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The “How Poems Work” feature is a 500-word column appearing monthly on Arc‘s How Poems Work website. In September 2003, it was resurrected on the Arc website from its former life, under the same name, as a popular weekly feature in the Toronto Globe & Mail. A year later, in September 2004, the How Poems Work site was revamped for viewer participation on the feature columns. A makeover in April 2006 gave How Poems Work its current look.

Each feature column is to be a “case-study” appreciation of a single poem by a Canadian poet, addressing such concerns as style, subject matter, influences, context, and the use of such elements as form, language, rhythm, and diction. The text of the poem under discussion will also be reprinted in each column.

Contributors are invited to pitch Arc with proposals for a maximum of three consecutive “How Poems Work” feature columns. Contributors are responsible for securing permission to reprint the poems that will accompany their submissions. Payment is $40 per column, which is equivalent to the honorarium for a brief review appearing in the print edition of Arc.

Arc archives each “How Poems Work” feature column, with the contributor’s permission, on its website, gradually building a rich, eclectic resource for anyone interested in poetics and Canadian poetry.

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for more information on how to submit, see the submission guidelines

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Future Poetics Columns

Arc is simmering some ideas for expanding the How Poems Work monthly e-zine to include other columns and series about the craft of poetry in Canada. If you have an inspiration of your own, please drop a line to editor Anita Lahey.

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