LIVING POETS II.IV Available Here at the Dragonheart Press Store [PDF : 8o+ Pages]
When is the task of editing poetry completed? With the publication today of the latest issue of Living Poets magazine it`s obvious that arbitary deadlines have to be established otherwise the task becomes endless. It is also easy to underestimate the work in hand. When I set the original publication date as Christmas Eve 2010 it transpires I was being very optimistic. I had thought the task of reading, selecting and producing the issue would be easy. I have, afterall, edited 12 issues before it! There’s something about a themed issue – and this one’s was Winter, which sucks you in. You get caught in the flurries of place, the air heavy with the promise of snow and insights into those moments of the year when everything changes. It’s apparent from the wide body of work submitted for this issue that many poets feel this too. Whether its the traditional elements – and these vary from culture to culture, or the stark beauty of nature at its most splenderous, there is something about the spirit that invades this time that is caught here.
I had also planned diversions for this issue. I wanted it to have a new format, more of a glossy magazine cover with quote pulls and bold text proclaiming the number of poems, key poets names. You might recognise Glyn Hughes for example who kindly contributed at the 11th hour. I also wanted to move it into the 21st Century in terms of an iPad friendly ePub version, maybe even an App. As usually happens, these were just diversions created to steer one away from the task in hand. With writing these are all too obvious – the open coffee shop, the world to be observed. For an editor they have a similiar way of cropping up dressed as grandoise plans for the publication. In the end these plans have remained on the drawing board, literally with their cover options awaiting approval. They’re not, however forgotten and will begin to influence the next issue with the arrival of our new Reviews Editor, direct from writing for Mills and Boon!
Perhaps the mosty contentious issue with this publication is the price. After the success of the previous issue, with over 1000 free downloads it was felt that a nominal cover charge would help offset the costs of many hours spent in its production. We have kept it low, feeling that £1.49 in these times of UK austerity is not excessive.
In answer to my initial question, the task is never truly over. I have a very hands-off approach however. Once submissions are reviewed its a swift matter of deciding what is suitable and what is not. Its the poetry that falls between these two extremes that usually receives the most attention. I short note to the poet, thanking them and attempting to encourage them. The application of the spotlight to key phrases that may have drawn my eye in the first instance and the enduring desire to fuel their passion. As a poet myself I know how distant rejection slips can seem and it has always been my intention to let poets know that there work has been carefully considered.
So now its time for you to settle down in a comfy chair, throw some more logs on the fire and see out the winter with the new issue of Living Poets.