Crime Fiction is rife for poetry, and the editors and poets of the latest issue of The Lineup: Poems on Crime prove that point. The poems in this collection are sharp, tough and pithy. Good poetry is. Today I welcome Gerald So as guest blogger.
Gerald So is best known as fiction editor for The Thrilling Detective Web Site (2001-'09). He also served as president of The Short Mystery Fiction Society (2008-'10). Since 2008, he has co-edited THE LINEUP: POEMS ON CRIME, whose fourth annual issue went on sale April 1. GERALD SO:
The idea for THE LINEUP came to me in 2007 from A.E. Roman, author of the Chico Santana P.I. series (CHINATOWN ANGEL, THE SUPERMAN PROJECT). Knowing of my poetry and my work as fiction editor for The Thrilling Detective Web Site, Roman asked if I had ever thought of putting together an anthology of crime-themed poetry. I told him I hadn't, but would explore the idea.
I e-mailed a handful of people I thought had the right sensibilities and book design know-how. Patrick Shawn Bagley, Richie Narvaez, and Anthony Rainone responded. A year earlier, Anthony had had an article published in MYSTERY SCENE MAGAZINE--"Raven in a Trenchcoat: Hardboiled and Noir Poetry"--in which he traced criminal undertones from classic to postmodern poetry, featuring Patrick and me, among current poets. Richie I knew from his Web site, Asinine Poetry, but I had also accepted a P.I. story of his, "El Bohemio", for Thrilling Detective.
I invited the four of them to co-edit with me, but Roman had no time to read submissions, so Patrick, Richie, Anthony, and I shaped the concept from there. The first annual LINEUP, published in July 2008, was by-invitation-only. We've accepted unsolicited poetry since Issue 2, and have published on April 1--the start of National Poetry Month--since Issue 3. Patrick and Anthony have stepped down to write their novels, but two of THE LINEUP's earliest contributors--Sarah Cortez and Reed Farrel Coleman--have come aboard.
THE LINEUP has featured new and previously published poetry by David Corbett, Ken Bruen, Sophie Hannah, John Harvey, Manuel Ramos, and Stephen Jay Schwartz, to name a few. As of Issue 5, which opened to submissions March 1, we accept only unpublished work. We hope this encourages poets and writers who discover--as I have--there are some moments, some images, poetry captures much better than prose.
THE LINEUP is currently carried by Murder By The Book in Houston, Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis, and The Mysterious Bookshop in New York. Buy online HERE
Thanks again, Janet, for inviting me to guest-blog.