Cati Porter, Founding Editor

What do you look for in a group of poems you upvote for publication?

I tend to go for work that makes me feel. Work that uses inventive language and imagery, is anchored in ‘place,’ and has a distinct voice: those are all traits that I value in a poem. I don’t have any preference for free vs. formal verse, though whatever you do, do it well.

What would you like to see more of in the submissions to Inlandia, and what would you like to see less?

I’d like to see more work that takes risks. 

What tips would you give unpublished writers who are trying to get their first story or group of poems published in a literary journal?

When you submit your work, keep your bio and cover letter brief and to the point, submit widely and often, and don’t take rejection personally.

What writing projects are you working on now?

I have some newish poems that I’m trying to see whether or not they add up to a new manuscript, plus a few essays that I have in mind.

What else do you do that brings you joy?

Long walks. Reading. Retail therapy. (If there is a book-print dress/skirt/top/leggings out there that I don’t own, it’s probably because I haven’t run across it yet!)

What book have you read recently that you think would be helpful to emergent writers? What book have you read recently that you love and are recommending to all your friends?

One thing that is immensely helpful for emergent writers looking to place their work in journals is to support the literary journals they want to submit to. Every time I go to a bookstore that stocks literary periodicals, I pick one up that I don’t already have on my shelf, so that if ever I want to submit there I can get a sense of what their aesthetic is like. I admit that I seldom read them cover to cover, but I do pick through them and read what grabs me. 

The book I am reading right now that I keep recommending is Susan Straight’s new memoir, In the Country of Women.

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