Who the hell are you to start a poetry magazine?


“Good Question.
“My name is David M. Harris, I’ve got an MFA from Goddard College (although that’s in fiction, not poetry), I have taught writing since 1998, and before that I worked in publishing (mostly trade books, mostly as an editor) for a couple of decades. This is my first formal experiment with editing poetry, although I do organize a local poetry group through Meetup.com.
“As an author, I’ve published a novel (and sold another that never got published) and a collection of essays, a few stories, a software manual, a bunch of articles, and some poetry. I’ve also written a couple of films, but you haven’t seen them. (They were produced, but you still haven’t seen them. Trust me.)
“I’ve been to the Clockhouse Writers Conference, and Tin House, and this year (2009) I’ll be at Wildacres. If you run into me at a conference, feel free to mention that in your emailed submission, but don’t hand me your poetry there.
“And why should I have a poetry magazine? I’ve got my vision of what kind of poetry I like, and I wanted to promote it. Why not? Check the Guidelines for details.”

Thus wrote David M. Harris in 2009 when he started Rat’s Ass Review.
As of 2015 there is a new editor. My name is Roderick Bates. I have a BA from Dartmouth College. I had my first poem anthologized at the age of 18, and have been writing [fitfully] ever since. Founding editor David M. Harris was kind enough to accept two of my poems for inclusion in Rat’s Ass Review in 2009. I have been a fan of the magazine from the beginning, and when the opportunity came to take over as editor, I was delighted that David passed the mantle to me. As was the case with David, this is my first formal editorship of a poetry magazine. I hope you like our work. Of course, if you don’t, that’s fine, too; you know what we don’t give.

11 replies on “Who the hell are you to start a poetry magazine?

Also glad I found the RAR. I also write lyrics for musicals. If you don’t get a lyric when it’s sung, it’s too late.. You don’t get to go back and figure out what the goose that was about. I like that in a goose.

Any journal publishing a slightly? twisted point of view and also the work of my Welsh poetic friend, Robert Nisbet, is ok with me.
You’ll be “hearing” from me soon.

It brings me great joy to have been one of only two poets published back in the “early years” (2011). I’m glad it’s still up and running. I was worried that 2011 was going to be the final year. I’m proud to list this no-nonsense-cut-the-crap journal in my bio.

Thanks, Carrie. I’m delighted to be able to keep your work available in Rat’s Ass Review. I had no idea how much work this was going to be when I took over from David, or how rewarding it would be.

This may not be PC, but I’m glad guys are editing and choosing what poems should be included. Another War Story I really loved. Minimal, yet power punch packed. Great job, guys. If you begin to publish fiction too, I’m ready with my stories (which I like to think are poetic in their own way).

Hi Mr. Bates,
I like your straight forward approach. We write for ourselves; we share with others, so why shouldn’t you publish what you like? The only person we have to please is ourselves. If we don’t like what we do, have faith in it, then why should anyone else.

Keep publishing!


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