Five editors have generously agreed to help me with the Tupelo Press 30/30 Challenge, by providing, for a modest donation of $20, critiques of poetry. Jennifer Finstrom, the poetry editor of Eclectica, answers a few questions.
Which three words best describe your favorite poetry?
Personal, complex, and detailed.
Would you mind sharing a bit about your background?
I grew up in the Milwaukee area and lived in various places in Wisconsin until the year 2000 when I moved to Chicago. I grew up an avid reader, and my mother started taking me to the library when I was just a few months old! One of my grandmothers was a librarian, and I feel that I’ve always been surrounded by books.
What sets apart the poems you accept from those you turn down?
I ask myself if the poem is doing what it intends. I look for concrete details that let me into the world of the poem and create that world.
If you were a poetic form, which would you be?
A sonnet, but not a traditional sonnet. One of my own projects is a series of “almost sonnets,” so that’s what I’ll say I would be.
Do you pay much attention to cover letters? What do you like/dislike about them?I do like to read cover letters, and I find them interesting as a genre. I like to see something of the individual coming through.
List three favorite poets, an admirable animal, and your go-to beverage.
C.P. Cavafy, Louise Glück, and Sylvia Plath. I’m fascinated by owls and bats (when I was little, I memorized bat species). I love tea, but I need coffee.
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