This week, I received a letter concerning a recent blog post, in which I described our editorial tastes by mentioning a preference for the concrete over the abstract, and for language that is inventive and lyrical rather than "political."
I'd like to add a bit of clarification for anyone who might be interested. I believe that all writing is--by nature--political, in the sense that speaking and writing are political acts. What I meant (and probably could have explained a bit more clearly) is that as editors, Melissa and I have a preference for a certain style of poetry (and prose). As a general rule, we are a bit turned off by work that is highly abstract, preachy or didactic. We like work that shows us something, rather than tells us. We adore subtlety. We are not offended by overtly political poems and prose; however, these kinds of works tend to use broad abstractions that are simply less interesting to us than work that appeals to the senses.
That is not to say that there is not a place for this kind of work; we're merely explaining that it's not our style.
We love writing that is unexpected. We are not necessarily stating certain topics are "off-limits" so much as asking that writers consider work that describes women's experiences without limiting themselves to topics that seem inherently (or perhaps stereotypically) "female."
In response to another question raised in this letter, I also want to mention that I don't have a problem with topics relating to the female body per se (in fact, I am very interested in work about the body); however, I don't want writers to limit themselves to work about anorexia or menstruation only because we get a number of submissions about this kind of thing, and we like variety.
Overall, we are very open-minded in terms of both style and subject matter. If you have a knockout piece about any topic you think relates to women's lives and experiences, by all means, send it!
Over these last few months, we have received a good deal of quality poetry and prose. As a literary journal, our primary aim is to promote the work of some wonderful contemporary writers and poets. To all those who read, write and submit their work for publication, thank you!