Introduction

What is this all about?

Here, poets are going to be celebrating fathers – their own, their grandfathers, step-fathers, foster fathers.  Or someone else’s exemplary Dad. Or perhaps you are a Good Dad yourself – or are trying to be – and have already put your positive experiences of fatherhood into a poem, or now feel inspired to do so.

Father, Dad, Daddy, Pater? Tad? Vati? Papa?   Whatever you call him, let’s sing his praises.

To be able to celebrate him, he must be a Good Dad.  And I recognise that not all fathers are good fathers.  But most do their best -and we want praise them for it, in poetry.

Why do this, and why now?

I have known Sylvia Plath’s Daddy for several decades, and shiver with the emotion of it each time I read it. It’s is an extraordinary poem. The last time I read it – at a Cheltenham Poetry Society event – I felt the need to counterbalance it by writing a paean to a positive model of fatherhood.  It was – obviously! – nowhere near the quality of Sylvia’s legendary poem.  How could it be?  I simply felt I needed to get a positive poem, however defective, ‘out there’.

I’ve since remembered several poems I’d written about my own father – who was one of the good ones.  And then I had the idea of starting this site, to go live on 1 January 2017, and inviting poets to submit their own ‘good dad’ poems for inclusion.  I’ll aim to review the site, with a fanfare, following Fathers’ Day, 2017.

Then who knows?  If we have an extraordinary body of poems celebrating extraordinary fathers, perhaps we’ll think about an anthology – either an e-book, or a ‘real’ one!  It depends how things go. No promises.

How to submit your poems

Please submit between one and three poems (less than 40 lines each) in the body of an email, to good.dadhood@gmail.com  .  They don’t have to be new poems.  As long as you own the copyright, they can still appear on this site – acknowledging where they first appeared. Please include a short (100 word max) bio with your submission. I’ll aim to publish (or re-publish) at least two poems per week from 1 January to 18 June … more if quality poems flood in, as I hope they will!

I’ll be Tweeting and Facebooking links to this website as each poem appears.  If more than one poem from your particular submission is accepted for the site, it might be held over to a later date than the first one accepted.  It depends on which poems go well together, or which provide an interesting contrast.  I’ll let you know by email which of your poems have been accepted, with a projected date for publication.

An important note

It’s a great sadness when fathering isn’t that positive.  I can appreciate something of what it means not to have had a good dad … my mother didn’t, and I am less confident that I could start a website celebrating motherhood.  My heart goes out to all children, of whatever age, who are hurting.

There are many outlets for poetry expressing the pain of negative experiences of fatherhood. This isn’t the ideal place to submit poems that can’t represent positive aspects of fatherhood, so such poems are unlikely to be published here. I hope you will find a better outlet than this one, and wish you every success with your writing

Finally …

This is a new venture for me.  Please be tolerant and patient as I learn how to be an editor of an e-zine!  If I do anything that upsets you, it will be  down to inexperience, never malice.

So please start sorting through your ‘good dad’ poems … or writing a new one!  I look forward to reading about some splendid fathers … some heroes … some, more like my own – a kind and gentle man, modest of his achievements but unforgettable, and deserving of a big, loud fanfare!

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