Friday, March 5, 2010

Six Questions for Martha Clarkson, Poetry Editor, Word Riot

Word Riot publishes experimental and literary fiction (flash fiction to 1000 words and stories from 1000-6500 words), non-fiction (personal essays and very short non-fiction to 650 words), poetry,  and reviews, interviews, and articles (please query first).  Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a poem and why?

MC: Vivid imagery/Unusual descriptive voice for this concrete imagery/attention to line breaks

I look for these things because they make good poems.Without them, you have banal poetry and that's not what Word Riot wants.

SQF: What are the top three reasons a poem is rejected, other than not fitting into your answers to question one and why?

MC: If a poem rambles, without purpose, it will be rejected. If it rambles without concrete imagery, it will be rejected. If it is trite in any way, it won't make it in.

SQF: What other mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a poem?

MC: "Untitled" always turns me off -- make the effort. Figure out a good title. Typos in submissions, while they can be corrected, show a lack of attention by the writer.

SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a poem?

MC: Sometimes I provide comments, depending. I will make the effort especially if we are interested in a poem but see a couple minor edits that could really help. I hope to have interactive dialogue with the poet about this.

SQF: Your guidelines state you accept "experimental and unique writing that we feel exists beyond the usual categories of fiction, poetry, and essay." Can you provide an example?

No response provided.

SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?

No response provided.

Thank you, Martha. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.

NEXT POST: 3/8-- Six Questions for Mark Budman, Publisher/Editor, Vestal Review

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