When we shifted our preferred submission mechanism to Submittable, we received some emails expressing concern about that decision. We have never used the system to “make a profit”–charging no more than we absolutely have to in order to pay for the platform. We understand that some people find the system impersonal, and we still strive to make our interactions with every one of our poets as humane and attentive as possible.
We also made the decision to shift our editorial processes to blind review–to further support our long-standing mission statement to “publish poems, not poets.” As poets ourselves, we are always committed to making the process as fair as it can be. We only accept a tiny percentage of the submissions we receive, so each year we find ourselves rejecting many excellent poems. We often agonize over our choices.
Despite our primary shift to online submissions, we have continued to accept regular mail submissions in an attempt to be as inclusive as possible. Each year we have some people, like those who are incarcerated, who have no other means of sending us work.
And then came the pandemic.
Currently, we have no access to any submissions received by mail since early March. When the university shut down, we could no longer get mail. All the mail is being held in a central site. If you are one of the poets who has submitted work to us by regular mail, we can only promise to read them whenever it is safely possible to do so. Since we have no way of knowing who you are, we hope this message finds you.
In the meantime, because we have the online platform, we are able to continue to read submissions online. We are also able to do other editorial and design work remotely. Hopefully we will all stay safe and well and be able to continue to bring you excellent poetry in these difficult times.
Please take care of yourselves!
Karen, JC, and the rest of the editorial staff