Sweet on the pandemic

Hi Sweet writers & readers,

Just wanted to let you know that we are open for submissions, and reading already-submitted work diligently, if often slowly. It is strange to live through such a world-changing experience as this pandemic, to be in the midst of it and know just how huge it is, to be observant and thoughtful and wonder just what sort of changes may come. At the same time as we’re surviving day-to-day, we’re inevitably seeing this thing as writers—following themes and phrases, trying to make sense of it all through words.

I know one question I have as a writer is just how tired editors may become of poems that refer to the pandemic, so I thought I’d address that issue as far as Sweet’s poetry submissions go: honestly, we’re still looking for the poems we like best, regardless of topic. If you’re sending us new work, it will inevitably be affected by the pandemic, no matter what it’s about. The dread, the uncertainty, the confinement—it will underlie poems even if you’re writing about your childhood. If you’re writing specifically about the pandemic, that’s ok too, as long as you’re turning it over/around/inside out, making art of it.

If it’s work that only makes sense if read within a short time of a specific news event, however, you’re better off finding one of the several current events poetry venues that are out there on the internet. Several have popped up specifically to deal with the art we cannot help but make about the COVID-19 pandemic.

We hope that some of the work you read in Sweet may sustain you during this bizarre and difficult time. We are grateful for the work you send in to us to consider, and glad there are so many fine writers out there.

–Katie Riegel, Editor & Poetry Editor

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