Friday, July 21, 2023

Six Questions for Christine Klocek-Lim, Editor, Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY

Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY publishes one poem each weekday and two featured poems on the weekend: the Saturday book feature and From the archives.” Read the complete guidelines here.

SQF: Why did you start this magazine?

Christine Klocek-Lim: A long time ago in a poetic landscape far from here, I disliked most of the poems I read in current publications. They didn't seem to have the flow of imagery and gusto I wanted to see, yet because I was participating in several online workshops, I knew that those brilliant poems existed in the wild. I began Autumn Sky Poetry as a quarterly online publication that focused on ten poems per issue. After a long hiatus, I changed the format to a daily poetry feed because the quality and quantity of submissions kept increasing. I'm thrilled that Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY has become so popular and loved among poetry enthusiasts. My response time is one week via publication which is unusual and makes it possible for me to publish daily. I have no slush pile. All a poet needs to do is subscribe, and within one week they will know if they've been published or not.

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

CK: My top three requirements are thoughtful line breaks, tight and imaginative imagery, and an emotional framework to which a reader can relate.

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

CK: Any poem that is center-justified is an immediate rejection. After that, poor grammar, random punctuation, and a lack of intent most often lead to a pass. A poem is a work of art, and as such, it needs to be something crafted with skill and emotion, not just one or the other. Finally, any poem with lots of spacing and tabs must be absolutely brilliant for me to publish because the irritation of formatting it online with html is considerable. I rarely publish poems with non-standard formatting.

SQF: What do you look for in the opening stanza(s) of a submission?

CK: As a long time writer of fiction, I am partial to poems that have a hook in the beginning. Something that draws the reader in immediately is the best kind of poem opening: a question, a strange statement, a shocking revelation.

SQF: Are there certain topics or types of poetry you’d like to see more of in your submissions? On the other side, are there topics you receive too many of?

CK: The poems I receive are very diverse, and I receive a balanced number of both free verse and formal poetry, which is unusual. I don't receive too much of any topic. If I absolutely have to answer this question, I will suggest to poets to step away from poems that are too narcissistic. While much poetry is introspective, this introspection should be tied to a broader imagistic narrative so that many readers will find it intriguing rather than just its author.

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

CK: The questions I would've liked you to ask: Why don't I publish bios of poets? Why don't I want a cover letter? Why do I accept reprints?

For me, as an editor, who you are and what you've accomplished doesn't matter. I read every poem as if I've never met the author because the poem is the entire point. I publish work that I find brilliant and thought provoking and beautiful and interesting. It doesn't matter if it's the first poem someone has published, or if it first appeared somewhere else, or if you are a famous person or if you are only twelve years old. I publish what I love to read.

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

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