Spring 2 0 1 9
Blue Betsy Johnson-Miller
Two Poems Adam J. Gellings
Ten Doors A. Molotkov
Three Poems Laura Dixon
Two Poems Aaron Caycedo-Kimura
Two Poems Rebecca Morton
sometimes the bird sometimes the hunter sometimes both Marina Carreira
I Ask the Famous Poet How Her Poetry Reading Went Jenna Lê
Two Poems Cooper Casale
Anaphora Patrick Wright
Two Poems Iain Britton
Initial Speed Marley Stuart
Cleawox Erin Redfern
Year End Laura Foley
From the Archives Denise Duhamel
from the ether
Editors are on my mind as we launch DMQ Review into its 21st year of publication with this Spring 2019 issue, sixteen years of which I’ve served as the editor in chief. That completely boggles my mind.
While in twenty-one years we’ve had only one other editor in chief, founder J.P. Dancing Bear, the DMQ Review’s editorial team, our publication’s backbone, has included roughly twenty-two editors over the years! These incredible, talented individuals, listed here, all working writers, have lent their time, expertise, energy, and poetic sensibilities for a season, sometimes a year, most often stretches of years, in order to read, review, and publish an ongoing offering of outstanding contemporary poetry.
If you’re like me and you not only read poetry (thank you!) but also write and submit your work for publication, you’ve likely also had both of the following reactions to editors.
Editors are genius: they published my poem!
Editors are idiots: they rejected my poem!
From working with lots of editors in the course of sixteen years, I’d like to suggest what makes a good editor: Editors have opinions, informed opinions. These opinions are honed by each editor’s own rigorous reading and writing but also through the process of sharing their opinions around our ethereal table—the online submission manager forum.
It’s my task to negotiate among these sometimes unified, sometimes opposing points of view to help finally select poems that best fit each issue of DMQ Review. Each of our editors has first been published in the DMQ Review themselves so that we recognize some mutual sensibility. However, that sensibility continues to morph and mold to our own broadening perspectives as we read through hundreds and hundreds (thousands and thousands!) of submissions. If you ever have the opportunity to work as part of an editorial team, I think you’ll find it not only enlightening, but one of the best things you can do for your own writing.
As far as editors being idiots, yes, I’m quite sure we miss work that will go on to be published somewhere else. We hope that it will. I’ve written about rejection in the past here, but I’d like to turn to some further wisdom given in an interview by J.P. Dancing Bear, now an editor for Verse Daily, published recently in Frontier Poetry. Bear suggests that poets “embrace rejection.”
Go back and read more than one issue. You’ve misunderstood something about what delights the editor. Rejection is a necessary, if not often neglected, tool. If a poem is rejected by more than one editor, you can start to triangulate what is wrong with the poem if you’ve done your homework on the editor.
Definitely we should “do (y)our homework” on each journal to which we submit work. Reading a selection of recent issues should inform you as to your hoped-for editors’ capacities for delight. What are they looking for?
Speaking of delight, we’re delighted to present the Spring 2019 issue enlivened by the beautiful paintings of artist Alice Brasser of the Netherlands. Please do check out her gorgeous website. It also brings me pleasure to bring back Denise Duhamel’s featured poet entry from our archives, linked above, that includes not only three terrific poems, but her list of formative books, an essay first published in Poet’s Bookshelf.
We have so many treasures in 20 years of archived poetry. It’s our goal to bring them to your attention not only here, but on our Facebook page from time to time. Please also follow us there.
I’m also thinking about editors as our own team DMQ Review bids farewell to editor Annie Kim who moves on to other pursuits. We appreciate all she’s brought to our adventure and wish her the best. I’ll also be introducing a couple of new editors with the next issue, so read on and send us your best writing. Delight us.
from the Ether,
Editor in Chief