To visit Poems Niederngasse
Editions online in English, German and Spanish
By Pasquale Capocasa
Gasse, n. Lane, alley. An alley or narrow street used as a passageway.
Niederngasse, n. Lower street
—Wingate English-German dictionary (Swiss edition)
Poems Niederngasse, online since August 1998, is a poetry magazine based in Switzerland with editions in English, German, and Spanish.
A free monthly e-zine, with an open call for submissions, Niederngasse features the work of new as well as more established poets. Each issue showcases fifteen never before published poems by such poets as: Al Buono, Silvia Brandon Pérez, Janet Buck, Joe Lisowski. Elaine Thomas, Frank Van Zant, to name but a few. There is a column of observations by Robert Gibbons; a poetry and chapbook review by Annette Marie Hyder, and a in-depth review of online poetry e-zines by Amy Unsworth; plus original art images (paintings, drawings, photographs), and a quarterly Special Feature page. A twice yearly cash poetry prize for unpublished poets provides a forum for a wide variety of new work.
Niederngasse, the print journal, is published in January and July. Each issue contains the poetry prize winners (hence the logo, The Journal of Winning Poetry ) and twenty selected poems from the eighty odd works that appeared online within that six month period.
Having said that, I'll give you a more personal view. I'm Pasquale Capocasa, the publisher/editor of Poems Niederngasse online and Niederngasse, the print magazine. I don't take my editorship very seriously, and I'll tell you why. Since it was my idea to start this magazine I naturally wanted the editor's job. I said, “I have the most experience; I have a reasonably good idea in what direction the magazine should go, and I'm the oldest.” So I became the responsible editor of Niederngasse, online and in print. I'm honored; I do my best; I put all my energy into producing a quality product, but I don't take myself too seriously.
On the other hand, I do take Poems Niederngasse very seriously. It is important to me, because it is a publication where I would feel comfortable in submitting my work. I want a magazine that does not intimidate, one with a friendly atmosphere, an encouraging tone. A magazine that encourages all potential contributors simply to contribute, to write and to submit their work. To be sure, learn the submission process, learn to target your work. This will enhance your chances of acceptance, but in the end, submit. Write and submit your work.
To this end, I respond to submissions in a relatively short time. I edit (as much as I can) in this way: I go straight to the poems and if they interest me, I look at the bio info; if the submission doesn't interest me, I go to the bio information anyway and see who's sending me work. If I recognize a name, a previous contributor, or someone I have seen elsewhere on the Internet, I reread the submission. If something in the work strikes me I write a comment. If not, I write a short note saying thanks and invite a future submission. Because all my selections, in the end, are highly subjective, (and I tell everyone that) I don't worry about hurting feelings, or ruffling feathers. I'm having fun, enjoying the contact, and sharpening my skills. And this is exactly how I want all contributors to feel.
Visit the Submissions Page for detailed information on how we like to be approached; and for your own enjoyment be sure to read a least one issue of what we are offering online and you will know if your work fits. Other than that, we encourage you to write and to submit.