The Bravery of High Octane Poetry

We know there’s poetry going on in that heart of yours. You might even know this. You might even be brave enough to write some down. You might even send it into Verity La. That is brave. But is your poetry? Some thoughts from our poetry editors to help you decide:

BE BRAVE – Heed the words scorched into Verity La‘s masthead with all the gravity your poetry will allow.

BE BRAVE – Write like your life depends on it. Is your poetry like an arrow you have to pull out from your chest?

BE BRAVE – Your poetry might not even look like poetry, but be brave and follow your madness to its conclusion anyway…

BE BRAVE – Let publishers lie awake thinking about ‘markets’; think instead of readers. You may very well write to please yourself, but you should only ever publish to please your readers.

BE BRAVE – Realise, when you’ve written a poem, someone else may have beaten you to it. Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself that others have said it better – then work on how you can say it differently.

BE BRAVE – Would your Nanna be ashamed of you? If so, you just might be on to something.

BE BRAVE – If you can’t solve any problem by answering the question, ‘What would Henry Miller have done?’, we can’t help you.

If your poetry ignores all of this, we might just publish it anyway. God knows, we’re only human.

For examples of work published on Heightened Talk, visit our Vault.

Submissions accepted during the months of March and September.

Submit up to three previously unpublished poems via Submittable.


Editors: Robbie Coburn & Michele Seminara

Portrait of Robbie Coburn

Photo by Juno Gemes

Robbie Coburn was born in June 1994 in Melbourne and grew up in the rural district of Woodstock, Victoria. His poetry and criticism have been published in various Australian journals including Overland, Cordite and Going Down Swinging. He has published a collection, Rain Season, as well as several chapbooks and pamphlets. His latest chapbook is Mad SongsHis second collection of poetry The Other Flesh and a novel Conversation with Skin, are forthcoming. He is Poetry Editor for Verity La and currently resides in Melbourne. Find more from Robbie at his website.

Michele Seminara is a poet, editor and yoga teacher from Sydney. Her poetry and criticism have appeared in many online and print journals such as CorditeSeizure, Plumwood Mountain, Mascara Literary Review and Tincture Journal. She has published a full-length poetry collection, Engraft (Island Press, 2016), a chapbook, HUSH, and a collaborative chapbook, Scar to Scarwith Robbie Coburn (PressPress, 2016). Michele is also the Managing Editor of Verity La. Find her on her blog  and on Twitter @SeminaraMichele.