Mike needs no introduction as he has been involved with the Nib from the early days, originally as a reviewer and contributing editor and recently as a section editor looking after our contributors in America and Canada. Mike’s published works include Bloodline (The Blue Nib) Exposed (Hidden Constellations and Soma Publishing).
Mike is a college instructor, lecturing in communications and creative writing. He brings his considerable skills as an educator to his role as an editor for The Blue Nib.
What do you hope to achieve during your time at the Blue Nib?
I believe that there are many undiscovered talents out there. I want to help find and develop them.
What are you hoping to find in your submission pile?
Poems that don’t retread familiar themes and poetic devices. Poets whose creative voice come through clearly in engaging ways. I recommend that anyone wishing to submit to me take time to read over work we have already published, this will give them an idea of what we are looking for.
What do you not want to see in your submissions file?
Submissions that do not follow submission guidelines. I dislike poorly constructed poems and will not publish derivative poems or work that I view as demeaning to others.
What would turn you off a submission?
Any contributor who disregard guidelines can expect a big thumbs down. If you want me to respect your work then remember, respect is a two way street. It’s simple, follow the submission guidelines.
What do you see as an editor’s main responsibility to our readers and contributors?
I think careful consideration of submissions is primary, selecting the very best works from emerging writers to present to Blue Nib readers.
For contributors, I think a willingness to work with writers is vital, to develop their writing and help them while remaining within the constraints of an editor/contributor relationship.
What makes a submission really shine in your opinion.
As an editor myself, I love to encounter poets who thinks like an editors, those who has given careful attention to the selection of the poems they submit. I appreciate those who offer their best, most creative efforts. I also like to see poets take chances, but to do so while retaining a sense of their audience.
What are you reading at the moment, or what have you read recently that struck a chord with you?
I try to read Rattle, American Poetry Review and Poetry as well as The Blue Nib. Together, they offer a wide array of poetic styles and I usually find standout poems in each issue. I’m a junky for books on method, at the moment I am reading the articles and essays in the 2019 Poet’s Market. It’s hubris for any artist to feel they know enough. We must always be open to new ideas.