Download Maya Marshall's Writing Prompts (PDF)In this episode, Rachel talks with Maya Marshall, a self-described demanding and productive writer and editor with [PANK] magazine—yes, the magazine founded by Roxane Gay.

Among much glorious and affirming advice she shares for writers, she is clearly someone who delights in language and craft, and cheers this enchantment—a word that comes up often in our interview—when she sees it in her submission inbox.

They talk about mentoring and modelling, and about the risque words she does not want you to send into [PANK]—at least, not until you have a more mature revision practice.

Episode Transcript

Rachel Thompson: [00:00:02] Welcome to the Lit Mag Love podcast, Maya Marshall.

Maya Marshall: [00:00:06] Thank you for having me.

Rachel Thompson: [00:00:07] How did you become a writer? Did you have family members who also wrote?

Maya Marshall: [00:00:12] I certainly did. I was raised by an artist/arts administrator a kind of human who spent a lot of time in her youth and in mine protesting and doing social justice work. So I grew up in rooms full of storytellers and visual artists and museums and I was a participant and writers in the schools Houston which is you know central to teaching artistic classrooms and help students generate creative writing. So, I grew up in this kind of group writing activities and I was underfoot in museums and galleries and followed my mom around for her one-woman shows. And you know I remember listening to her read aloud the first book she ever wrote. I was certainly a little shy kid who would hide under my blankets and read with my flashlight well after my bedtime and so I’ve been writing since I can remember. In fact, my first public reading was at an anti-KKK rally in Austin Texas, in like 1990 three or something—in the third grade. So yeah, I mean I was I was thrown headfirst into the arts and stayed there.

Rachel Thompson: [00:01:19] What beginnings with a third grade reading at such a rally.

Maya Marshall: [00:01:24] I mean, I don’t know, I come from black people, my mom was raised in Brooklyn by a woman who was born in Augusta Georgia, and who did the Great Migration thing to New York in the 1940s. My father was raised by middle-class black folks who worked as a librarian and as a teacher and as a city administrator. And so we are a family full of helpers and activists. And so I feel like it’s my responsibility to show up. And I do that most often through education, through educating other people through teaching, and through writing.

Rachel Thompson: [00:02:10] What is your writing practice like?

Maya Marshall: [00:02:12] Well I recently graduated from the MFA program at the University of South Carolina. And so for the last three years, it’s been very rigorous. Once a week deadlines. I have a practice now of writing revision narratives where I look at a poem and or essay that I’ve written and sort of talk out why it is organized the way I have, and what questions it raises for me, what discoveries I’ve made in the process of putting it together, and how it might be strengthened by a shift in simile or linebreak or prosity. And so I’m more attentive in that in that way than I was five years ago. At this point, I’m just trying to write regularly because now I don’t have the constraints of the program. So I get up and I know that my best writing hours are like ten to noon and three to five and I’m sort of sort of not very good at writing other times of the day. And I’ve released my chokehold on the first draft such that I can put them down for three days and then come back and look at it with fresh eyes and sort of come back in and reshape and I’ve learned there’s not really a writer’s block—at this point I can actually do a procedural so I can just take the text from someplace else and reshape it into a poem or into something that creates questions for me and I find myself wanting to answer. So you know I write maybe three reading is out of the week. I now work from home so I work for Haymarket Books as a copy editor and my job is to read nonfiction and the brain gets tired after a while. So I do I just sort of give myself the treat, in the practice of writing three days out of the week for few hours and letting my drafts settle before I come back to them. My goal—because I am a list writer and a timeline maker is to finish the revision of my thesis so that it is a book by the end of the calendar year and to start sending it out. It’s exciting and I’m now free to write poems have nothing to do with my book and I’m excited about being light and to write again.

Rachel Thompson: [00:04:16] I love what you said about, there is no such thing as writer’s block and that you find ways to basically create some kind of active motivation for you to keep writing.

Maya Marshall: [00:04:25] It’s helpful to have you know generative prompts right, so my friend Marty McConnell has this series of prompts that she calls the fierce prompts and so every month or so, I sit down and just sort of answer the generative questions that she asks. My friend DéLana Demaron John does something similar. So, you know at this point I have piles and piles of binders of prompts that I’ve created or that my friends have created or that were lesson plans that I have used for my students that I get to use for myself, so there’s no excuse not to say something in the day. Like, if I’m going to take those six hours a week, sometimes they’re spent staring at a blank page because I need to think about what I want to say. Sometimes my job is just to start writing and the way to do that is to just respond to something that causes a reaction an emotional reaction and those prompts have been helpful. It’s important to maintain urgency. If you don’t you can just stop writing, I guess. I would not want that for my life.

