Whenever a new year starts and we begin looking for submissions to fill the journal, it’s generally prudent to set out some guidelines for those looking to submit. This is a dowsing stick intended to aid you in finding the poetic groundwater and should give (I hope) a baseline of what it is I enjoy and I am looking for in submissions.
I’m looking for the transmutation of too many feelings or love letters to people who stopped listening. Songs from the wrong lives lived rightly and war hymns of the dispirited millennial. Personas from the point of view of animate objects and objectified people. I’m looking for tangible passion rolled into wit; charm soaked in self-reflection; humor mixed with death. Poems engulfed in the polarities of feelings and images and words. The mixing of everything you know into the manifesto of just getting by.
Let’s start an argument with poems. Make me not agree with you, and have me understand why I don’t. Or, make me agree with you, but understand why others wouldn’t. I want to see poems that are bold in scope and message. Poems that aren’t afraid to say something unusual and ones that find their homes in the world of the understated.
I want to end this guideline with two quotes I think describe the intangible aspects I love and seek out in poems. I look for poems I can feel physically and ones I know have existed somewhere inside of me before I read them. Or as Mary Ruefle describes “a poem must rival a physical experience…” and as T.S. Eliot said “genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.”
To wrap up, I would just like to say thank you for sharing your work with us. Sending out poems can be a nerve-racking process. You’re never sure of what will come of them. I commend your courage in sharing your work with us and want to emphasize love and care that goes into reading each submission. Good luck!