What goes on inside poetry editors’ heads? is a burning question for publishing and wannabe-publishing poets everywhere. With this third Ten Questions series, we will showcase weekly answers from a diverse group of poetry editors to Ten Questions for Poetry Editors. The ten questions appear below. Each editor’s responses will appear as a separate blog post and all posts will be linked back to this standing page.


Steve Schroeder, editor of Anti-
Helen Losse , poetry editor of The Dead Mule
Susan Culver, editor of Lily and Poetry Friends
Justin Evans, editor of Hobble Creek Review
Paul Stevens, editor of Shit Creek Review, The Chimaera and The Flea.
Nicolette Bethel, editor of Tongues of the Ocean.
James Midgely, editor of Mimesis.
Reb Livingston, editor of No Tell Motel.
Kate Bernadette Benedict, editor of Umbrella.
Christine Klocek-Lim, editor of Autumn Sky Poetry.
Lindsay Walker, poetry editor of Juked.
Mary Biddinger, editor of The Barn Owl.
Edward Byrne, editor of Valparaiso Poetry Review.


Ten Questions for Poetry Editors

  1. What drew you to editorial work in the first place?
  2. Describe your editorial trajectory – when/where did it start, how long have you been at it, where is it now? What are your editorial ambitions?
  3. Apart from following submissions guidelines, what should a poet sending work do (or refrain from doing) to stay on your good side?
  4. Do you co-edit or edit on your own? Talk about this choice – what are the pros and cons of both options, in your view?
  5. What gets you most excited when you read a submission? How frequently do you get “exciting” submissions?
  6. Describe how you sort through and narrow down submissions and finally select pieces for publication.
  7. Is your publication online, print or hybrid? Share your thoughts on the differences between these formats from an editorial point of view. Does your publication accept both snail mail and email submissions? Explain your policy in this regard.
  8. Talk about the challenges and opportunities involved in accepting or rejecting work submitted for publication by poets you know personally. 
  9. If you are a publishing poet, how does being an editor affect your performance/behavior as a poet? Do you ever publish your own work? If so, why? If not, why not? 
  10. Describe how you conceptualize what you are trying to achieve with each edition – e.g. do you see each edition of your magazine as a big poem, or as something else? How do you get feedback on the quality of your publication? 


Previous Ten Questions series:

1. Ten Questions on Poetry

2. Ten Questions on Publication

26 thoughts on “”

  1. Anyone who likes “10 Questions for Poetry Editors” should definitely get a copy of SPREADING THE WORD: EDITORS ON POETRY, Bench Press, 2001!

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