Rachel Thompson: [00:05:25] I want to ask you about hope because you’re talking coming from a hopeful family, a hopeful people. And I’m also going to quote back to you something that you wrote about your goal in your writing, which you said was to foreground the essential roles that women in our work play in our economy and in defining the mythology of American Beauty and how your work interrogates the impact of received delicates like clothing and labour and intellectual work on the female body on the perception of beauty on intimate often domestic relationships and on the degrees of imagined and perceived Americanness. And, the hope part is I’m wondering what gives you hope as you write these narratives, today.

Maya Marshall: [00:06:08] I’ve spent the last few years reading about and interviewing my my mother and my grandmother and my matrilineal line, and these woman have survived a great deal of trouble—of abuse, of poverty, and undermining and their positions as bosses, when they have been bosses, and they have never given up the choice to dress well, to feel good, to laugh, to train their daughters to be demanding and also productive and also strong—strength is part of the definition of beauty. I always had my own sort of tomboyish style, and that was a privilege, right, a gift from my mom to say like express yourself as you see fit and that you are beautiful in the body that you are in, because it is strong, because it is capable, and because we’ve chosen to adorn you. So that was important to me.

Maya Marshall: [00:07:14] One of my earliest projects was this chapbook, secondhand lingerie, in which I wrote about the lingerie section of the thrift shop. Because, what a fascinating thing, and it shouldn’t be a surprising thing that poor women also have the right to be sexy. Right? They really can’t afford Journelle two hundred dollar pieces. You know, the people who take care of the household and cook chicken for dinner then, at the end of that, we can come to our partners and be soft and be wearing something that makes us feel full and alive and alluring, even if that comes from some other woman’s home. It makes me think about who wore it first and what circumstance led her to let say her négligé go.

Maya Marshall: [00:08:05] There is so much shared, so much physically shared between lovers, between sisters, between friends who do clothing swaps, for example. I just, I don’t know enamoured with the idea that we can inherent intimacy that we teach sexiness to one another. So that was an idea that stuck with me for a few years. I’ve moved from it now in my writing, but I think that clothing and presentation and respectability have a great deal to do with the kind of opportunities we do or do not receive in workplaces of all kinds. I going to turn to national politics that moment. Because I don’t I don’t feel peculiarly hopeful at the moment.

Rachel Thompson: [00:08:49] Do you have any advice that you received, I know I asked you this before and said “when you were an emerging writer,” and you still consider yourself an emerging writer, but what is the best writing advice that you have received?

Maya Marshall: [00:09:03] Keep writing. Read a lot. Write. I mean and that’s such common advice, but people don’t read as much as I think we ought to—because you don’t know what you’re going to need. Like I’ve learned all sorts of strange things about moths. You know there’s this Cobra Moth, who, like, just shapes its wings so it looks like the head of a cobra, so it scares off predators. That’s fascinating. And that’s the kind of thing that shows up in an essay as a metaphor. What a cool tidbit. Also if you read writers that you don’t like and you can identify what it is they’re doing with their text that you don’t want to be, or at the function of this strategy, then you can put that in your toolbox and use it later. But if you don’t read, you don’t know. And also, writing is hard, and it takes a long time until you practice so you just keep doing good. It’s not about like that one moment of like sort of the Athenian poem erupting from Zeus’s head—that’s rare, it’s a gift when it happens. But most of the time writing is work, so you have to set aside time and sit down and do it. And you know reading is a way to be inspired to do that. Because often you get to look at writers that you love and say, Wow how did you put that together? Like if I can figure out how you did it, then I can use this strategy too. Like maybe I need to start verbing nouns more often. That’s pretty cool. Or, can I listen to Nina Simone and figure out, what about her accent is alluring to me, how can I pull that voice into my text?

Maya Marshall: [00:10:39] That’s that’s the advice: read a lot, write a lot. Nikky Finni has been really helpful in saying “be specific.” So she taught me to write revision narratives and to go down the sort of checklist, like have I paid attention to the sequence here? Why is it this line-length? How is imagery working? Am I using associative language? If I mention it at the beginning of the poem or the essay or story, has it come back by the end? And if no, why not? There is a language of talking about writing that I think writers should learn.

