Editor Trevor Maynard discusses the Anthology and Submission Process. 

Trevor, how’s it going?

Not bad. Currently working on my collection “The Path Now Known” which is a reboot of my work from 2009 with some new poems, including both my poems selected for The Poetic Bond III and bringing together my three poems about Barack Obama. The deadline is the end of the month, so I am head down in formatting, proofing, and working with a designer on the cover.

This is the third edition of ‘The Poetic Bond’ what is  the idea behind the anthology?

The first part of the idea was a reaction; we wanted to create a forum where there was norestriction on theme or form, where an arbitrary line count didn’t disqualify you, and where the work spoke for itself and was not pre-judged on the basis of what an editor said or how an academic decided poetry must be.The second part was to capture the contemporary zeitgeist, to choose from a pool of work submitted NOW, and to reveal the human condition as poets experience it at this moment in time. This way each anthology is a testament to the time; The Poetic Bond is 2011, The Poetic Bond II is 2012, and The Poetic Bond III, is a reflection of 2013.

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The third element is to recognize how the dynamism and vibrancy of professional and social media has given rise to an exciting, unique and energetic poetry community full of new work, new readers, and new opportunities. The job of The Poetic Bond is to harness that energy and engage actively in sharing poetry with other poets and to bring poetry to as wide an audience as possible.

What are the editors primarily looking for in their selections?

The selection is a process and this process has three elements. The work comes first to me, where it is made anonymous, and then it is sent to two different readers; these too are anonymous to the process, so no reader will know another is reading the same work. The reason for this is to encourage honesty, and to remove, as far as possible, pre-judgement. The brief is for the readers to react to how the work affects them, to identify the themes andsubjects, and to use their technical skills to give advice on form and the success of the message.There is no pretence that this is a critical appreciation, the opinions given are those of the readers themselves. They are asked to be objective and fair, but not to be divorced from their emotions, and each is asked to give a single line of summary which is purely their own opinion. These reports all come back to me, and I look for what themes have emerged and which subjects, or indeed forms, in the pool of work have clustered – in essence I try to ascertain collective emotion of the work. Inclusion or non-inclusion therefore is not a judgement on the worthiness of the work, merely a selection of how the work fits into the anthology. How does issue III differ from its predecessors? Given the context explained above, the third in the series does not differ from its predecessors. However, in terms of the changing of emotions between issues, I would say that The Poetic Bond III is slightly more ‘off-kilter’ than the first two. I feel this means that the poetic consciousness has detected a growing sense of unease in the world. Some of the work submitted this year had a harder edge before, for example here are some quotes “screaming fish, mired birds’ beaks glued shut’” (Rosalind Brenner’s ‘God’s Rebuke’); “hate is easier, it needs fewer syllables, less imagination” (GK Grieve’s ‘The Anniversary’) and my own personal favourite from Bonnie Roberts’ ‘Spirit Animal’ a sophisticated use of language capturing beauty, sadness and our humanity, “I find healing /in this land of dream-strewn pebbles/concrete nonentity motels/trailers set askew like badly thrown dice”. These dark themes are present in the first two anthologies, of course, but so there is also the beauty, love and philosophy intrinsic to the human condition; for example the elegance of “ a/stitchery of roses pressed/upon our hearts” (RH Peat’s ‘Forgotten Embroidery’), the sheer exuberance of Nature “A void of expanded air/Pulling saw-blade peaks white with snow/ Out of a silent, breathless distance” and the simplicity of Cigeng Zhang’s ‘Drunk Smile’ “The river is rippling like beer foams/A slightly drunk smile draining away”

Any plans for future issues?

The plan is to call for submissions for The Poetic Bond IV in the spring of 2014, with publication once again in the autumn. It is hoped The Poetic Bond II will be released as a KINDLE book in January 2014 and The Poetic Bond III KINDLE in July 2014.

How can interested poets submit their work and keep up with news from you?

The website for The Poetic Bond is where news, offers and updates are posted. There are also regular updates at ‘Poetry Review and Discuss’ one of the main poetry groups on the LinkedIN professional networking website. Further details are also posted on my website http:// http://www.trevormaynard.com . The email address for The Poetic Bond is thepoeticbond@uk2.net, or you can contact me directly on poetry@trevormaynard.com

And the best way to get hold of a copy of the anthology?

The quickest way is to go Amazon and order a copy, however, if you can wait a few more days for delivery, send an email to poetry@trevormaynard.com, quoting this article and I will send you an invoice with a 50% discount.

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