Friday, August 11, 2017

Six Questions for Alison Ross, Editor, Clockwise Cat

Clockwise Cat is a progressive webzine that publishes poetry, polemics, satire, and reviews. Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: I first interviewed you in May 2010. Have there been any significant changes to Clockwise Cat since then?

Alison Ross: The main change has been in aesthetics. We now have our own domain and publish our issues in magazine style, as opposed to blog-style. You can read it online for free and even purchase it, if you wish. We hired a graphics person to update our "look" on the front page. We have probably changed our guidelines a bit too, but they have not changed dramatically.

SQF: In that interview, you listed "stunning evocative imagery, unusual juxtapositions, and wild innovations" as the three things you look for in a poem. Are these still at the top of you list? 

AR: Yes, pretty much. We look for poems that jolt our sensibilities, that are synesthetically sound, that are possessed of a vivid voice. We like our poems to be daringly dynamic. That could take many forms, of course, but when I reject something, it's likely because the piece was lackluster, pure and simple.

SQF: What most often turns you off to a submission?

AR: When someone does not follow the damn guidelines! My guidelines are lengthy, but I write them in an entertaining way, and finally, there is NO excuse for not following them as closely as possible. It's careless and rude. If you want to be published in Clockwise Cat or elsewhere, FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES. Don't send 10 poems when the submissions call for two. How hard is it to familiarize yourself with the magazine you're submitting to? It boggles my brain that so many can be so dense with this.

SQF: Are there any topics you would like to see more of in your submissions?

AR: More Dada-esque poetry submissions. We get a fair amount of surrealism and experimental forms, but I hanker for the purely absurd.

We also are continually seeking satire and polemics of the acidic, progressive type. We get a fair amount, but could use more. Note that this means ESSAYS, not polemical poems.

We are anemic in the department of reviews. We get a few, but not enough. Book reviews, movie reviews, music reviews... you got 'em? We need.

SQF: Who are some of your favorite authors?

AR: Ursula K. LeGuin, Lenora Carrington, Joyce Mansour, Jayne Cortez, Jorge Borges, Sandra Cisneros, Tristan Tzara, Arthur Rimbaud. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I also love these contemporary small press poets: Felino Soriano, Heller Levinson, Sheila Murphy

SQF: What magazines/zines do you read on a “regular” basis?

AR: Surreal Poetics is my current favorite. I also love the chapbooks at Fowlpox Press. There are many magazines and presses that  I follow, but these are the two that I love the most.

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

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