Also check out PaygeWood Music.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


As I review the poetry submissions, I find myself drawn to the narrative poems. Perhaps this is because telling a story about something you know is the easiest way to create something interesting. "Write what you know" I wouldn't write a poem about the immensity of the universe, unless it suggested my lack of understanding.

I respect the poems that fit into a difficult form or pattern, but would not accept them unless they were also engaging. Why bother with a complex form if your idea does not use its structure to strengthen an idea. Repetition of words or lines can work to a poem's disadvantage in the same way it can enhance it. I'm finding that, in recent submissions, it was no service to the poetry.

Everyone's perspective is important and interesting. Nobody's logic, true or false, is totally worthless. If I read more poetry that exhibits the writer's understanding of his subject, then I'll probably accept it. Of course, execution and originality are crucial.

My biggest pet peeves, so far, are the shifting fonts and the slaughtered syntax.
It looks unprofessional and immediately turns me off. I still read each poem carefully, hoping for a jewel in the mess of enormous letters and misused symbols. In the next bunch of submissions, I'll try to see the poems through the fonts again.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trillium and Submissions

I realize that this post is out of order, but I wanted to discuss this first.

As ai scanned the packett of submissions, I wasn't suprised to find myself scraping for reasons to give some of the poems an approval. There were those that had a narrative quality that reeled me in, but I found myself jerking back at awful syntax or trite ideas. I did enjoy some of the submissions, but that isn't what this is about. The question is: What would I share with someone else? Nobody reccomends a book that would have been good if its writing were better. With this logic, I would not publish this first batch of submissions.

The were simply not Trillium material. I hope that there will be waterfalls of more writings to review, because most of the packett was just under the radar for quality. The second submission recieved a "yes" from me, but I couldn't bring myself to consider any of the others. There were a few that could have been improved to meet the standard for publishing (in Trillium) but I would be lying if I said that they were worth sending back. Of course, this is all my opinion. I try to use fair criteria for my criticisms. However, in the end jusging is judging. Anything submitted should be held up to the same harsh light, and scritinized for flaws. Part of our job is to fairly judge the pieces submitted, but the rest is to produce a worthwhile journal.

I have high hopes for the journal, but I hope for more submissions to pull from. In the end, the art contained will be what makes Trillium interesting. Our job is to provide the pedestal and present the best that Piedmont has to offer. Anything less makes our website a gilded soapbox. We have to be resolute, but fair. I found it difficult to shoot down some of the work unworthy of publication.

We must not stray from our standards.