Editor Interview: Red Paint Hill Poetry Journal

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

A: gut-filled poetry

Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?

A: Radar, The Adroit, Vinyl, Waxwing, Hermeneutic Chaos, Gulf Coast, AGNI, Southern Poetry Review, Zone 3

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

A: Danez Smith, Jericho Brown, Aziza Barnes, John Manuel Arias, Tiana Clark, Natalie Eilbert, Ocean Vuong, Maggie Smith-Beeler, Jennifer Givhan, Charles Simic, Stephen Dunn, Ted Hughes, Anne Sexton, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Anna Akhmatova, Tatevik Khurshudyan, Mary Oliver, Sylvia Plath

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

A: Red Paint Hill Poetry Journal publishes a wide array of writers, from beginning to emerging to established, who have control of language. Our main goal is to promote writers, and to promote phenomenal poetry. As a reader, I want to know the raison d'ĂȘtre behind the poem; essentially, what is in it for the speaker? For this reason, the poems we choose possess emotional depth that is driven by strong, unexpected imagery.

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

A: The best advice is to pay attention to the guidelines. Make sure your work fits the tone of the journal, which means you should familiarize yourself with the writing we have published. Make sure you aren't telling the reader how to feel, but rather guide them through your unique, cutting imagery.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission would be free of extraneous thoughts and ideas, would have emotional connection, that has concrete imagery, and unexpected phrasing. I love when a writer uses an adjective or a modifier that makes me back up and read the poem again. I love writers that are bold, unnerving and uninhibited.

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

A: Oftentimes I get submissions addressing a sir or madame; we have no sirs on our team. We are all female editors. With that said, I think submitters believe that because we are an all female staff that we want overly sentimental love poems. We don't. At all.

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

A: I do not have a preference in regards to cover letters, though a brief hello is always nice. Our goal is to promote writers, to promote poetry, so should we choose a poem for publication, we hope readers will look for more poems from our writers. It is easier for readers to find more work from that writer if they see previous publications.

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

A: I read the entire submission before rejecting. As I read, if I see something that will improve a piece, I will make that suggestion. So, to me, it is important to read every poem that is sent to us.

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

A: If I am on the fence about a particular poem, I will let it ruminate before rejecting right away. If I hold on to it for a while, unable to decide, then it usually means that something is holding me back from accepting, but I will go back to it and read again before I make a final decision.

Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?

A: I review all submissions myself. This can be a very daunting task. Red Paint Hill is my passion, and I spend endless hours a day on deciding how to continue to push the journal further, to make it better, to make it mean something to others as it does to me.

Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?

A: Modern technologies are vital, making the process much more cost effective and timely, and they allow for larger audiences.