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. Anthony Frame, the editor of Glass Poetry Press, and poetry editor of The Indianola Review, answers a few questions for us.
Which three words best describe your favorite poetry?
Musical, sharp, open.
Would you mind sharing a bit about your background?
I’m a Midwestern, blue collar poet who spent most of his life in academia. I have English degrees (BA & MA) from The University of Toledo and I did one year of an MFA before dropping out. I spent five or so years working as an adjunct before taking a full-time job in my family’s pest control business. I write poems (and occasionally essays and reviews) and I edit Glass Poetry Press (which runs a chapbook series and an online poetry journal) and I edit the poetry section of Indianola Review.
What sets apart the poems you accept from those you turn down?
Well, I like pretty poems – so a sense of music and rhythm in the language is usually pretty important to me (though, it should be said that there are many types of music and rhythm in our language). I also like poems that have an edge. So, there’s a balancing act there between the lyrical and the gritty. I also am drawn to poems that are unexpected. If I’m not surprised after reading the poem, it is unlikely to stay with me.
If you were a poetic form, which would you be?
Either the paradelle, because I ramble and repeat myself, or the sonnet, but a faux sonnet because iambs are hard.
Do you pay much attention to cover letters? What do you like/dislike about them?
Not at first, I don’t. I read a submission first, then, later, look at the cover letter. The cover letter doesn’t matter, unless it is bad, so I recommend, as first principle, that cover letters should do no harm. Then, it is nice to know a bit about the author, especially if it informs his/her/hir work, a bit about how they found the journal, and how they plan to achieve total world domination. Or around five to six recent publications. Either is good.
List three favorite poets, an admirable animal, and your go-to beverage.
Poets: Li-Young Lee, Alison Stine, and Kazim Ali (first three on my mind – ask me again tomorrow and there will be three other equally admired poets).
Beverage: hot tea (I’m a teetotaler so … yeah, tea)
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