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Editor Interview: Outsider Poetry

This interview is provided for archival purposes. The listing is not currently active.

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

A: Outsider poetry and art

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

A: I really admired Andrei Codrescu's editorship of Exquisite Corpse while I was growing up, and dozens of different small press, inclusive literary zines like Gargoyle, Chiron Review, Bogg, Wormwood Review etc during that era.

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

A: It's not being cloying when I say I like the writers who submit their work to Outsider Poetry. Every day I receive something new and unique.

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

A: I'm not aware that anyone is specifically publishing similar material.

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

A: Don't be afraid to discuss topics involving mental illness or disability. Indeed our goal is to show people with mental illness or disability can create and have their voices heard.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: There isn't one. In general, be considerate, maybe make an effort to know who we are and what we do, and appreciate that an editor receives a lot of submissions from a lot of different directions.

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

A: Not much. The writers who gravitate towards Outsider Poetry seem to get it. One thing I'd like to see is longer submissions. Submissions of one or two pieces are a little thin for us.

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

A: Whatever they want to let me know. Whatever they want to be known.

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

A: I think all editors develop that spider sense. It's a quick process, but I try to be fair. Poems that start in one direction can often take me somewhere I wasn't expecting, so I stay tuned until the end.

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

A: None. Me and Thomas are the editors. There's no board or elaborate screening process. We don't care who you are, where you have published before, or if you go to a respected University. If one of us likes it, it's in.

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

A: Like a normal day for anyone else, except that I'm aware people are sending me their life's work and I need to be sensitive to that when I sit down to make editorial decisions.

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

A: We're an internet only publication, so my answer to this is obvious. There are many ways to reach an audience and archive work one finds significant now.

Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?

A: Never. The file sharing process occasionally changed the appearance of a piece, or I find occasional grammatical errors, and when that happens I contact a writer and work with them to make sure it appears as they intended. In terms of content? Never. You say what you want.