Thursday, June 11, 2015

Getting to Know You

When The Five-Two opened to submissions in August 2011, I answered Duotrope's editor interview questions. The interview was officially available only to markets older than six months, but I wanted to give some sense what I was looking for right away. I've updated my answers below with poets whose work I've accepted multiple times:

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

A: Poetry about crime.

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

A: Nerve Cowboy, Barbaric Yawp, Asinine Poetry, Defenestration, Red Fez.

Q: Who are your favorite poets?

A: My personal favorites include Philip Levine, Donald Justice, Sharon Olds, Kim Addonizio, and Sharon Bryan. Poets I've published multiple times at The Five-Two are Nancy Scott, Charles Rammelkamp, David S. Pointer, Robert Cooperman, Paul Hostovsky, and Catherine Wald.

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

A: I publish one poem per week year-round, including audio/video of the poem being read and the poet's brief reflection on how the poem was written. I then collect each year of fifty-two poems in annual ebooks specially formatted to display poetic lines.

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

A: Read these sample Lineup poems and archived 5-2 poems. Follow our submission guidelines.

Q: Describe the ideal submission.

A: An honest, powerful reaction to what the poet sees as crime. Confident in its tone. Nothing gratuitous.

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

A: Submitting simultaneously—no simultaneous submissions, please—and giving their submission emails the wrong subject line, which can lead to misfiling.

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

A: Whatever they care to share. I don't pry.

Q: How much of a piece do you read before making the decision to reject it?

A: I read the whole poem to get a sense where the poet wants to go.

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

A: I sometimes suggest changes to a poem before accepting it.

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

A: Busy (I also write).

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

A: It's very important. Editors need a working knowledge of as many word processing programs as possible, and email allows for much faster correspondence than snail mail. The Five-Two's website format allows me to keep poetry on readers' minds year-round, and our video extras present our content in a fresh way.

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