The new issue of Umbrella Journal is now online, and it's well worth a visit. Kate Bernadette Benedict is the publisher and editor of this quarterly which she began a little more than a year ago. The journal has already earned a reputation for excellence. Each issue contains a number of unusual features. My essay, "Charlotte Mew's 'The Farmer's Bride,'" appears in the Close Reads feature. Then there is also a Milestones feature where poets discuss a poem they feel marked some kind of turning point in their growth as poets. Interviews, book reviews, Bumbershoot (light verse), and, of course, poems. In addition to poems on a variety of topics, there is always a section of themed poems. Poets in the current issue include Annie Finch, Barbara Crooker, Rachel Dacus, Penny Harter, Susan Settlemyre Williams, and Barry Spacks. So check it out. And consider submitting some work for the next issue's call for "hot" poems.
I'm still up in the air in regards to print vs online journals. I confess to a bias in favor of print, but journals like Umbrella, Poemeleon, and Valparaiso Poetry Review have made me aware of how fine online journals can be. And I think it's a good idea to have work online as well as in print. I know I've several times been contacted by readers who've seen my poems online. I don't recall that that has ever happened with a print publication. Is anything cooler than an unexpected bit of fan email? Online publications also have the advantage of being available in perpetuity to everyone all over the world, thus making your work accessible to who knows how many readers. When I'm thinking about online submissions, I look for a journal with an attractive overall design, beautiful artwork, easy navigability, readability, archives, and quality of the work in past issues. I much prefer a journal that is a real website to one that is a blog, possibly because the latter is proliferating so rapidly. And may expire just as rapidly?