Rougarou is an online literary journal run out of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Poetry Editor Mark Jenkins is at the head of the team, which includes faculty and students. They are incredibly selective, publishing only one issue a year and only a handful of poets in each issue. Last year they published five poets. This year six.
This is probably the smallest number of poets I have seen accepted by any magazine over a year’s length. To put this in perspective, The New Yorker only takes a few poets per issue, but they’re a weekly publication.
Out of thousands of literary magazines, Rougarou is #1 for discerning and adept parsimony.
I am exceedingly thrilled and pleased to be one of the six accepted. I’m in excellent company too!
My poem is “Long Term Snow,” one of the very best I have ever written, no doubt. I have a deep personal attachment to this work. My relationship to it is somewhat like Nicolo Bussotti’s to his Red Violin.
If that sounds a little eerie, so is the word “Rougarou.” It wonderfully and directly relates to Cajun folklore. The website plays it up nicely with a gentle yet haunting ambience.
Don’t know what a rougarou is? Neither did I. Here’s a rather lengthy quote from Wikipedia:
“According to Barry Jean Ancelet, an academic expert on Cajun folklore and professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the tale of the rougarou is a common legend across French Louisiana. Both words are used interchangeably in southern Louisiana. Some people call the monster rougarou; others refer to it as the loup garou.
The rougarou legend has been spread for many generations, either directly from French settlers to Louisiana (New France) or via the French Canadian immigrants centuries ago.
In the Cajun legends, the creature is said to prowl the swamps around Acadiana and Greater New Orleans, and possibly the fields or forests of the regions. The rougarou most often is described as a creature with a human body and the head of a wolf or dog, similar to the werewolf legend.”
Kudos to Alpha Editor Perkins and the wolf pack for linking the title of their journal to Professor Ancelet’s research on local myths and legends.
Rougarou is a professional-weight journal that only needs six poems to blow you away, or maybe just one that frissons down your spine with the lycanthropic duality of a caressing claw. Enjoy!