes). Please do not submit sequences, though you may submit two companion sonnets if the pair has a title and each sonnet has its own subtitle. If the editor chooses only one of the two sonnets, its subtitle can become its title. Each of the two paired sonnets counts toward the max of ten sonnets. Include at the bottom of your submission file your bio (err on the side of too much, which can be edited). Please format your file in Times New Roman 11 or 12 point with inserted page and section breaks removed. Attach your sonnets and bio as a single file in .doc, .docx, .odt, or PDF format only in a single email with
[your full name], sonnet anthology as the subject heading. Emails containing additional attachments, links, images, or more than ten poems will likely be discarded without being read.

Sonnets may be previously published and may be published elsewhere at any time if accepted for the anthology.

Be sure to check out
Extreme Sonnets, available on Amazon and in select bookstores.

*** Publishing info
Rhizome Press typically responds to general emails within a few days. Poets whose poems are accepted for an anthology will be notified once all final selections have been made. The anthology itself will be published within two months or so thereafter. Due to the large number of poets represented in an anthology, and because poetry books rarely recoup publishing costs, the press is unable to compensate with payment or free copies.

Contact email (suspicious emails will be deleted without response)
Editor.Rhizome.Press@gmail.com

Beth Houston is Rhizome Press editor.
Surface Rhizomes of German Iris. The Illustrated Dictionary of Gardening: A Practical and Scientific Encyclopedia of Horticulture for Gardeners and Botanists. Edited by George Nicholson, of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published by L. Upcott Gill, 170, Strand, London, W.C., 1887.
Rhizome Press logo designed by Dena Van Derveer, 2002