Rachel Thompson: [00:11:10] You mention Nikky Finni, and I’m wondering about other mentors, like how do you see mentoring happening within your writing communities?

Maya Marshall: [00:11:21] I was just talking to some other writers at Split This Rock last month, which feels like years ago, and we talked about stewardship, right? Like, as an editor or as editors that’s our job to seek out people who are participating in the conversation who are not getting signal boosted. So, I look for and listen for people of colour and queer folks, and people who are like obviously writing because they pay attention to and are enchanted with language, people who are invested in some sort of level experiment at the level of craft and I try to make sure that other people are reading them, like that’s a way to be a steward in the literary world.

Maya Marshall: [00:12:04] Another way is through modelling. And I mentioned Nikky because I have had this honour to study under her for the last three years, and closely for the last year. And I watched her in the classroom and one on one and at public events and that woman is just always herself. She’s always being herself. She’s also demanding and she’s attentive to the sensitivities of each of her individual students. That’s the kind of practice I want to embody. I want to be able to be responsible for and accountable for being myself and to be empathetic and attentive to people that I’m teaching formally are or informally. So modelling is a way to do that. Sometimes people send me inquiries or pictures about what they want to do for [Pank]. If it’s not something I can publish I say why I. And I thank them for reaching out. And I keep the conversation open because being accessible and honest and patient and demanding makes for better writing and better writers. And at the level of peers, there are a few people I can always trust to give me honest attentive, clear feedback. And that’s a kind of mentorship.

Maya Marshall: [00:13:22] But, you know, writing is always a solitary activity. It’s always kind of lonely. So when I talked to Rita Dove, she did a masterclass at the University of South Carolina, and I asked her a question that was similar to this, she said, “Really, I’ve reverted, or rediscovered, the mentorship that’s in the books. Go read your writers. They’ll show you how they came to be.” How they persisted; how their craft developed over the course of their career. So, those are the ways I think about mentorship right now.

We’ll take a short sponsor break and when we return we’ll hear more about what Maya Marshall learned about even writing cover letters—curating her digital image—when we’re back.

Lit Mag Love is co-presented by Room magazine, Literature, Art, and Feminism since 1975. Check out the new series Turtle Island Responds.

Turtle Island Responds is a news related on-line poetry series inspired by Rattle Magazine’s Poets Respond and the many conversations editor Jónína Kirton has had with others who have found themselves on the fringes. You can find the series on Room Magazine.com.

Lit Mag Love is also co-presented by my course of the same name. LIT MAG LOVE IS AN ONLINE COURSE TO HELP YOU PUBLISH IN JOURNALS. Get Smart, Fearless, and Published—with lots of help from me. It’s a course full of strategy and support and comes with a warm writing community. Course registration opens only a couple times per year. To find out more go to LitMagLove.com.

Rachel Thompson: [00:13:56] What’s been the most rewarding part of editing and how has the editing informed your writing?

Maya Marshall: [00:14:01] There are a whole lot of writers that we get to publish. We’ve got the blog we have a little book and big book series, we have the two online issues, we have the print issue, we do live readings a couple times a year and so I’ve had access to writing from all over the world from people of vastly different ages and cultural backgrounds and interests and a lot of fun.

Maya Marshall: [00:14:27] I read a lot, as an editor. Which means I see a lot of the same sort of writerly tics. I see things I used to do. And, we talked about reading published stuff earlier, but reading published new work is as important because it gives me a sense of what the current and important conversations are, and of like how to write a cover letter or not. I see a lot of the same type of first-person-recounting-of-an-experience type poems, which are you know, they have their place. But it is thrilling to see the ways in which people change and innovate forms for the sake of inviting in a new voice, or for layering meaning. So that’s been informative and has changed the way I think about curating my digital image, my digital self. I’d say I’m better in person. So, I’ve learned how to write a cover letter. I’ve learned to practice persona. I’ve learned to manipulate form so that I’m opening a new possibility for the meaning of the content. I might sound a little vague.

Rachel Thompson: [00:15:37] I’m picking up what you’re saying you’re talking about even approaching the communication about the writing as a craft and how we project ourselves and represent ourselves as writers.

