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The Editors on Smoking Glue Gun

In 2011 we had just graduated from LSU, where we were involved in multiple reading series and literary outputs. We were leaving a buzzing, excited community of self-publishers & arts events, and we weren't sure if we'd continue in academia. We wanted to find a way to stay connected to publishing, writing, and organizing community events. We were also surrounded by young, talented, mostly unpublished writers & wanted to create a venue to showcase their work outside the Baton Rouge area.

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Sean Bishop on Better

I started building Better in early 2012, about a year and a half after finishing my two-year gig as the managing editor of Gulf Coast. I just missed being an editor, basically, and I wanted to get back into it, to push further with what I'd learned and accomplished back at the University of Houston.

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Erica Wright on Guernica

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Two friends walk into a bar named Guernica. It's true—founders Michael Archer and Joel Whitney once organized readings at their favorite watering hole, but soon outgrew this format. Along with Joshua Jones and Elizabeth Onusko, they decided to turn their increasingly popular events into a journal, so that the conversations emerging could be preserved. The bar name stuck since it spoke to their mission, exploring the intersection of art and politics. Guernica Magazine celebrates its ten-year anniversary this year.

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Lee Yew Leong on Asymptote

Asymptote debuted in January 2011. Right from the start, it was conceived as an international journal that would present the best writing from all around the world—running the gamut of literary genres: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, visual art, criticism, and interviews. The first issue saw work from 15 languages and included new translations of Aimé Césaire, Habib Tengour, Ko Un as well as a Swedish Poetry Special Feature—and this is just to mention the poetry.

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The Editors on Radar

Radar was born over a bottle of Prosecco and an order of General Tso's tofu in Princeton, New Jersey in the summer of 2013. At the dining room table, we began to map the project by instinct, acting on our own wish lists as readers of journals and on our shared vision as editors and poets. 

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The Editors on Talus, or Scree

Before we start, let us say that while our episodes have been a bit sporadic over the past few months, we are still very much alive and kicking. We will return to our regularly scheduled programming very soon.

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John Deming on Coldfront

Coldfront actually started as a poem-a-day blog with some friends when we were working on MFA's at the New School. In January 2006, Melinda Wilson, Graeme Bezanson and I talked about making it into a sort of news magazine for poetry, or a poetry magazine that didn't actually publish poems…I came from a newspaper background, and we thought it would be productive to try to "cover" poetry in a way that it was not being covered. 

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Naomi Washer on Ghost Proposal

Ghost Proposal was conceived of in May 2012 by myself and poet Zachary Green. I'd been his editor for another journal, which sparked a longer correspondence between us. We shared our own work and discussed our ideas of contemporary writing and publishing (you can read more about GP's beginnings here). We finally met and began the conversation about creating a journal just days before we both made geographic changes in our lives.

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Alyson Pomerantz on New Delta Review

New Delta Review was first published in 1984 by graduate students at Louisiana State University. We are almost thirty but, still, no gray hairs! If anything we've gotten younger, making the switch from print to online. Originally NDR—as those in the know refer to it—published many writers from the Delta region, but over time we have become less concerned with the point of origination of a piece, instead focusing on the quality of writing.

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The Editors on Fou

MFA programs are, by nature, fertile grounds for ideas and behavior of a dubious and self-satisfying nature—thus slithered Fou out of the fetid swamp of workshops and after-class drinks some stiff night 2008. Although there was and is no shortage of journals online and in print bedazzling the poetry demimonde with their own peculiar shades of sparkle, we, like so many dyspeptic dictators and mental ward inhabitants before us, believed it should be our particular voice ringing out loud from the rostrum, its speaker all bedecked in ridiculous martial costume, making unwholesome gesticulations with its extremities and wearing a smeared rictus of delight on its face.

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Kelly Forsythe on Phantom Limb

In part, presentation is important to us–we want your work to look beautiful amid this large white canvas, for it to be hoisted into an internet space that will proudly present it to the web-world for readers to fully "experience" it. It is just as important for an online journal to care about aesthetics as it is for a print journal to care about aesthetics

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Rob MacDonald on Sixth Finch

Our first issue came out in 2008.  I was a looking for a way to generate more connections between writers and visual artists.  Here in Boston, there are plenty of poets and photographers and painters doing amazing work, but there aren't a lot of places where those worlds intersect.  I thought that an online journal with a balance of poetry and art might be a simple way to bring creative people together.

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Jennifer H. Fortin on LEVELER

P.J. Gallo, Evan Glasson, Yotam Hadass, and I graduated from The New School's M.F.A. Poetry program in 2008. Going through the program together cemented our fast friendships. We went through a lot together during the program's two years, which I think helped to seal the fact that we must keep in touch—especially via poetry and writing—for the rest of our time here on earth

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The Editors on Tongue

I think that the whole undertaking of Tongue has only been possible with the admixture of enthusiasm and healthy skepticism we each brought to the project of bringing another (another, really? another?) literary magazine into the world. 

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Lucy Ives and Molly Kleiman on Triple Canopy

Triple Canopy came into being in the summer and fall of 2007; its first issue was published on March 17th, 2008. The project was devised and brainstormed by a group of friends, colleagues, and then-acquaintances over email, Skype, in a Fort Greene living room. Over the course of those early months, some 60 people moved in and out of the conversations. Though many were based in NYC, I was living in Sarajevo, and others were in Los Angeles, Berlin, Milwaukee, Mozambique. 

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Micah Towery on THEthe

First, it's important for me to point out that I'm not really the moving force behind THEthe. I'm more of a facilitator. If this were an interview with the real movers and shakers, I'd have forwarded these questions to everyone who has ever posted something on THEthe.

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Joshua Marie Wilkinson on The Volta

The Volta was hatched out of a couple things: I had been editing a journal called Rabbit Light Movies (poemfilms and videos of poets reading, online) and another journal called Evening Will Come, which published poets' short poetics essays, starting with C.D. Wright. 

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Joseph Mains on Octopus

Octopus was founded in the spring of 2003 by Zachary Schomburg and Tony Tost, in order to publish poetry that shines. It's on the internet where lots of folks can read it for free.

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Nate Pritts on H_NGM_N

Why? Because I realized that I could. Why? Because I realized that I should. Why? Because so many of the existing "markets" for poetry at that time seemed stodgy, or maybe more focused on maintaining the shape of a tradition without really examining it or furthering it, or—maybe those markets seemed bound to places or schools that I was not connected to—that many poets I knew were not connected to. 

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The Editors on Paperbag

There are rumors that one of our editors needed a way to stay in the country, and thus Paperbag was born. I remember Petro Moysaenko and Kat McGoldrick's kitchen table, hushed messages, delicious food, and promises that were kept only by sheer force of will (Margarita's to be precise). If the first issue came out in the summer of 2010, then we must have gotten together a year before that, since it takes a while for us to make decisions.

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