Rat’s Ass Review is an online poetry magazine published twice a year. This year they are also publishing poems for a special collection entitled Such an Ugly Time for the first 100 days of the new US administration. Their site includes some great resources for poets, including a page entitled Want to write better poetry? and info on how and the magazine first came to life here: Who the hell are you to start a poetry magazine?
I wondered how and why this lit mag came to be, so I asked editor Roderick Bates a few questions to find out. See my interview with Bates and a link to their submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Rat’s Ass Review.
BATES: Rat’s Ass Review was founded in 2009 by David M. Harris, who published three issues between June of 2009 and March of 2011. David then moved on to other things, and the magazine went into hibernation until I connected with David in 2014 and got his blessing to take over the editing responsibilities. Since then Rat’s Ass Review has published four regular issues (two yearly) and a massive collection of over 700 poems on the subject of love in our Love & Ensuing Madness section. We are now collecting political poems for our new Such an Ugly Time collection, and we are also gathering poems for our summer edition.
HOPKINSON: How/why was Rat’s Ass Review originally started?
BATES: I can’t speak to David Harris’ intentions when he began RAR, but I am grateful that he saw fit to publish a couple of my poems, as this is what spawned my interest in continuing the publication.
HOPKINSON: What type of work are you looking for?
BATES: Arrgh! Here’s where I try to avoid sounding like Ernie Kovacs in his Percy Dovetonsils persona (and if you have any sense at all you will stop reading this and go check out Kovacs on YouTube). I am drawn to poems that generate crushing sadness, sardonic laughter, the feeling that you just got punched in the gut, or, I suppose, some combination of any two or perhaps all three of the above.
HOPKINSON: What are some of your favorite lit mags/journals?
BATES: Ones that occur to me in the moment are Yellow Chair Review, Stillwater Review, Rattle (of course), and any venue that publishes work by Alexis Rhone Fancher.
HOPKINSON: Where can folks send submissions?
BATES: They can submit up to five poems to email@example.com. If they really want to make me happy, they should include their bio and the titles of the individual poems in the email, type their poems using Times or Times New Roman, font size 12, left justified, and resist the urge to capitalize the first word of every line as though they were writing with a quill pen. They can also check out our complete Submission Guidelines for more info.
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
BATES: Use the same email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEADLINE: April 15, 2017 (Summer Issue)
SUBMISSION FEE: None