CHRONOLOGY. A monologue.
Well into the future. Possibly Fall, 2007, possibly the year we all began pedal-powering flying cars.
Gumball Poetry is no longer accepting submissions.
The Last Expedition really was intended to be just that. But then we fell in love all over again. It was some fun while it lasted.
But then, alas, the electricity petered out. We reached the end of the rope. The hike was over. There were no more skittles left in the package. Even the cockroaches returned to other, less-literary projects.
Thank you for all the fun.
If you would like to
contact us, please use the contact form. If you know Ben or Laura, a much better way to contact us is via ideacog.net
July, 2004 - I am not a blogger So it turns out it's been nearly two years since I last wrote here. Hello? My illness is much better, thank you. And I finally have back the use of my hands. In other news. We have a new issue. If you've only read this news, the good news is we have THREE new issues. Careful on the overdose.
How you like these apples: The Last Expedition, The Secret Tunnel and The Embedded Poet. I think we've officially filled our quota of issues that begin with 'The'.
October, 2002 - Gumball Poetry Lives! OK, we didn't get the issue out exactly in August. But the issue is out. It's heading toward a machine near you. If there isn't a machine near you my suggestion would be to move. We're still exploring options for this big publishing adventure of ours. I think one interesting way to go would be to simply get a hold of existing bulk vendors who ALREADY know about all those silly details like where to go to get capsules stuffed, etc. And simply give the poetry to them. If you're one of those people, contact me.
In other news, I just talked to Shanna Germain of Nervy Girl -- and she pointed me to the article she did on us for the Portland Tribune last January. Thanks Shanna. As for the new issue. Yes. It'll come online soon.
July, 2002 - What happened to Gumball Poetry? As many of you may already know, Laura Moulton (editor) and myself (Ben) just spent the last six months living in South America. That left two people (the wonderful Teresa Hill, the marvelous Libbey White) to run the ship while we were gone. However, we're back. To the ole USA. If you've been waiting a long time for an answer on your submission, never fear, the end (of the wait) is near. If you're looking for something to do in the meantime, check out my new project: isbaht (ideacog site building and hosting thing). It's a donation-based site design and hosting thing for writers, non-profits, artists, and other cool projects.
Otherwise, new issue due out in August! Whoo hoo!
December, 2001 - Spam for sale. Boy do we get a lot spam. We've got enough to sink several aircraft carriers, were the need to arise. "Here's the Information You Requested!" -- I swear, I requested no such thing. How do all of you deal with spam? Write back nasty notes? Fry it up for dinner? Collage art? Is there a solution? Let us know at (are you listening, spammers? Here's another chance to grab our email address, though I promise you you're last in line) contact us. There's got to be a good art project in all this spam, somewhere...
November, 2001: Gumball Poetry is featured in a great article by Susan G. Hauser of the the Wall Street Journal. Got a Sweet Spot for Poetry? Chew on This.
October, 2001: And summer is gone. But we have a new issue. (Have we really been doing this for nearly 3 years now?) It'll be up in a just a short week or so and it's tentatively called Operation Infinite Poetry. Just joking. Come on now. It's tentatively called What we were promised, though What we inferred as promises has also been played around with. We also have a Logo Contest running for all of you doodlers, pencil scratchers and professional logo artists. Go here, and we'll make you ever-so-famous. It ends November 5th. We're just full of contests these days.
In other news - did we mention that Libbey White has come on board as an Assistant Editor? Everybody should give her a hurrah at
libbey-at-gumballpoetry.com. I spam-proofed the email there, but I'm sure you can figure it out enough to give her a nice welcome.
September, 2001: Aye, what a month of news September was, hardly poetic. And the news continues, it seems. Laura Moulton, our editor, who teaches English as a Second Language lost half of her students because they were called home by their embassies and parents. We put up a notice about the September 11th tragedy here.
Later, June, 2001: Gumball Poetry announces a Poetry Contest! It's our very first and it's going to be blammo. Head over to the contest guidelines.
