By Kimberly Peterson
[Editor’s note: Shortly after this article was published, Entropy announced they will close at the end of 2021. They will be missed.]
Entropy is unique as a publication because it includes a variety of editors with diverse interests seeking specific submissions under a common banner. Although I consider myself primarily a poet, I had a creative nonfiction story I wanted to tell but couldn’t within a poem.
I had submitted “Until Death” to ten different journals without success before I found Sylvia Chan, the editor for the Entropy series titled Woven. I first submitted in January 2019, and Sylvia responded a month later.
Sylvia Chan accepted “Until Death” because she could read anguish and pain between the lines of my draft and I needed her help to tell my story.
From the beginning, Sylvia explained this wasn’t a typical accept/decline relationship. She helped women who experienced sexual and domestic abuse to tell their stories and provided editorial comments that helped me move beyond my “unspeakables.”
My piece was published in April 2019 after three months of editorial comments, which helped me with revisions. Sylvia concluded our journey together by telling me I had a unique way of expressing details and hoped Entropy would hear from me again.
During lock-downs and social isolation, I began paying more attention to the natural environment surrounding me. I wrote a series of poems that flowed from daily observations. And I submitted again to Entropy in Janice Lee’s section called, The Birds.
I sent my work in August 2021 and “Ruminate” was published a week later with no edits. This was the perfect home for this poem.
When it comes to my writing challenges, self-doubt is my most persistent enemy.
When I am at my lowest, believing my words don’t matter, I recall an incident that happened to me when I worked as a registered nurse. A volunteer thanked me for the words of encouragement that I shared with her after she was admitted to the hospital several years earlier.
She said I was the reason she volunteered at the hospital. My words gave her hope in one of her darkest moments.
I did not realize the impact I had at the time.
Now, when I receive a series of rejections, I think of her and imagine my words helping someone. Before I write, I repeat “Let words the world needs to hear flow through me and onto the page.”
Other places where I have submitted my work:
- I found Qwerty through an advertisement in Room. They published my poems “Papier Mache Union” and “Tow Line” and placed them sideways to accommodate my long lines.
- The Fiddlehead has had one of my submissions “in progress” since November 2020. Here’s hoping!
- I recently submitted to The Capilano Review because they publish visual poetry and I have several experimental pieces.
- I have submitted 8 poems to Arc Poetry and have yet to have one accepted for publication.
- Understorey Magazine has published two of my poems, “Leatherback Endangered” and “Diago’s Dark Waters” but they are currently struggling because of a lack of funding.
Kimberly Peterson’s recent work has appeared in Entropy, Prairie Fire, EVENT, Understorey, Bywords, and Qwerty. She received honourable mention in two poetry contests: The Banister (2016) and Passager (2019). She also received notable essay designation in the Memoir Magazine #MeToo essay contest (2018). She is currently polishing a poetry chapbook. Visit kimberlypeterson.ca to read her work.