Frequently Asked and Sometimes Never Actually Asked Questions

Q: What is Newspoetry?

It's a kind of poetry codified by William Gillespie. See "The History of Newspoetry" for details about where it came from, and a concise definition. Briefly, it's the daily practice of writing a poem about the news or events in the news. Newspoets are poets who do this -- though few of us manage to write a newspoem every day. We have an email list and a website anthologizing the email list, edited originally by William and now by Joe Futrelle.

Q: Who are "Associated Poets"?

A highly unprofessional disorganization of newspoets. We meet regularly never.

Q: How can I submit a Newspoem? Do I have to subscribe to the mailing list to do that?

No, just send it to the list address, Note that it will be sent to the whole list and appear in the archives, which are publicly accessible. Please do not include private or personal information in submissions that you do not want to be accessible to visitors to the website or search engines.

Q: How can I submit anonymously or under a pseudonym?

If you wish to submit anonymously, please send email directly to the editor at, or use free web-based email service or anonymous remalier. If you want to use a pseudonym, please indicate that in your submission.

Q: I'm having a problem with the site (e.g. it's down, slow, there's an error in a poem or index).

Email Joe at He's the site administrator.

Q: Who selects the poems and decides which days they should run?

The editor.

Q: That's not democratic!


Q: How does this so-called "editor" make those decisions?

Using the following criteria:

  1. Is it newspoetry? In other words, is it creative writing about the news or events in the news?
  2. Is it someone whose work hasn't been seen on the site recently? (e.g. try to avoid running a poet two days in a row)
  3. Is it timely enough to be bumped up earlier in the queue?
  4. Does it use newspoetry for hostile or illegal purposes (flames, threats, libel/slander, copyright infringement, etc.)? (if so, reject it)

Q: How can I find out when my poem is going to run?

You can see the upcoming poetry queue by going to This interface is the same one used to format poems for publication, but only the editor can actually modify the queue.

Q: I submitted a poem a while ago, but it hasn't appeared on the site. What's going on?

There are several possible reasons that your poem hasn't appeared:

  1. Your poem is in the queue for some future date. To see if it's in the queue, go to
  2. The editor hasn't gotten around to putting your poem in the queue.
  3. The editor has misplaced your email. If you suspect this is the case, email the editor and remind him about your poem.
  4. The editor has rejected your poem for some reason. In this case you will typically not be notified.

Q: The editor rejected my poem! Isn't that censorship?

No. The Newspoetry website does not serve as an open message board. The mailing list, on the other hand, is completely open and unmoderated, and the archives are accessible to anyone from the front page of the website, so go nuts.

Q: Does the editor edit the poems?

Not without asking permission from the poet for each change. An exception is the slight amount of formatting that must be done to make the poem fit into Newspoetry's layout. Occasionally email will make line breaks ambiguous. In that case, the editor might ask the poet for clarification.

Q: If I notice a typographic error in my own poem after you have published it on the site, or if I revise it, and ask you to update it, will you?

Yes. Just work with the editor, who will make the changes.

Q: You published a Newspoem of mine on the site, but I don't want it on the site anymore. Please remove it.


Q: Does my sending a poem to the list automatically grant Newspoetry exclusive or nonexclusive rights to freely distribute my intellectual property indefinitely?

No. Newspoetry retains no right to the poems contained on the site.

Q: Will you publish my poem anywhere else?

Not without asking your permission first.

Q: Am I allowed to publish my poem elsewhere?


Q: Will you notify me if you decide to or decide not to publish my poem on the site?

Not unless you ask to be notified.

Q: I'm offended by the content on your site. How dare you publish such obviously poorly-written / politically incorrect poetry? And I'm complimenting you by considering it poetry!

Please contribute poems you prefer, or visit one of the many other poetry sites on the web.

Q: Why are so many Newspoets from Urbana, IL?

Because that's where William comes from. But Newspoetry is now an international phenomenon of non-epic proportions.

Here's William's description of Urbana:

Nestled among the featureless agri-business grids of east central llinois, Champaign-Urbana sits against the horizon like one twin small metropolis in a region protected from tornadoes by its subtle topography. Home to the nation's oldest experimental agricultural field, and some football team, but the third largest university library in North America, this small town is the home of a disproportionate number of artists, scholars and activists. There is art here. There are quiet safe streets. But there is one of the highest per capita beer consumption rates in the United States. When the evening fades to dusty blue stained glass, the trees throw their branches across the emerging stars as if frantic apparitions fending off time's carcinogens. On nights like these we gather quietly on porches with our cellos, baritone ukuleles and radical economic blueprints to tonight compose the songs that will make us nostalgic tomorrow, and, the following day, will seem weirdly quaint. This is one of the last footholds of desire in a country destroyed by a flood of money now diminished to a trickle. Urbana's clock tower and airraid sirens, its post office and donut shop, its cobblestone streets lit by incandescent globes all serve to provide a focus only vaguely akin to community. But then there's us.

Q: People keep sending off-topic messages to the email list. I just want poetry.

Then unsubscribe from the list and just use the website. It is technically feasible to set up a "daily poem" email service, but it hasn't been implemented yet.

Q: What kind of messages are appropriate for the email list?

That's up to the participants. But chiefly, the list functions to support the work of newspoets, primarily through sharing poetry but also through sharing resources like links to news stories, other poetry sites, etc. It has not primarily functioned as a discussion group. Critique and praise of contributed poems is discouraged unless the author of a poem specifically requests it, because evaluative comments tend to have a deadening effect on submissions as some poets begin to become self-conscious and worry about how their poetry is being evaluated relative to others'.

Q: Do the opinions expressed on and in the email list necessarily reflect those of the editor and owner of, or,, or any associated organizations?

I certainly hope not, for the sake of the sanity of said organizations.

Q: Please cease and desist from the use of my client's copyrighted material on your website, or we will be forced to take legal action.

OK, we'll take the muppet newscaster off our masthead. But fair use, baby, fair use. In our satirical moods, we are so exempt from copyright restrictions. See section 107 of the copyright law for the letter.

Q: What is a frequently-asked question?

It's a question that's asked frequently. Is that some sort of a trick question?

Q: I'm asking the questions here.

Don't get smart with me, pal.

Q: What about this question? Is is actually asked frequently, or did you just make it up?

Funny you should ask.

Q: OK: so if a frequently-asked question is put on the FAQ, and that results in fewer people asking the question, doesn't it then become an infrequently asked question, which should be removed from the FAQ? And then when you remove it, people start asking it more frequently, so you have to put it back on the FAQ, ad nauseum?

Ad nauseum is right.

Q: How can I find out how frequently each of the questions on the FAQ is asked?

Count how many times you ask each question, then extrapolate. This kind of technique is routinely used by news organizations to determine how important issues are, so you'll be in good company.end

Newspoetry by William at Spineless Books