Q: Describe what you publish in 25 characters or less.
A: Crafted, resonant poems.
Q: What other current publications (or publishers) do you admire most?
A: The North, PNReview, Poetry Review, Butcher’s Dog, The Frogmore Papers, Valley Press, Nine Arches, Under the Radar, Calder Valley Press... so many to learn from and admire.
Q: If you publish writing, who are your favorite writers? If you publish art, who are your favorite artists?
A: Whoever’s in the latest issue! Beyond that it's not for an editor to have favourites.
Q: What sets your publication apart from others that publish similar material?
A: The variety of work we publish, to consistent and exacting standards. We respect our would-be contributors’ good faith and offer feedback to show our choices are not whimsical or arbitrary. Our concerns are practical and contextual as well as intrinsic: poems need to optimise the A5 page, we have no more or less than 60 pages and each issue has to cohere. They also have to do their author and fellow authors full justice in the longer-term.
Q: What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to your publication?
A: Send us your best work. If we feel it’s just a few tweaks short we’ll say so; feedback and/or rejection may mean its best form and publisher are to come.
But also remember there isn’t always a quick fix: the 'back burner' is a great editor.
Q: Describe the ideal submission.
A: Short modest covering letter, poem titles listed, each poem under one page, every line delivering something, no typos. Someone who’s clearly read the magazine and guidelines. That’s always a good start.
Q: What do submitters most often get wrong about your submissions process?
A: Sending at or after the end of the month. It’s an iterative process - we don’t leave it to the last minute. Much as we like engaging with poetics, we have all on to read and respond to each poem once, so can’t accept re-writes either, unless expressly requested. Use the feedback to try elsewhere.
Q: How much do you want to know about the person submitting to you?
A: A cover letter is a courtesy. We work unpaid as editors and don’t like to feel our efforts are taken for granted. Brevity is also courteous. While we accept some writers’ need to savour their successes, we’re much more interested in the poems.
Q: If you publish writing, how much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?
A: We publish poems, and we read every single mark on the page.
Q: What additional evaluations, if any, does a piece go through before it is accepted?
A: Andy Boobier, whose main remit is layout and design, is also an experienced editor and poet - but the hurdles listed above are usually rigorous enough.
Q: What is a day in the life of an editor like for you?
A: Full-on, intensive, exhausting, relentless, mind-boggling. Ultimately - eight weeks on - satisfying.
Q: How important do you feel it is for publishers to embrace modern technologies?
A: It’s not either or: both are important and we do both - neither to excess. For a full creative rationale see the editorial in our first Issue (85) published on the website (www.pennineplatform.com) - as are all our editorials, plus a number of poem texts and audio tracks.
Q: How much do you edit an accepted piece prior to publication?
A: It depends: many poems are published exactly as they come, but we do all the above on occasions to varying degrees, and always with the author’s final approval.
Q: Do you nominate work you've published for any national or international awards?
A: We haven’t yet - haven’t had time - but don’t rule it out. Not always entirely convinced by the awards system either (see Issue 89 editorial).
Meanwhile I know our poets see publication in a beautiful print magazine as its own reward.