The New Poet is a journal dedicated to showcase new and inspiring trends in poetry. I have started this journal with one purpose: to inspire fellow poets to write and submit their most innovative and changed work. Read the complete guidelines here.
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
DS: I look for 1) a location or setting I haven't read about before; 2) new ways to describe the familiar; and 3) a sense that the poem(s) are singular, that that one poem is the only poem out there like it. People have asked me if the "new poet" portion of the journal's name means I'm looking for unpublished poets. While I encourage those submissions, I'm also looking for poems that feel new.
SQF: What are the top three reasons a submission is rejected, other than not fitting into your answers to the above question and why ?
1) Submissions are sometimes rejected for technical formatting;
3) when the first line doesn't root a reader in a direct sense of an individual experience.
SQF: What other common mistakes do you encounter that turn you off to a submission?
DS: Misspelled words within the poems and in the cover letter.
SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a submission?
DS: I do this on occasion, when I want to read more work from the poet, or when the submission was close and I'd like to acknowledge admiration for the poems.
SQF: Based on your experience as an editor, what have you learned about writing?
DS: While I continue to be reminded of the difficulty inherent to writing, I also have learned that the possibilities are endless, and, with some thought, a poem can take many forms and cover more topics than we traditionally believe in.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't, and how would you answer it?
DS: One question that I have, and I believe has a multitude of valid responses, is why does a specific journal have X amount of issues a year? And why the quantity within a given issue?
I publish 10 poets and 10 poems each issue. Part of this reasoning is the medium: the Internet. Things happen quickly online, and I'm not out to change that. I want a reader to visit the site, enjoy the read, and not feel like they need to leave the window open for later reading, to grasp the feeling and quality of the issue. Also, I hope that a reader will pursue more poems by the poets they enjoy. Journals aren't exhaustive in their content; writers have much more work out there. Research the poets you enjoy and pursue their work.
I release 3 issues a year backed by similar reasoning: the medium of the Internet. Web pages change daily. I want readers to look forward to 30 poems a year from The New Poet in even portions throughout the year.
Thank you, David. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.
NEXT POST: 10/30--Six Questions for Andrew Lipstein, Editor, Thick Jam