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I am not a professional poet. A few years a poem of mine was published and reviewed by the South Asian Ensemble journal. This journal no longer exists, I cannot find it online and neither in print. I wrote to the former editors, and did not hear back from them either. Neither could I locate the issue of the journal with my poem on Google on miscellaneous websites. As a result the published poem is lost.

When I try to submit to a new journal, it asks me if the poem was published elsewhere. How should I submit the poem for review again?

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You could simply lie. It's extremely unlikely that you would be caught trying to republish a poem that you had published before, especially because the last publication in which it was published is more or less lost. On the off chance that you somehow get caught, you could simply try again at a second or third literary journal. Given the great number of literary magazines which exist in print and online and the extremely small readership the average said literary magazine enjoys, you could eventually pass off your work as new even if you were to have the misfortune to be caught over and over again.

Of course, this leads to the natural point: if getting a byline in a small journal was so inconsequential to you that after just a few years you feel as if the achievement has faded from reality, what do you hope will happen were your poem to be published a second time?

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The short answer is that you shouldn't send it to any journal that states it does not publish works that have already been in print, regardless of whether or not it can still be found. Otherwise, you are misrepresenting the work. There are journals that will re-publish work and you should focus on submitting this poem to those. Check their guidelines.

I'm curious why you are so intent on having that one poem published again. If you were successful getting published once, why not work on other poems?

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  • The question you ask has a subjective answer- I like that poem and want it published (again). I am not a poet and do not write poetry frequently. Second comment, I could not find a reputable journal that re-publishes work, only low tiered poetry journals. Do you have ideas? – bissi Feb 26 at 9:49
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    @bissi - I check Duotrope.com for most of my market searches. They have a good search screen but I don't think previously published is a selection. Poets & Writers (pw.org) also has a database of magazines. Also, probably not easily searchable on your criteria. – Terri Simon Feb 26 at 18:41

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