I have been serving as the poetry editor for an online literary journal called Ray's Road Review (http://raysroadreview.com/) since March. And I've been having a blast! While I have been a professional poet, writer and author for close to 25 years, I have also had the pleasure of being founder and publisher of a small press, serving on the board of a prominent university journal, and involved in one way or another with editing several different publications. I enjoy knowing the poetry field and publishing industry from both perspectives. So, while I am on an indefinite writing sabattical, when I was asked to become the poetry editor for RRR, I thought about it for a week (I'm having to deal with quite a few, serious health problems) and then agreed, most asssertively and with great joy and anticipation.
Ray's Road Review was founded by excellent fiction writer Chris Duncan early this decade, but went on a hiatus for quite a while, so 2011 is a "re-boot" year, so to speak, and it was great fun getting and reading submissions for our first "new" issue, the Spring 2011 issue. While I certainly have my own preferences and biases, I am both capable of and desirous of not being "pinned down" and of being open to virtually any subject matter, tone, style, etc., the one key criteria being quality. Thus, I am admittedly being very picky and very careful in choosing poems from any submission, and as a result, thus far our acceptance rate is quite low, in the single digits. Nonetheless, we are open for submissions -- we want them, we're begging for them, we're eager for them, and we want poets of all sorts, whether experienced or not, hundreds of credits or none; as long as the poems submitted are of high quality, displaying a mastery of the craft, they'll be given strong consideration.
RRR has a rolling publication policy, which admittedly is not the typical way to publish literary journals. What that means, however, is that we do not save poems we accept for months or years, as many other magazines do. Once accepted, the poems are published quite soon, and our turnaround time for submission responses is also very good by contemporary standards, roughly 3-6 weeks or so. If you want to submit some of your work, please go read the guidelines on the website and follow them accordingly. (You should do this regardless of what publication you're submitting your work to.) I'm pretty flexible about most things, but guidelines exist for a reason, so please familiarize yourself with them.
As to who we've published in our young (re)existance, our Spring 2011 issue featured poems from Alan Catlin, a "small press" vet with over 60 books to his credit, Corey Mesler, author of several books and a poet whose work has been featured on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac, and finally, the wonderful Lisa Zaran, who's become an online magazine legend over this past decade, and also an author of several fantastic poetry collections. I aimed for some diversity and I feel like we accomplished that with what was chosen for publication. Thus far for the Summer 2011 issue, we have published two poems by Valerie Nieman, author of several novels as well as two collections of short stories and poems. These two poems contrast nicely in tone and subject matter from what appeared in the previous issue. We hope to soon have several poems of internationally-accclaimed writer, Clifton Snider, up on the website as well. I'm biased, admittedly, but I'm pretty pleased with the balance I feel we've achieved to this point in terms of publishing a wide range of subjects, styles, tone, feel, etc., all of which have one thing in common -- quality.
Please consider submitting some of your own work. (We also publish fiction and photography.) We'd love to see it and have a chance to get to know you and your poems. We'd also appreciate it if you would let your students, friends, colleagues, etc., know about our existence and that we're continually eager for submissions. Please go to RRR, read, enjoy, comment and submit. We'll all be glad you did!
Causes Scott Holstad Supports
PEN, The Authors Guild, Sierra Club