Julia Anna Morrison and Catherine Pond on Two Peach
Tell me about the creation of Two Peach. When and how and why was it conceived?
We started our first magazine together when we were 6 & 7 years old, in a bedroom with blue walls. It was called The Tandem Times (we thought we were twins) and was hand-illustrated and stapled. Catherine's mom was our only reader. We both got MFA's in poetry (Anna at Iowa, Catherine at Columbia), spent a few years publishing and trying to find teaching jobs. Once we found jobs and that anxiety was (slightly) lessened, it felt like a good time to create Two Peach. We grew up in Georgia (the peach state) and Anna went to UGA. So that's where the name comes from. As for why to start a poetry magazine – it is a gift to have a platform to promote poetry and share work we admire with the world. Internet magazines are wonderful for their accessibility. It's hard enough as it is to find an audience.
What makes Two Peach different from other places to encounter poetry on the internet?
We have high standards in terms of the quality of what we publish, and we like to feature emerging poets alongside established poets. Currently, we are based out of two cities, Iowa City and Brooklyn, so we are lucky to have access to a constant influx of amazing new talent. We also try to publish a few international writers in each issue, so that American poetry is not the only poetry in America, if that makes sense. Aesthetics are very important to us and for that reason we feature one or two artists per issue. Luckily, there are some great poetry-only magazines out there, but long-established places like The New Yorker, for example, continue to publish only two poems per issue, which is pretty silly. So hopefully we can help off-set this imbalance.
What is something that you have recently published that really excited you, and why?
Everything we publish excites us. In our first issue, it was a thrill to publish Lies Van Gasse, a Belgian poet. A beautiful line of hers: "In blindness I learned to live,/ black as a sky gasping for breath."
What should someone submitting work to Two Peach know about the site?
We value emotional depth. As water signs (Cancer, Scorpio), we are not interested in writing that exists only on the surface. In other words, things that might be considered 'light' are probably not for us. We like a poem that operates "like the moon wrenched out of earth," to steal a line from Louise Glück.
What other literary sites, journals, or broadcasts, online or print, are your go-to?
We've both worked for magazines that we continue to admire: The Georgia Review (Anna), Salmagundi (Catherine), and more. Other magazines we really like: The Adroit Journal, Handsome, Phantom. But really there are so many. You never know where you will find inspiration. We read a lot.
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