Tuesday, October 9, 2007
When submitting to a new literary journal, it's often difficult to get a sense of what the editors are looking for. While we've tried (briefly) to describe our aesthetic on the blossombones website, I think a little additional commentary might be useful!
In response to some questions about what kind of work we are looking for (and what we mean when we ask for "woman-centered" writing), I thought I'd post a little blog about my editorial tastes.
Anyway, I'd like to start out by mentioning that while Melissa and I considered publishing only work by women writers, we decided that we''d like to be open to all, but that we love (and prefer) work that speaks to us--thematically--as women writers.
It's not easy to describe what I mean by woman-centered, because I consider this a pretty broad category. While I suppose we are running the risk of being accused of essentialism (by means of defining our tastes in this way), I think I can live with that. Bear in mind we're not looking for work that is stereotypically "feminine" but rather, work that in some way describes things relevant to women's lives.
While topics of gender and sexuality are fair game, we do ask that writers use language that is concrete, unusual, and lyrical, rather than political. I'd rather not receive a manuscript of poems about eating disorders. Nor am I interested in an ode to menstruation. Basically, what I'm trying to say by asking for work that is "woman-centered," is that I hope to see poems (and other texts) that explore the world that we (both men and women) experience in terms of what I might describe as "dailyness." I ask that you make the mundane interesting. Don't tell me what you think is wrong with the economy. Don't send me poems about broad abstractions like freedom or justice (Ack! My personal pet peeve.) Do explore the possibilities inherent in daily life: lipstick on a beer can, fairy tales, your father's pancake recipe, carnivorous plants, renaissance art, comic books, cinema verite. Be strange. Be inventive. Offer a strange juxtaposition of images that startle. Surprise me.