Thanks so much to everyone who welcomed Kaity Davie as our new Social Media Manager! We would now like to introduce you to Assistant Poetry Editor Wilson Josephson, who is Bee's new right hand man. Check out more about Wilson on the editorial staff page!
Remember to check out RPD's weekly artist features every Wednesday on our Tumblr! You can access it by clicking "blog" on the RPD site or visit rpdsociety.tumblr.com
A change is gonna come.It is important for us at RPD to always stay ahead of the curve. There is nothing that drives us crazier than having to be reactive instead of proactive. But after the stresses of trying to put together each monthly issue in only two weeks for over a year, we knew it was time to do something. Therefore, our submission period has officially moved to the 15th-close of every month. We look forward to accepting submissions for our June issue this month!
As you can see via our sidebar, another important change we've made is giving our beloved Bee Walsh an assistant poetry editor. After receiving over 200 poetry submissions last month, I don't know how she would have made it without the wonderful addition of Wilson Josephson. Wilson will be assisting Bee in choosing poetry for publication, workshopping submissions, and working with contributors on Tumblr features. Check out Wilson's contributions to his first RPD Newsletter below!
We at RPD are always looking for more feedback from The Society at large. Please email us and let us know how we're doing! Is there content you love? Content that made you see red? Content you can't understand why we published? Let's talk about it! Email us and let us know your thoughts - we'd love to hear from you.
Finally, we want to take a moment to encourage you (yes, YOU) to contribute your work to RPD. In the 17 issues RPD had published since it's birth in 2013, we have featured an array of contributors from all walks of life, working in tandem with our editorial staff. As we continue to publish works by poets and writers of a variety of nationalities, ages, gender identities, religions, and sexual orientations, we look to you. You have a unique voice, a unique life experience, and we encourage you to share it with not only us, but the world. We challenge you to change us. Be yourself, be amazing, be different.
Be Not For the Faint of Heart.
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Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes A lot of new things happened over the past month at RPD. The editorial staff reflects:
JORDAN:The most important job that an Editor-in-Chief has is listening not only to the readers of her magazine, but to her staff. When they need something or have a strong gut feeling on something, you have to help them. In the past 30 days, there was a lot I needed to do for my staff. Bee was finally ready to ask for help in editing poetry, so I encouraged her efforts to select an assistant and brought Wilson into our ranks. Adam suffered a major technological malfunction, and it was my job to reassure him he was doing fine and that I was hear to help him get organized while he tried to figure out how to function without a computer. Kaity got a lot of great selfies & some heart-felt praise for continuing to smoothly run the Twitter, Facebook, & Tumblr pages while at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. And Jen, my right hand woman who has stood by me through a great deal, is getting my reassurance that there are more nonfiction submissions coming (get on that people, would you?) for her to sprinkle her amazing brand of editing on. Change can be good, as long as you recognize what your role in that change is.
JEN:Like a person, our magazine is always evolving. We're still young and there are still changes we need to make to become the most effective publication we can be. So far, all of these changes have been minor and many have been behind the scenes: we've tweaked the way we organize our submissions, the way we communicate with out contributors, our layout, and most recently our submission period. This last change will give us more time to work with our contributors on their pieces. Seriously, guys: submit! I'm looking forward to reading all the nonfiction you have for me.
BEE: I am a bad poetry editor. Not insofar as I am bad at editing poetry, but that I am bad at functioning as an Editor on a team of Editors working at their tasks to publish a magazine. It could be because I work at a print magazine 60 hours a week in my day life or it could be because I want to spend all my time reading poetry and none of my time adhering to deadlines. That all being said, I quite like working at RPD, and as such, Jordan and I agreed: I need an assistant. Somebody as equally invested in poetry and literature, but who would be willing to work with me to make sure all that needs doing gets done. All of our jobs as editors here are equally as challenging and time consuming, but in recent history, the poetry category has been receiving quite a voluminous amount of submissions, and at the end of my work day, staring down the throat of 250 poems to read was daunting. Enter: Wilson Josephson. A tall, bright young man from New Hampshire going to school in Minnesota with an appetite for literature and desire to expand his capabilities as an editor. Oh, and also, he's one of the founders of Literary Starbucks.
ADAM:Tackling two submission periods in succession was a battle I was prepared for; armed and ready with pen and RPD journal, I was ready for the fray, even looking forward to it. My computer then crashed, and circumstance laughed maniacally at me for the remainder of the month. The tumultuous nature of the past few weeks aside, though, I'm very excited to be moving into April and very proud of the content we have in store for our readers. It's going to be a good one, folks. Signing off from a borrowed computer.