Maya Marshall: [00:15:48] For sure. And there’s a kind of poem that gets circulated a lot that’s less interesting to me now where it’s like there’s supposed to be an epiphanic moment at the end of a small recounting of a memory. And that doesn’t always work. That’s a sort of too direct method for examining a feeling that I would like to see inverted more often than it is. So I’ve tried not to write that sort of straight down the left column, here is a recounting, kind of poem, though I do love a good portrait. So, yes, one I learned how to present myself more intentionally, as I talk about writing. Two, I have a sense of the kind of poem that I’m more interested in.

Rachel Thompson: [00:16:36] So it has informed your taste, and what ultimately gets published even in [Pank], but also your own your own writing and presentation.

Maya Marshall: [00:16:43] For sure.

Rachel Thompson: [00:16:44] I would agree. At Room, we see a lot of those poems as well. One of my previous interviews was actually with Room’s Contest Coordinator. In this case, she was talking about creative nonfiction but I think it applies, too, where she said: “Your feelings are not enough.” There has to be more to the piece than the emotional journey you took.

Maya Marshall: [00:17:00] And there’s also more to it than just saying this is the emotional journey I took. I’m like, please, just put me in the place and the moment. It’s the specific that gets us to the universal. It’s the sensory that gets us to the emotive release that’s the kind of thing I’m looking for.

Maya Marshall: [00:17:16] I want to see that text has been written thoroughly, by which I mean it’s clear that the author is enchanted by language and that they are not putting themselves directly in the frame. I’m still practicing pulling myself out of the way of the lens of whatever story I’m trying to convey. And I’m asking other writers to do the same thing. Get out of their own way. Sometimes what you can’t see. It’s important to have a good first reader, someone who’s going to be honest with you about that feedback. And also not just send out your first draft. Maybe it takes 30 drafts to get to reveal it but it’s a sort of sculpture underneath the rock.

Rachel Thompson: [00:17:56] The founding editor of [Pank], Roxane Gay, is famous, that’s just a fact, and admired by so many people, myself included. And I’m wondering how her fame, because when you talk to Lit Mag Love editors, too, it’s like this is the lit mag editor who made good, right? How has fame impacted your work at the journal?

Maya Marshall: [00:18:18] Well, I mean she’s famous because she is brilliant. And so I feel responsible for making sure that I maintain this sort of initiating mission. And for the magazine, it means that people are always looking for us, and looking out to us. We get a great deal of submissions as a result. So we can grow and that’s great. We grow and sort of on a national scale but also internationally and I’m excited about that springboard. I also would want for Roxane to read the magazine now and be like, yeah, we’re still dope. Like, you’re still publishing innovative work, you’re still inviting a whole array of voices, you’re still being overtly political in as much as the personal is political. We’re also overtly against fascists like our president. That’s a sustaining force for us, her fame. But, I’m not famous, so I feel a great deal of mental freedom to do and write and sing.

Rachel Thompson: [00:19:17] I wonder if I even should dare to try to tie this into what you’re saying about fascism and the and the politics right now in the U.S., and the world really. But what do you see as the current role of literature, given our times?

Maya Marshall: [00:19:34] We are responsible, writers are responsible, for telling the truth and for reflecting humanity back to humans so that we can have appropriate human feelings and response like shame or pride or whatever we need to be empathetic about. Literatures is a historical archive. It’s a sort of repository of warnings and directions for how to live and imperatives are doing what is right. That’s the role of literature. The writers, the poets have always been, the vanguard. We see and say first. And we need to keep doing exactly that.

Rachel Thompson: [00:20:13] And related to that, why is it important to be risky with writing at [PANK]. Because I know that’s part of the mission at [Pank].

Maya Marshall: [00:20:21] Because this is not a moment in our nation’s history to be submissive or to sort of going along to get along. Because wrong things are happening. Brown people are being murdered, women are being assaulted, children are being stolen and trafficked, like, this is not the time to talk about…I don’t want to say that, I don’t want to say it’s not a good time for love letters. For sure it is; it always is. But we should also be mixing it with moments of joy and contentment and status quo. Invectives for shifts and change and accountability. Because we have to balance not just living our lives, which is important and hard to do for a whole bunch of bodies in the world, with changing how the world in which we live functions.

Rachel Thompson: [00:21:15] You’ve been with [Pank] for a year and in that year you’ve published a lot of great writers. What is the most important piece—you don’t have to name one—but can you talk about the important pieces that you’ve published and what that’s meant for you in the year?

