From the Editor’s Desk
  Kate Bernadette Benedict

News: The Makeover Edition

The idea of “makeovers” is much in your editor’s mind these days, for she and her husband are putting their home of 35 years on the market and they have spent the last five months spiffing up the place for show. Scraping, painting, reappointing, rearranging, decluttering—a full-time job, really, and we can only imagine how much more daunting the project is for those who live in actual houses and not “cozy” one-bedroom apartments!

The decluttering process was much like editing; a key aspect of editing, after all, is making temporarily painful cuts in the service of the whole. Good poets understand this; they subject each draft, in turn, to the slash and the burn. And then some cool-eyed editor may ask for more! I do that sometimes and often the suggestion resonates and the poet is pleased. Still, as I wrote to one poet recently, “I give myself over to the submitted poems I admire and respond with what I hope are pure intentions. But it’s a slippery slope, and I know enough to know I’m sometimes wrong.”

With the help of the opinion of co-editors, I count on being less wrong. Umbrella celebrates her fourth anniversary with a makeover of her own. Linda Stern and W. F. Lantry have joined the masthead. Linda is a New York City poet who co-published the poetry journal Endymion in the 1970s; she is a freelance editor and her copyediting eye is 20-20. Bill has been publishing internationally and indeed recently won the International Poetry for Peace Prize sponsored by the Lindberg Peace Foundation in Israel for his poem “Kiste.” Do read about them in more detail on our Masthead Page. And join me in extending warm thanks to Rachel Dacus and C. E. Chaffin for their vital contributions to Umbrella’s first four years of publication

Now Whirls the Tilt

Submission periods are unpredictable and since this issue of Umbrella yielded a choice lineup of just ten poets, and those writing in free verse, we are publishing Tilt-a-Whirl, our “sporadical” of poetry featuring repeating forms, simultaneously. Fine free verse and fine form: publishing and promulgating both types of poetry is a key aspect of our mission here at Umbrella Publishing Group.

Call for Submissions

The next release of Umbrella, Spring-Summer 2011, goes live May 1. The reading period opens on February 15 and closes April 10; please check the guidelines after February 15 for more specific information. Tilt-a-Whirl continues to read on an ongoing basis and seeks poems written in repeating forms only. Please read the journal for more information on the type of poems sought.

Umbrella’s 2010 Award Nominations

Dzanc Best of the Web

Judith Terzi:   She’s a Double Abecedarian
Gareth Trew: When the Sun Sets
Lew Watts:   360 Degree Appraisal

Best of the Net

C. B. Anderson:   Of This World
Claire Askew:   Books
W. F. Lantry:   Möbius
David Manning:  A Council of Frogs
Sharon Fagan McDermott:   Against Unraveling
Allison Smythe:   Divisible World

Pushcart Prize

Marilyn Annucci:  By the Banks of the Daintree River
Maryann Corbett:  Campus Visit
Ruth E. Foley:  The Greatest Sin is to be Unconscious
John Grey:  Pessimism Act Three
Nancy Scott:   Still Life with Dead Rabbit and Flugelhorn
Buxton Wells: C2

This Issue’s Art

This month’s cover image is a photograph taken by the widely published author Dinty W. Moore, whose memoir Between Panic & Desire (University of Nebraska) was winner of the 2009 Grub Street Nonfiction Book. He lives in Athens, Ohio where he directs Ohio University’s BA, MA, and PhD in Creative Writing program. Please visit his boffo website.


A perhaps strange-seeming link appears on our submissions page. We were approached for this bit of advertising and decided to say yay in order to bring in a little (did I say little?) (yep, wee) revenue. There are other links of that nature on the core pages (but never the poetry pages). Your editor trusts that her readers will recognize that a few unobtrusive ads makes a contribution to a good cause. Contributions are always welcome!  In fact, your editor launched an email campaign a few months ago which yielded soul-boosting results and for that, many thanks.   

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