Good news and bad

Cordite Poetry Review is now back online!

The good news is that I’ve now narrowed down over 700 pages of submissions for Cordite 28: Secret Cities to just 50. The process was both fun and exhausting, although there’s a couple of pieces in there that (if I were the writer) I’d really want to change, or edit, or adjust.

I’m hesitant about making that jump from anonymous submissions process to one of active intervention and encouragement. Then again, the last time I edited an issue of Cordite (2005’s Editorial Intervention issue) I did in fact approach several contributors with suggested amendments or queries about their poems. Their responses were overall encouraging.

This kind of intervention makes an issue stronger and also confirms for the poets involved that their work has been read more than once, by someone who actually cares. Then again, with hundreds of other submissions that could also benefit from editing, and which don’t even make the shortlist, such an approach might also be labelled unfair.

In the end, I don’t think the volume of submissions itself is a problem for us – we’re thrilled that we receive work from so many people. The problems seem to be lying in the kinds of systems we set up in order to receive these submissions more efficiently. Email submissions, with multiple file attachment types, is just not working.

I’ve been experimenting with several online submission plug-ins, and hope to have some kind of trial online submission system (for eventual use in Cordite) up either here or on the Cordite site, in time for submissions to our 29th issue, the theme of which remains a secret, just like the contents of its predecessor, Secret Cities (due online in July).

The bad news is that first my web hosting provider’s servers and then the upstream provider for both the and domains have suffered a series of brown-outs, jitches, mind-warps and hernias over the past week, leaving my poor little websites quivering and twitching on the ground.

We hope to restore normal access soon. In the meantime,

Feng Haag Shuiling,


Express yourself