Here on the blog we’ve previously discussed how we select pieces for inclusion in Indiana Review, but in the spirit of transparency, I thought it would be fun to give you all a closer look into how we select content—by live-blogging a poetry selection meeting! Meetings typically last at least two hours, so in an effort to make this, you know, approachable, I’ve cut things down a bit; be sure to check the time markers for how long we spend discussing each poem. We give every submission its due, but if a poem makes it this far in the process, we will take all the time it needs for a thorough reading.
In the spirit of professionalism, I have relabeled our staff by acronyms: E for our Editor, AE for our Associate Editor, PE for our Poetry Editor, R# for our nine readers, and WE for me. The poems are sorted into packets; P2P1, for example, would be the first poem in the second packet.
This particular meeting occurred last Friday, a few days before the Super Bowl (which we do not have comments on…). Poems needed to receive seven votes for publication. Enjoy!
6:20 p.m.: Settling in. We’ve got Hershey’s kisses and Upland Wheat Ale (the beverage of choice on Parks and Recreation!) and blue tortilla chips and salsa and chocolate chip cookies and wine!
6:21: The coat rack fell over! Because R1 put one too many coats on it. Which knocked over a glass of water! Which got all over the WE’s pants! Commotion ensues!
6:24: WE is finally approaching dry. Small talk. Discussion over the creation of a new editorial position. Tentative title: “Furniture Editor.” Responsibilities will include selecting furniture and who may sit on it.
6:28: PE calls the meeting to order. There are five packets left over from the last meeting, and we’ll start with those. R1 is holding the first packet of poems. Now, eerily quiet by comparison.
6:29: R1 reads P1P1.