I'm a published poet, trying to get my chapbook published. I write about my illness and how it intersects with spirituality. Let me know what you think (45 pages)

You might like it, you might hate it, you might relate to it a lot. But I hope it does something for you. At this point, I have written hundreds of poems, but only these poems I wanted to include in my chapbook. And only about six have been published in journals. But I’m still trying to get this book published. It’s typically a no-no to post an unpublished work online before publication, so I’m going to take this down eventually, I just want to get some reviews on things I did well, or things I could improve on before I submit this manuscript to more publishers.

There’s a lot of good art on this community, that people really love, so I thought maybe some of you would appreciate some poetry too. I am also an artist, but better at poetry. Here is the cover letter for the manuscript:

"Dear Editors of NN,

Page Count: 45 pages

The Glory Tree is a complete chapbook of poetry focusing on themes of mental illness, mania and psychosis, spirituality, and specifically as it relates to frustration with organized religion. It explores how mental illness and spirituality intersect and how that impacts the life of a person seeking treatment. It deals with drug use in many areas, and how that affects the recovery of any person living with a severe mental illness. In some ways, The Glory Tree gives an image of the culture of drug-using youth in the city of San Francisco, but not in a way that at all glorifies drug use. The book, as a collection of poetry, chronicles a rising manic episode, the climax, hospitalization and institutionalization (as well as its impact on a person’s psyche), and eventual healing and atonement. It also opens a discussion on how society medicalizes and dismisses divergent minds.

I am a poet from San Francisco, where I am a member of the queer community, studying English and Spanish literature at [college], and my poem “Nic-town.” has appeared in Raven Chronicles (their final issue, an anthology), “Poker Chips” in Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing (online), “Electro-convulse” in Open Minds Quarterly (print), and my poems “The Modern Lovers” and “The Prophet Elijah” will appear in Manuscription online. I draw much inspiration from my own life and the people in my life, making my poems confessional in style, although not all of the poems are about me. Many of them draw a picture of being a young adult in San Francisco. At one time in my life, I considered becoming a Catholic priest, which has influenced the subject matter of my poetry. I believe this manuscript will make a good fit for this press.

Thank you for considering my proposal,


Let me know if I should change anything in my cover letter.
HERE is a link to the 44-page chapbook: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13KLvb81QAKN1QE_exImQml6sETnIj1xqteXdPS2jPag/edit?usp=sharing

I would REALLY appreciate it if you guys read through this and offered me up some feedback. It would be amazing if I could get a feel for what this community thinks of my poems. 45 pages SEEMS long but it’s poetry, so it’s formatted spaciously; it’s not just a wall of text.

The poems are divided into three sections with different themes:

Part One: Nic-town. - Rising, ascending, knowing
Part Two: Flame and Medicine - Climax, religious ecstasy, euphoria, and sacrifice
Part Three: The Glory Tree - Healing, integration, and atonement

If you want, most of the more exciting poems involving hospitalization are in Part Two, Flame and Medicine. I would really love to know what you guys think. What are your favorite poems? Any tips for publication? Is this complete, or does it need much more work, editing, more poems, more love and care, and more polishing? I have a feeling it needs more polishing.

I just thought I’d offer a form of art not usually seen in this community, that some people here might really relate to. I have made people cry with my poems. And I have literally made myself cry with them, because these poems are basically my heart and soul. I am completely opening myself up to you guys and letting you look inside my soul by letting you read these poems. So I would appreciate comments. Thanks so much guys.


I noticed your document is set to allow editing by others. Do you want us to be able to edit your chapbook?

Hmm, it should be set so that people can make comments and SUGGESTED edits, but not an actual change in the document.

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Oh OK, my mistake.

Turn off editing. Even if someone is trying to help they can ruin your MS. I’m assuming you have backups, though. Still it isn’t a good idea to let just anyone in with editing enabled.

Try Blue Mountain Arts. They’re a nice company to pitch to.

Due to a bad experience with a publisher not honoring my contract I’m more about self publishing now. I like the control and knowing exactly what money is coming. No middleman.

If you go self publishing be ready to market yourself through FB ads and maybe even Adsense. It isn’t too hard.

And don’t expect a lot of money. Poetry is the hardest thing to make money with aside from memoirs.

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Yes, the most I’ve made off of poetry so far is $25, which is far more than most people make! But I am not expecting too much money. Just want to get my literature out there with a reputable publisher. Editing I thought was off, it was set to just comments, but to be sure I set it just to view. You guys can leave comments in this thread.

Blue Mountain Arts is one of the best I know for being reputable. You could google and check the submission guidelines for others.

Absolute Write Water Cooler used to be a forum that had a lot of info for writers. If they are still up then go and check out the poetry section. You’d find info one publishers from poets.

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Cool, thanks for the advice! Did you get a chance to check out some of my poetry?

You’re very talented, I really like Nic-Town.

Your poems are worth staying sane for.


Thanks man! 1515

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No, not yet. I hate trying to access Google Docs on my phone. When I get back to working on my MS tomorrow on the laptop I’ll take a look.

I might make suggestions. I am a writer by trade and edit some on the side. I’m just coming out of being unable to write due to a psychotic break over a year ago, so don’t expect suggestions…but I’ll try.

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@HulGil, I had the pleasure of reading your whole book of poetry. I myself am a poet also but, I haven’t written anything in quite some time. Some of my favorites of yours are: Roger, Yogurt, Poker Chips, Maria, Ativan II, Transfiguration, and Constructed Flesh. Good job!

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Thank you so much for reading the entire thing! I appreciate it a lot!

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Thanks! 1515151

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