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Editor Interview: Redactions: Poetry & Poetics

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

A: Harmonies, images, music

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

A: Journals: American Poetry Journal, Blue Earth Review, Sugar House Review, Burnside Review, Front Range
Presses: BOA, Zone 3 Press, Cleveland State University Press, Black Lawrence Press, Sage Hill Press, University of Pittsburgh Press, Copper Canyon, Graywold
I know I've left out some fine journals and presses

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

A: Living poets: W. S. Merwin, Gregory Orr, Rob Carney, William Heyen, Christopher Buckley, Robert Kelly, Keetje Kuipers, Linda Bierds, Charles Wright, Alberto Rios, and hundreds more.

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

A: We are truly eclectic. You will see narrative next to lyric, long Ginsbergian rhythms next to short, concise Oppen-like poems, Deep Image poems like Robert Bly's next to Deep Image poems like Robert Kelly's next to experimental poems. We are open minded to any poem that pays attention to language and/or has good sounds. Mmm. Sounds. Rhythms. Harmonies. Melodies. Tones. Mmm.

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

A: Attach all your poems in one document or paste into the email.
Pay attention to language.
Pay attention to line breaks. For instance, don't end on "the".
You only have a few lines to get my attention. Don't make me bored by line 10 and especially line three.
I'm a sucker for a good harmony.
Make sure the poem surprises and excites you.
No mailed submissions.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: The ideal submission has 3-5 poems in one document including a cover letter with snail mail address, email address, and brief bio. I do want to know who you are and where you've been published. It's interesting to me. Where you've published won't influence me, but it's interesting to know. If we've appeared in a journal together, let me know that, too. That's fun.

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

A: Sending only one poem.
Sending each poem as a separate attachment.
Sending more than six poems.

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

A: I do like cover letters. I do want to know a little about you. I am curious about where you have been published, however where you've been published won't influence my decision.

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

A: Some poems quickly become obvious that they are not paying attention to language. I read until I'm bored or the poem drifts from the intensity of language. Usually, I read to the end.

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

A: If the submission makes it through the first round, then the guest editor and I discuss the poems in more depth.

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

A: I don't not read unless I'm in an accepting, open, good, and attentive mood. If I find I drift from one of those moods, I stop reading.
If something seems somewhat interesting, it gets to the second round. On the second round is where the full and deliberate attention is given, and this time by two people.

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

A: Publishers can do what they want. I'm all for those who create a bigger audience for poetry. Please publishers go at it. I, however, prefer the printed page. I like the heft of the journal in my hands. I can have a better discussion with the poem when it is printed. However, I do post our Pushcart Prize nominated poems on our website,, and I do utilize that site well. There is a ton of valuable information there for poets, like a page with every poetry book publisher in the world.
We also have a Facebook page.
I have also started a poetry and wine blog: It's an extension of Redactions. Here you will find my book reviews before the appear in the journal, other reviews that won't make it into the journal because of space issues, and discussions about poetry.