WILSON: I have a knack for trouble. Whether I find it or it finds me, we’re never apart for long. Usually these are small-stakes troubles, and I can happily say (borrowing from Bill Murray) “convicted? No. Never convicted.” Often it’s just general clowning: when I was little, harassing the big kids; when I was older, harassing my professors. Sometimes it’s willful idiocy, like indoor fireworks. (Don’t. I promise.) Fairly regularly I find myself in trouble simply because I wade in until I’m out of my depth. I don’t yet know what kind of trouble I’m headed towards as I join the ranks of the Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. Who knows? Maybe I’ll cause more trouble than I’m subjected to. All I know is it’s an irresistible offer: I can, for the low, low price of free, fill myself to the gills with poetry. Bee has given me warning upon warning. She’s told me she’s one of the four horsewomen of the apocalypse, and she’s told me I should be more afraid than I am. But I have a knack for trouble, and this time I intend to dive in head first.
Teenage Wasteland The staffers reflect on a topic we saw a lot of in our submissions for April: adolescence.
Jordan: When I was a teenager I was even more obnoxious than I am now, if you can believe that. I was acutely aware that I had received the luck of the draw that eluded many of my friends: I was an only child with parents who still loved each other and remained married. I went to a tremendous public school with a decent arts program. I was outgoing and had a lot of friends. I got good grades. I never drank alcohol, and never experimented with drugs or sex, in high school. In fact, you might go so far as to say I was boring. On the surface, yes that was true. But in reality the drama my goody two shoes friends and I created was horrendous and very real. We emotionally tortured one another, many of the things that transpired still lingering with me today. It was almost as if my personal life was too good, so I had to create chaos elsewhere. Now that my home life has become more messy and out of my control, I have so much respect for the effortless (and drama-less) friendships I maintain. If I could go back and meet that 17-year-old Jordan, I would tell her to chill out with the drama. But nice Cure t-shirt.
Jen:When April rolls around every year (and with it, my birthday), it's hard not to think about the events in my life up to the point I'm at. I can identify a lot of life choices and events that have shaped my personality - the schools I chose to go to, the places I chose to live, the friends I've made - but nothing definitive stands out. I'm realizing that so far, for me, life has been a series of transitions rather than a division into a Before and an After some momentous event. Things happen, and I change because of them, but that would happen no matter what. I almost certainly would have been a different person if different things had happened, but some of those were probably things I never noticed happening: if I'd turned left one day instead of right, if I'd stopped at the post office before the grocery store instead of after, etc. Regardless, I'm happy with who I turned out to be, and I'm glad for the events that made me this way.
Bee: Ask me to describe a memory to you from my childhood, and I will tell you it happened when I was seven; every tumble down the stairs, every inflatable pool in the backyard, every snowball. My mother suffers from dissociative amnesia due in part to, well, any number of traumatic incidents in her life which for the majority of my childhood caused her to be great when things were good and psychotic when things were not. I've always assumed that my mind took a cue from her and did it's best to box up the unpleasant memories and showcase the best ones. Growing up with a mother whose sense of her own timeline was severely lacking, let alone the validity of her "memories," did not impart any necessity for truth or actuality in my own. I shy away from telling stories about my upbringing as while I feel as is if they happened, they actually be just that: stories. There are a few key memories I have that I know are true, they are a shared memory of several family members, and we talk about them when we are together, but for the rest, they happened when I was seven, if they happened at all.
Adam:I was the ADHD generation concentrated in a small, angst-ridden frame and a child raised on television, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and a set of encyclopedias I forged my mother's signature for. I made myself cereal on Saturday mornings while the rest of the house slept, listened to compact discs on a portable CD player, stole batteries from the remote control, and wandered the streets alone when it rained. I thought back then that life was a documentary and maybe, if you were lucky, someone sitting on a cloud was watching yours. I was eight years old and scared shitless when Donnie Darko flopped in theaters, and I still listen to "Under the Milky Way" with an air of nostalgia, because everything was and is so strange, and I decided then to stop trying to understand.
Wilson: I don’t have much perspective on adolescence. If childhood were a war, I’d be in the trenches; if it were a whale, I’d be its Jonah. It’s hard to point to a formative year when you’re still forming. Mistakes abound, and I can’t look back more than a week without feeling a little sorry for the man-that-was (see: “knack for trouble”). Since most neurological research suggests that I have a few more years before I wash up on the shores of adulthood, I feel I owe it to the man-that-will-be to pay close attention to the little things. Because it’s the little things that have been most important. I didn’t learn much from my first paycheck or my first kiss, and I’d relinquish my memories of funerals and newborns without too much thought. The little things are what stick with me: when my car broke down in a thunderstorm; when my softball team couldn’t win a game, and we were all happy anyway; when the bacon was burnt instead of crisped.
ARCHIVES: ISSUES AND NEWSLETTERS
Archives of our past newsletters can be located on our site for your reading pleasure.
Be sure to also visit the archive of old issues of RPD, neatly arranged in a digital "glossy" version.
Both can be found under the Archives tab at the top of the site.
Until next time,
Jordan, Jen, Bee, & Adam
THE EDITORIAL STAFF