And did we say end of April for the next issue? Oh my. Let's have one at the end of June. Shall we?
June, 2001: So we're switching hosts. You web developers out there may know the hell that it is switching a somewhat large, complicated site to a new web host. And believe me, it's not as fun as it sounds. So if you notice any oddities, come across missing pages, gremlins, whatnot, please do send us an email. In secondary news, however, Ben Parzybok (the so-called publisher and the one who refers to himself in third person, presently) was recently laid off from his silly dot-com job, along with the rest of the industry. Hooray for poverty! It's easy to forget what a relief it is. So he'll have plenty of time to fine tune the site, work in the backyard and dumpster-dive for furniture. If you're in need of a web developer, by all means, stop by www.ideacog.net.
March, 2001: (Ides of March safely passed, phew.) The editor and publisher have had a nice little break from Gumball Poetry the last couple of months, went to Guatemala, did some canoeing, rode our bicycles, read some books that have been on the shelf since the dawn of time, worked, of course, there's always the insistence of bills. And we launched another strange, sometimes silly, and wholly un-needed little project through our sometimes alter-identity www.ideacog.net called Datablob: The Nonsense Exchange. It has soft, anti-consumerism undertones - we still, as ever, believe the web is the ultimate tool of activists, but it's a nice, friendly little nonsense community nonetheless. If you're looking for some good nonsense, login to Datablob to get your fill. Otherwise, see you at the next issue of Gumball Poetry which will debut around the end of April, 2001.
November, 2000: Gumball Poetry saw several exciting new unveilings this month. Number one, the mechanism that runs The Psychic Book Project was completely overhauled due to Madame Lola's (our in-house psychic) departure for Antarctica. As such, book divinations are now done automagically by Madame Lola's robotic dog, Pietro. You'll just have to head on over there to get the full scoop.
Two: We now have a bookstore. We're quite proud of the Gumball Bookstore, not only is it sexy and fun (you can search for a book by natural disaster - how many bookstores let you do that!?) but readers can suggest books to be added to the bookstore and authors can list their books (though we need too flip the proper switches to make them become active in the store).
Meanwhile - yes, we're late with the issue, yes, we're working our butts off to get it out there. Soon, soon, soon, we promise.
A correction - Some of you may have gotten here via ViaMagazine, the American Automobile Association's Magazine, which did an article on us. In it they said we receive a thousand submissions per issue. whoops. Our fault, we missed it on the proof. We receive closer to 200-300 submissions per issue, with 3-5 poems per submission, thus about 1000 poems. We're always hungry for submissions, see the submissions guidelines
August, 2000: Another Gumball Bulletin hit the street. Read it here. In it we asked the readers to decide the fate of a mysteriously empty submission that came our way (nothing but an SASE) by writing a letter in response. Here are two readers' replies:
August 5, 2000
This letter is to inform you that we have received your submission
and would like to publish it in our next issue. Your use of minimalism and
imagery were powerful. The sense of emptiness was apparent immediately, as
was your sparing use of line breaks to convey a sense of loss.
Please send bio information as soon as possible. Also, we would be
interested in seeing more of your work. There is a real possibility that we
may find space in our magazine for many more pieces provided they look as
good in the layout as this poem.
The Editors, Gumball Poetry
(thank you Carol Case!)
For the writer that sent the empty envelope:
I know exactly how you feel. You fear rejection and you have good reason to.
Early in the history of GBP I submitted a limerick that was not published either.
I still think it may have been the best limerick that they ever received.
Alas, it was my last submission, in fact I find that I have gradually ceased
to think in limericks. I think you have found the ideal way to function as
a poet and make just as much money as 99 percent of them without having to
cope with the letters complimenting you on your submission but regretfully
assigning your verse to the dust bin of litterary history. It could be worse,
at least your wife is probably not spending time in Central America while
you are not writing. Right? Best of luck on your future envelopes. One
minor suggestion would be to not include a stamp any more. In fact why not
leave your return address and even the stamp off the outside envelope?
