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Editor Interview: Raleigh Review

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

A: Accessible complexity.

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

A: Linda Gregg, C.D. Wright, Dorianne Laux, Carl Phillips, Jenny Xie, Anne Carson, Carolyn Forche, Jack Gilbert, Marie Howe, Charles Wright, Joanna Klink, Frank Stanford, Danez Smith

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

A: Ninety-nine percent of our poetry comes from submissions. Our readers are all published poets with varying tastes. We often debate poems into the magazine during our editorial meetings.

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

A: We latch onto novel language and images, skilled awareness of sound, visceral reactions. We love a lyric poem and are equally impressed by strong narratives. We want to remember your lines, days later. We want to be surprised and envious.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: Totally in control, effortless, articulate word choice, sharp attention to form, music, image.

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

A: A cover letter should be succinct, a brief bio that includes previous publications. That's it. And please only upload one submission with multiple poems in one document.

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

A: We want to know your previous publications. A few respectable journals will induce a closer read. And a 2-3 sentence literary bio.

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

A: I try to give each poem a chance to surprise me by reading it all the way through. But I can usually tell within a few lines if a poem has potential.

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

A: Most pieces are read by at least three readers and discussed amongst us before being accepted. I like to see poems that don’t fall apart when discussed in detail. It’s not enough to have a great metaphor. You need a great metaphor with precise line breaks with enviable word choice with gorgeous imagery with impeccable musicality. At the time of our editorial discussion, we’re also considering how submissions fit together for a particular issue. It’s important to have an eclectic set of poems that still complement each other. At times this means we have to turn down a poem we really like.