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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.

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