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Editor Interview: Origami Poems Project

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

A: micro-chapbooks of poetry

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

A: ELJ Publications, Rattle, Tahoma Review, Tieferet, Valley Press, Naugatuck River Review, Spirit First

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

A: Billy Collins, Martin Willitts Jr., Helen Burke, Howie Good, Corey Mesler, Peg Quinn, Robert Okaji, Nancy Jasper, James Penha, Peg Quinn. Along with Emily Dickinson, John Keats, Milton.

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

A: Our Project's goal is to reach poetry enthusiasts and so-called non-readers alike. We offer free, palm-sized micro-chapbooks which are available for as a downloadable single-page PDF. We charge no fee for submissions.

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

A: First print and read a few of our publications. The most recent micro-chapbooks are always presented on the Home page. All of our micro-chapbooks are available to download and print - for free. On the poet's bio page we highlight a poem from each collection.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: An ideal submission comes in many forms! However, without being too coy, we appreciate receiving 1 to 8 poems either as a Word document or included in the body of the email. Include a brief but informal salutation so we don't feel as if we've simply been sent something akin to junk mail. After the writers view our origami book format, they will see the small but impressive landscape that is available for their work. We are also proud of our covers which often features original drawings, photos.

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

A: We are a small Project and will publish perhaps 4 micro-chapbooks a month - at most. Send us a cohesive set of poems that will transport well in the form of our small chapbook setting. Also, we gravitate to writing that, at the very least, opens a fissure of light into the otherwise dark atmosphere the poem may portray.

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

A: In the beginning, during the submission process, we need to know very little. A "friendly" exchange is always appreciated, however. Once the chapbook is accepted and ready to print we will need a brief bio along with a photo and snail mail address. Every published poet receives a packet of their books.

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

A: Unless we receive a submission of over 10 pages, we read all of the work submitted. But, yes, we can often tell within reading the first few poems whether the work is a good fit for us. Please allow 6 months between submissions.

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

A: We give preference to work that is original and unpublished. Our review process turn-around is fairly quick.

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

A: I read the initial submission to get a feel for the work. Then the poet, title of submission and any details in the submission email are recorded. Life circumstances aside, I try to respond to the submitting poet within the week. The submissions will be read at least twice, if not three times before response is given. - However, I am influenced by a talk given by Billy Collins a few years ago where he said that he'll know within the first few lines of a poem whether it interests him. I confess to the same inclination.

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

A: I would love to use electronic submissions but the finances of the OPP do not allow it. It is only - or mostly - important for the publisher to be as true to his/her ideals or goals whether this means being "traditional" or utilizing the gizmo applications du jour.