These Fragile Lilacs is a biannual journal containing "poetry that's tightly constructed and for sharp poetry with strong metaphors, similes, and imagery. We like poetry of any length and genre and like to publish both new and established poets." Read the complete guidelines here.
SQF: Why did you start this magazine?
Laura Hanna: I started These Fragile Lilacs because I felt there were not enough journals that represented minority voices. I also thought it would be a fun experience to run my very own journal (so far it has been awesome)!
SQF: What are the top three things you look for in a submission and why?
LH: When evaluating a submission, I look for surprising imagery, strong metaphors, and medium to short-length poetry (I will publish a long poem or two in each issue, but I prefer short to medium-length poems). I also get excited when I see poems dealing with social justice issues, but this is not a requirement. We publish poems on a wide range of topics. So, send us your best work!
SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?
LH: This is a difficult question to answer because I try to keep an open mind. I would say that clichés make me cringe a little bit (here is a link to some common poetry clichés). It's more surprising and rewarding to read poetry with strong, unique images.
SQF: Do you provide comments when you reject a submission?
LH: Since TFL receives so many submissions, it would become a full-time job to leave comments about why a submission was rejected.
SQF: Based on your experience as an editor, what have you learned about writing?
LH: I've learned that you can write a poem about just about any topic. I've encountered poems about such a wide range of topics, and it's enjoyable to read it all.
SQF: What one question on this topic do you wish I'd asked that I didn't? And how would you answer it?
LH: One question I wish you asked is, why is poetry important? My answer to that question would be that poetry is what keeps the soul alive and feeds the imagination and mind in ways that no other form of writing can. In the words of Percy Shelley, "Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world."
Thank you, Laura. We all appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule to participate in this project.