Archive for January 3rd, 2011

How Snakeskin Works

January 3, 2011

There have been a couple of confusions lately, so let me explain the system by which an issue of Snakeskin is put together (except in guest-editor months, which work a little differently).
Over the month, poems arrive in the Snakeskin inbox. I generally give them a quick read-through, and note the most promising. I try to acknowledge all submissions at this point.

In the last week of the month, I go through the poems again, reading them carefully and sometimes consulting other opinions. If an email has twenty-odd poems, however, and the first five are dismal, I do not guarantee that the rest will be read.

Gradually an issue comes together. Generally I like it to be a mixture – formal mixed with free, light-hearted mixed with serious. One nice thing about an ezine is that it can be any size you like. Some months there are only eight poems that I want to publish, occasionally there are up to thirty. The issue has normally come together a day or two before the end of the month, but adjustments can still be made. This month, two good submissions came in right at the month-end, and took the place of another poem that I had been less than convinced about.

Since the issue is still a work-in progress up to the day of publication, I do not inform poets that they have been selected until the last minute. Generally this works well, but recently there have been a couple of problems. Read the rest of this entry »