Best of luck.
(thank you Roy Moulton!)
July, 2000: It is most certainly July. Deep in the gumball labs another issue is bubbling over precariously placed test tubes and causing certain editors to faint from the fumes. Expect to see this one with multi-colored capsules and named something like "Plants that look like states" or "The Get Naked issue." Also - finally - expect a kickin new media/flash section to open up on the site. Got flash to submit, email us. In the meantime, read up on some of the press we're getting. NPR's Dmae Roberts did an interview on Gumball Poetry for the show On The Media. See or listen to it here. The On The Media site is hosted by WNYC out of New York.
Portland, Oregon's weekly newspaper, The Willamette Week recently said this about us in their 'Best of Portland' issue:
Best Quarter's Worth of Culture
Thankfully, for discriminating coin-operated candy machine connoisseurs, the urge for culture and kitsch can be placated at the same time. Since last summer, the folks at the Portland-based Gumball Poetry have been stuffing those plastic bubbles with delicious little chunks of rhyme and meter. Published quarterly, each "issue" contains around 25 individual poems--each at the economical rate of 25 cents a pop.
Creator Ben Parzybok and his crackerjack poetry posse dreamed up the mechanical bards after realizing that packaged prose could catch the interest of a wider audience. Portland seems to agree. Six gumball dispensers are currently poppin' out the poems here in town as well as a few machines in Washington, Montana and Idaho. Next up, look for G.P. wildcaps: poetry capsules with miniature art and sculpture inside by Oregon artists Chris Kelly and Ezra Parzybok.
July Addendum: Seems no one took us seriously with our challenge to submit fake banners in our "Advertising Section" (and yes, for you grammarians, the quotes are appropriate). Yes, we want fake banners. Yes, we want you to send them to us. Yes, they can be about spam (the meaty kind) or, alternately, about your grandmother, if you like.
May, 2000: Have we neglected to mention the Gumball Post? An online poetry workshop created especially special and just for you. Git on over there.
March, 2000: Kidnapped is what happened, apparently, to February. None of us here noticed it. If you know what happened to February 2000 (yes, we do worry a bit about this poor, foreshortened month) then let us know. One thing that happened in February, though, that we do remember, is that we placed an ad in the Willamette Week (Portland, OR weekly) for some help with this project. After receiving an overwhelming response, we've wittled the prospective workers down to about 9. Expect to see a lot of new faces around here doing amazing, new things.
January, 2000: What to do with all the generators we bought? That is the question. In the meantime, we find that as this idea catches on we need a couple of generators just to get all the work done. Know of any motivated, responsible persons interested in an intern/steady volunteer position in a literary journal on the (ahem) cutting edge of publishing? Send them our way. Oh yes, and a new beautiful issue in bright blue capsules hits the street. Issue three. Joy.
December, 1999: Aye yai yai. It is the action, and not the history of action, that is interesting. But assuredly, much has happened here at the two twin towering towers of GBP headquarters. You can now order your own, encapsulated issue here. Project Wildcaps was introduced, read all about it here. And what else? Oh, many miracles, many miracles indeed. Despite all of these miracles, we'd still like a nifty way to pay for all of this, as well as our continuing efforts, without diving hogwild into advertising. If you think you're the type of person who may just have some insight into this dilemna, email us or head on over to our sponsorship page.
September, 1999: Oh goodness, lots happens everyday. September 6th marked the debut of The Psychic Book Project. We'll try to do better at keeping this thing updated, but no promises here.
July 2, 1999: Laura Moulton and Ben Parzybok interviewed on KBOO Radio in the show Electric Salon by Marlene Smith.
May, 1999: Interviewed on Writers' Exchange, May 29th, 1999
March, 1999: We had a mention in the Sacremento Bee
Sometime in the murky past over a dinner of burnt toast and coffee: Gumball Poetry was thought up.