Friday, March 4, 2011

Tips and Advice for Poetry Editors

Hey, I know a lot of poets, and they all write poems that are way better than the cr*p I see in the lit reviews! I'm gonna start my own magazine, and publish really good stuff! --Ever had that thought?

Well, time was that starting a zine was tough-- you had to know layup, typesetting, printing, distribution... but these days word-processing and the internet, along with print on demand publishing, makes it easy to start a 'zine, or edit an anthology.

Oddly, although there's far too much advice around on how to write poetry, it's a lot harder to find much advice around on how to be a poetry editor. But, if you really wanna be a poetry editor, you might first, check out the wisdom from Elizabeth Barrette's blog The Wordsmith's Forge, with some tips:

Once you've started it, she follows it up with "Affordable ways to attract contributors". (Much of which advice comes down to "treat contributors nicely"-- good advice, I can tell you!) And, if that's not enough, she has a list of links of Resources for Editing Poetry.

Go to it!


Anonymous said...

Thank you! I appreciate the signal boost. I love poetry and I want to encourage poetry editors to handle it fluently. So I'm always on the lookout for good resources.

pottygok said...

One thing that I think a lot of editors lack, that Elizabeth touches upon in number 6 but probably could be stated more directly, is a vision for their magazine or journal. A lot of editors start with the idea of creating a magazine, better than all the rest, that will totally change the world and the literary scene forever, but don't have a clear vision of what that means. This makes for a weak guidelines, sloppy and random choices, and disconnected collections. Editors with clear vision--Goblin Fruit, Longshot, Cabinet des Fees, Stone Telling, etc.--create concise, well wrought issues of solid poetry throughout. Those without a clear vision tend to create inconsistent journals that are less pleasurable to read.


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau