Publishing Archive

Black Ocean, An Interview with Janaka Stucky and Carrie Adams

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Continuing my quest to learn about interesting small presses, I had the opportunity to interview Black Ocean editors, Janaka Stucky and Carrie Adams.  Black Ocean has generated a fair amount of buzz around their small press and I was curious to learn more about them and what they’re working on.

Gatekeepers Part Four-point-One: on why the [red] pen is mightier than the sword (and other politically useful clichés)

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Nearly ten years ago, when I was a twenty-year-old baby-poet with a sense of self-importance even more inflated than it is today, I organized a “Poetry in Protest” reading in Amherst, Massachusetts to demonstrate against what became, a couple months later, “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” My work screening manuscripts for

Small Press Spotlight: Canarium Books

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As I said in my previous blog post about the most intriguing small presses publishing poetry, I really think small presses are publishing some of the really interesting poetry out there right now.  I had the good fortune of speaking with Joshua Edwards, the editor of Canarium Books.  He

Gatekeepers (Part Three), on comparing apples to desperate, near-extinct marsupials braving the Pacific in coconut dinghies

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At its most basic, a literary editor’s job is a series of “either/or” decisions, or a long and hopefully-not-very-drunken game of “would you rather”: the editor takes a stack of poems/stories/essays and weighs them against each other to choose what gets published and what does not. This is the

Gatekeepers (Part Two): why my pop-music philistinism makes me fear for the poetic canon

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Gatekeeper, seasons wait for your nod. / Gatekeeper, you held your breath, / made the summer go on and on.—Feist Here’s a confession, Ploughshares readers: I’m a musical dinosaur. I have an unabashed love for Green Day and Counting Crows, and I’ve listened to Wu Tang Clan’s 36 Chambers

Gatekeepers (Part One), in which I play my flute in a meadow and lament The Death of the Editor

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Editors aren’t what they used to be. I admit that I don’t have much authority to say so: I’m young(ish), my editorial “career” spans a whopping four years, and I didn’t grow up with a quill-pen in the days before simultaneous submissions, hand-delivering my poems in the snow, up-hill


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Not much fazes me in the World of Creative Writing—a terrifying realm, to be sure—and though occasionally bummed, I don’t get too shaken up by phrasing such as “Dear Writer,” “we regret to inform you,” and “over x hundred/thousand/million/billion applicants.” So it goes. There are six words, however, that

ePocalypse Now

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So! A quick caveat. By night, I’m a poet: I write, I submit, I sometimes get an acceptance, I get a bunch of rejections, and I submit again. Lather, rinse, repeat. There’s notoriously little money in poetry, however, so by day I work in the digital group of a

What Rejection Means to Me

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It took me awhile to understand that when a journal rejects your poem or short story, it isn’t an indictment of your character or a judgment of your ability as a writer; all they’re saying, really, is: “not this piece at this time.” I’ve never been one to take

An Interview with Hala Salah Eldin Hussein

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I’m delighted to devote this week’s blog post to someone who is taking a bold stand for literature. Three years ago, my agent forwarded me an e-mail from an editor/translator in Cairo. Hala Salah Eldin Hussein was interested in publishing some of my work in Arabic translation in her