A Statement of Core Principles
We publish no free verse at all. We publish formal metrical verse only, following the example of the great pre-modernist masters, and of those contemporary writers who maintain that tradition.
We are not interested in poems that employ an excessive number of substitute feet. If we have trouble finding the stresses in your line, we will not publish your work.
We do not consider syllabic verse to be metrical verse. Moreover, we have a very limited tolerance for hypermetric lines and heterometric forms.
We are allergic to mid-line breaks, or anything else that gratuitously violates typographical conventions. We prefer left-margin capitalization of every line, but we recognize that this is not the practice of all poets.
We believe that the register of language in poetry should always be distinct from that of ordinary colloquial speech.
We believe that an excessive dependence on slant-rhymes and assonance in end-position is a sign of incompetence.
We do not publish poems that are vague, gaseous, or that indicate a flaccid and sentimentalizing mindset.
We do not publish poems that are primarily quoted dialogue, nor poems that make extensive use of quotation marks.
We judge poems primarily by their inherent craftsmanship, not their subject matter. We see no reason to publish a mediocre poem just because it trumpets virtuous sentiments, or expresses sincere feelings. We specifically refuse to evaluate any poem by the yardstick of political correctness.
At the same time, we believe that subject matter is another ingredient that goes into the overall aesthetic effect of a poem. For that reason we will reject metrically excellent poems if we find their subject matter boring or trivial or fatuous; or if the subject matter is handled ineptly; or if the subject matter does not suit the chosen poetic vehicle.
We believe that poems are fictive artifacts of a self-contained nature. For us, any poem that pretends to a bogus authenticity; or that consciously cultivates dissonance and asymmetry; or that deliberately avoids aesthetic closure, is ipso facto a failure.
We have taken as our watchword the sentence of Charles Maurras: Voulant des clartés, vous en faites. We believe that the primary task of a poet is not to discover beauty, but to create it with his own skill and energy.