Editor Interview: The New Verse News

Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.

A: Current-events poetry

James Penha, Editor on 04 September 2010 Read other answers to this question

Q: If you publish writing, who are your favorite writers? If you publish art, who are your favorite artists?

A: Sharon Olds, Li-Young Lee, Adrienne Rich, Naomi Shihab Nye, Louise Gluck, Rae Armantrout, Ron Padgett, Marie Ponsot, Allen Ginsberg, Stanley Kunitz, Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, and the poets we publish.

James Penha, Editor on 04 September 2010 Read other answers to this question

Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?

A: We try to be as timely as the day's headlines. This means that sometimes a poem we use may be in progress--raw and passionate--and published within minutes of its submission! Sometimes a poem is updated and revised subsequent to its first publication in The New Verse News. We allow for that; we relish that. Of course, we also use finely-crafted work a poet may have written a while before submission, but one that is relevant to a current issue or event.

James Penha, Editor on 04 September 2010 Read other answers to this question

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Do not confuse an essay or diatribe broken up into lines an appropriate poem. To win our hearts, a submission must work as a poem and also have relevance to the news of the day.

James Penha, Editor on 04 September 2010 Read other answers to this question

Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?

A: Do not confuse an essay or diatribe broken up into lines an appropriate poem.

James Penha, Editor on 04 September 2010 Read other answers to this question

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: To win our hearts, a submission must work as a poem and also have relevance to the news of the day.

James Penha, Editor on 04 September 2010 Read other answers to this question

Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?

A: Most submitters get it right, but a few do send poems attached rather than in the body of emails. And some just don't seem to understand the very special niche we try to maintain for The New Verse News: politically progressive poetry on current issues and events. Rants, even those with which we agree, do not appeal to us as editors unless they are wonderfully written rants. Neither do sincere poems espousing peace and justice and human rights and the environment in general. We search for poems tied specifically to the day's headlines that do not merely repeat those headlines, but provide a poetic point of view that enlightens us further.

James Penha, Editor on 04 September 2012 Read other answers to this question

Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?

A: Cover letters? We can take 'em or leave 'em. We do request a brief bio that we can use if a poem is accepted. Otherwise, the poetry is the thing.

James Penha, Editor on 04 September 2012 Read other answers to this question

Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: We can generally tell if the piece isn't right within the first few lines, but we do read every piece to the end. We can afford to do that with poetry.

James Penha, Editor on 04 September 2012 Read other answers to this question

Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?

A: If it is not time-sensitive, it will be re-read and re-read and held for an appropriate news day.

James Penha, Editor on 04 September 2010 Read other answers to this question