Meet the Editors: Poetry Editor Alan Beyersdorf
Last month, GTP announced a new submissions manager and a new staff member. Today, we’re introducing that staff member – Poetry Editor Alan Beyersdorf – and his project within Glass Tower Press.
– Feliza Casano is the editor in chief of Glass Tower Press.
Growing up I learned that poetry was about a nice, cleanly presented rhyme and meter, about placing whatever message you wanted to express fit nicely into someone else’s mold. In grade school and throughout high school, I found myself being pushed away from a language that I could not understand or relate to. I was shown the famous Shakespearean sonnets and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and told that this is the poetry to learn from.
I remember staring blankly at the words, reading them over and over again, but without much hope at finding meaning. It left an awful taste in my mouth, and I decided that poetry was not for me. After that, any thought of reading it was met with resistance.
Little did I know that poetry wasn’t finished with me.
I’ve learned a lot since then and my appreciation for the English language has grown. I no longer think about words as something I just have to get through, but as something to be savored, and I’ve learned how to write my own poetry in modern terms.
The form that I have experimented so frequently is called free verse, and it changed the way in which I viewed everything I have learned up to this point.
Free verse is an attempt to emulate actual thoughts or words and put them onto the page in that way. The rhyme is a natural rhyme created through the words of our own vocabulary, unique to each of us. The meter is a natural meter, following the speaker’s breath and cadence developed over a lifetime.
Poetry is about moving out of time. Taking a microscope to a single moment that may otherwise go overlooked and looking to see what’s inside. And by inside, I mean outside and all of the things surrounding you.
This love of poetry has brought me full circle. I believe that there are others in the same position that I was in and I do not want them to be so quick to push poetry away. I am proud to announce the opening of Stained Glass Books, an imprint of Glass Tower Press interested in contests for and the publication of up and coming poets.
Because we know that gaining traction in the literary word can be difficult, we hope to allow poets to build their portfolio through publishing accepted submissions, as well as winning money though a variety of contests. We are also accepting submissions for poetry chapbooks.
At Stained Glass Books, we are interested in creating genuine handmade books, as real as the thoughts and words that will be found inside of them. We’re looking forward to your submissions and developing a strong literary community in Toledo.
– Alan Beyersdorf is the poetry editor at Glass Tower Press and the imprint Stained Glass Books.