Positwas founded in 2013 and “publishes a stimulating, dynamic selection of the finest new poetry, prose and visual art -- accomplished, sophisticated work that may be eclectic in style but is always innovative, challenging, and aesthetically broadening.” They are an all-inclusive lit mag seeking work “by writers and artists of all nationalities, ages, races, gender identifications, sexual orientations, and career stages” and support their contributors by sharing their work on social media and nominating for Pushcart, Best of the Net, etc.
I wondered how and why this lit mag came to be, so I asked Posit editor and publisher Susan Lewis a few questions to find out. See my interview with Lewis and a link to their submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Posit.
LEWIS: Posit is an online journal which publishes poetry, fiction, and visual art quarterly. We like to think of it as intimate and selective: publishing a very limited number of highly accomplished writers and artists per issue. We are interested in innovative contemporary work, with an emphasis on aesthetic cohesion and fine craftsmanship. We consider ourselves a feminist journal which is deeply committed to publishing work by writers and artists of all nationalities, ages, races, gender identifications, sexual orientations, and career stages. We have a particular interest in the experimental.
HOPKINSON: How did the idea of Posit first come about and evolve into the journal it is today?
LEWIS: After serving as a poetry editor, fiction editor, guest editor, and managing editor at a number of literary journals, not to mention being a contributor to scores of others, I developed a good idea of the kind of journal I wanted to work on. Finally I realized the only way this was going to happen was if I started my own! My goals were to found an online journal that would be highly selective, featuring poetry and prose that was eclectic in style, but always innovative and challenging–work that made the reader stretch rather than feel comforted. At the same time I wanted to create a publication folks would actually enjoy perusing, something lovely to look at, but also carefully limited in scope (i.e. readable in one or two sittings), that would appear often enough to establish a feeling of continuity and reliability, with enough time between issues to showcase each one, as well as avoid reader fatigue or overload. Finally, I believe it's a wonderful use of the potential of online publication to feature visual art–not as decoration or accompaniment to the literary art but as substantive work of comparable merit and gravitas, curated by someone with genuine expertise in the field.
HOPKINSON: What’s your reading window and how do you select which pieces go in which issue?
LEWIS: We read submissions from September through May. I confer with arts editor Melissa Stern about the visual art submissions and with associate editor Bernd Sauermann about the poetry and prose. We are looking for work we can't NOT publish–work that commands our attention and continues to reward it with layers of implication, innovation, and artistry. It's worth pointing out, though, that subtlety can also take our breath away. We're not all about shock value. Posit's goal is to provide an aesthetically pleasing showcase for carefully curated, highly innovative work that is not circumscribed by affiliation with any particular poetic movement or aesthetic clique.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite journals?
LEWIS: I love TAMMY, Lana Turner, VOLT, Prelude, Entropy, The Brooklyn Rail, Boston Review, Poetry, Verse… and many many more!
HOPKINSON: Where can poets, writers, and artists send submissions?