Cutting to the Heart and Truth

Our editing group enjoyed taking the time to read all the submissions assigned to us. We did a close read, and thought hard about where we could suggest the authors make some edits, for anything we proposed for inclusion in this issue. Honestly, there were few, if any, that made it to final acceptance that didn’t receive some form of editing or change advice. Speaking strictly for myself, it was this editing process – taking that extra time, and reading a piece repeatedly to find it’s heart, it’s truth, that endeared them to me.

One of my favorite poems in this issue came to us a little bloated and lopsided and in need of editing. We initially placed it in the ‘maybe’ category, but thankfully, on a subsequent read-through, we caught a glimpse of the magical details hidden inside the surplus words.

Mikaila, the author of “His First Adventure,” saw poetry in small ordinary moments, and described those moments vividly, creating enchanting, but believable imagery. We could see that her poem had heart, and its truth resonated with all of us! It just contained some extra words, which we suggested she cut. To her credit, Mikaila took our suggestions, and it was awesome to see how she was able to strengthen an already good piece, making it great!

In her poem, Mikaila creates a fantastical world, as seen through the eyes of a weary mom, the way she imagines her small child sees it. She captivates our imagination, and every single word is necessary and does its job.

Take a close read of “His First Adventure” when you purchase your copy of Red Weather, and see if you agree! Copies will be available at our launch party on May 1st (more details to come) or online at https://www.mnstate.edu/redweather/order.aspx

-Linda A.

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