The short answer seems to be 892.
Eight hundred and ninety-two poems. But wait, there’s more!
If you’re a fan of Tar River Poetry, you probably know that we have two submission categories. You can submit for free, and we (the staff and I) read and respond to your submission as soon as we have time.
Or you can buy a subscription or sample issue or pay a reading fee, and we (meaning “I,” Luke Whisnant, the editor of TRP) will expedite our editorial decision and respond within one week.
Those 892 poems were expedited decisions. I’ve been doing expedited decisions for maybe five years now, in September and February of every year, and I have yet to miss that one week deadline on any submission.
Today I finished responding to the last batch of poems—the 87 poems, in 20 separate expedited submissions—that came in on the last day of our submission period, February 28. That was our biggest day of the month. People were submitting right up to the midnight deadline.
Of the total 892 expedited poems, I accepted 28. If I’m doing the math right, that’s an acceptance rate of .03139. Call it just a smidgen over 3%.
Which as it turns out is consistent with our overall (expedited plus regular) acceptance rate of 2.5 to 3.0 percent.
Anyway, I’m very happy to be done with the “respond-in-one-week” expedited decisions, and thank you very much to all who subscribed or bought a sample issue or paid a reading fee.
Now . . . about those non-expedited 274 free submissions still in our inbox . . . probably 1100 to 1300 poems we’ve yet to read . . . we’ll get back to you on those . . . sometime . . . as soon as we can . . . But first: a bit of decompression in a poetry-free zone. Ahhh!