Too East Coast?

By | 8 April 2013

Hello readers, one and all. Firstly, thanks for continuing to read Cordite. I hope you’re finding some poems, reviews, essays to your liking in each issue.

Recently, we have received a fair bit of correspondence expressing concern that the publication has been rather Victorian-centric of late. And that is true regarding guest poetry editors. But I wish to shed just a few watts of light onto why this is so.

At the bottom right of this page, you’ll see a few logos from organisations that generously support the creation of new work in Cordite. And with state and national support come a few (very specific) strictures about what expense can be covered and where in Australia the expense can be disbursed. I suspect most of you are well aware of the ins and outs of grants, so nothing terribly new there.

For 2013, funding for our guest poetry editors is generously covered by Arts Victoria (and from that, you may extrapolate re: whos and whats and whens). Indeed, Josephine Rowe, Gig Ryan and Ann Vickery are all Victorians. I stand by their guest editorships with zero hesitation, and I would not ask them – or anybody – to work for free. Of course, as all readers are aware, submissions to each issue are read blind and it is largely the guest editor’s discretion on what poems to select, be it narrow or wide in taste. It’s a sizable effort to read through the 1300+/- poems we receive for each issue and, to that, ascertain the interest, availability and eventual commitment of future guest editors.

Special issues like RATBAGGERY operate differently. Indeed, this one turned out Victorian-centric (just as GIBBERBIRD turned out Queensland-centric). Poets represented are ones that responded and selected by the guest editor. Some of your concerns are similar to the numerous rumblings we received over the SYDNEY issue being male-dominated in poets represented. INTERLOCUTOR was quite the opposite. At times, that’s just what the result is.

I actively do not announce the names of guest editors too far into the future. Things can change and we acknowledge that. That said, some names you’ll likely see coming up include Derek Motion, Jan Owen, John Mateer, Felicity Plunkett, Luke Davies, Graham Nunn and, if even more niche funding eventuates, Michael Farrell. There will be others too.

Thanks again for reading Cordite. It’s very much appreciated.

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