What do you look for in a group of poems you upvote for publication?
I look for a group of poems that pleases me like a carefully selected bouquet of flowers. My initial reading leaves me with a desire to repeatedly inhale deeply. Each poem should be individually striking, yet resonate in imagery, voice, or theme with the others submitted. Poor editing discourages selection as much as wilted petals. Whether the selections are common or exotic in form, I most desire to be left with a lingering scent.
What would you like to see more of in the submissions to Inlandia, and what would you like to see less?
I would like to see more poems with a clear turn. I expect a poem to move me mentally and/or emotionally from one perspective/mood to another. I value strong imagery and a sensitive use of sound. I appreciate effective line breaks and stanza constructions whether the poem is written in free verse or traditional form. I take particular interest in poems that use imagery or themes characteristic of the Inland Empire of Southern California.
I would like to see fewer poorly edited poems with inconsistent use of punctuation or misspelled words. I rarely like a poem with every line centered.
What tips would you give unpublished writers who are trying to get their first story or group of poems published in a literary journal?
Join a literary workshop and get feedback from other experienced writers.
What writing projects are you working on now?
I’ve written most of my own poems in free verse. I’m challenging myself to write a series of poems using traditional forms.
What else do you do that brings you joy?
I enjoy hiking, cooking, and linoleum block printing.
What book(s) have you read recently that you think would be helpful to emergent writers?
Adam Sol’s How a Poem Moves and Frances Mayes’s The Discovery of Poetry.
What book have you read recently that you love and are recommending to all your friends?
Cassandra Lopez’s Brother Bullet.