Maya Marshall: [00:21:31] OK so we published Jenna Rose Nethercott, which I was really excited about. She writes regional, out in the country, working-class minded and hearted poems. And I think that’s important. We’re talking about an America that has mostly a working class. That’s raced, but, it’s important to have a well-written portrait, one from a working-class America. I’ll say that. We’ve also published Laura Swearingen-Steadwell, whose book, All Blue So late, is pretty cool. It’s a crown of sonnets about a 14-year-old girl coming into her womanhood and the whole book is looking at her struggles, and the sort of suicidal tendencies and the anger and the flushness that comes with becoming like a fully fledged adolescent sexual being, as a black woman. And so the poems we have from that book is called A Woman Pouring Handfuls of Ash. I feel like it’s an important piece because it’s a womanist piece because it speaks to a sort of every-woman narrative that I want to see more often. And we are publishing a book by a man named Scott Chalupa who is from Texas, and he’s written this really stunning first collection that is essentially a set of love letters and invectives to reclaim the bodies of all of these scores of men who died of AIDS in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And he does these cool and formal choices so he’s written, like obituaries, and he’s written a series of acrostics based on Caravaggio’s paintings and it’s a stunning and important book. Important because it’s reclaiming the bodies of these men and this moment in history where like there’s a full on assault on queer people in the United States. So to have a working class, womanist, feminist, queer-friendly set of voices in our big books and little books and in our online issues feels important to me.

Rachel Thompson: [00:23:49] How do these pieces come to be published. You’re taking unsolicited submissions, and you mentioned the fame that leads to a lot of those. What is your current acceptance rate of slush in the magazine?

Maya Marshall: [00:24:02] I’d say our magazines are made up of about 90 percent slush. And when John Gosslee took it over in 2015, I think he and Chris Campanioni solicited work, because they wanted to be able to make a splash and say hey [PANK] is still here and we’re still out here publishing risky, fun, surprising work. And since, because we know a whole lot of writers, we still have the opportunity to solicit but we have a large number of readers. And so we read the slush. I read the slush. And because of the thing, we get really strong slush. It’s not a bottom-tier journal, so we don’t get a lot of bottom-tier writers, which is exciting. We get good stuff.

Rachel Thompson: [00:24:46] I love what you say about the tiers because often writers are often thinking, “Oh, this is a higher tier journal? And should I submit there.” The fact that you’re thinking of your writers as higher-tier writers is awesome.

Maya Marshall: [00:24:58] The magazine doesn’t exist without the writers. It’s not about the editors.

Rachel Thompson: [00:25:02] That kind of respect for the writers are just so important, and when people can feel that it’s great. We talked a bit about some of the qualities of writing that maybe writers should be bringing back, “into the garage” and revising and pushing further. But, I’m wondering if you have other specifics you want to get into about what kind of reading you’ve seen too much of and what you don’t want to see again.

Maya Marshall: [00:25:28] I read the slush, and I’ve read the slush for four different journals at this point, over the last seven or eight years. I know that new writers feel this little to be raw progressive or fresh. They’re wanting to take risks. And so what happens often is they write about sex in this no-soft-light, no-partition kind of way and it feels very diaristic. And it also feels like too much information. And I recognize the impulse to be vulnerable and unflinching. But I really do find myself wanting to tell folks to put their pants back on. There are degrees of intimacy that allow for surprise and subtlety and for maintaining tension, and the writing that allows for like tautness to exist that the reader. And that’s hard. It’s hard to maintain that tension. So I think folks should hang onto that text until they’ve developed a mature revision practice and received feedback from people who don’t know them. So that it’s not the act that’s the focus of that text, but the epiphany or the revelation. And that takes fine-tuning. Sex is not inherently risky. The writing has to do something more with the content to dramatize. To make it important to read. So, yeah, I feel like I’ve been in a lot of people’s bedrooms without appropriate invitation or preparation.

Rachel Thompson: [00:26:56] Yeah, it’s such a hard line sometimes for writers because we’re telling them as editors to go deeper, surprise us, be vulnerable, and then they’re going, but in wrong own way.

Maya Marshall: [00:27:06] Yeah you have a mole, okay, but what about it though? Do you see those poems or those essays?

Rachel Thompson: [00:27:15] For sure. Yeah.

Maya Marshall: [00:27:17] Yeah it seems like there’s a lot of them. No. Please stop it.

Rachel Thompson: [00:27:22] On the positive side, then what kind of writing are you eager to see. What do you want people to send to you?

Maya Marshall: [00:27:27] I want to see people playing with form. Fatima Asghar and her new book called If They Should Come For Us, has a crossword poem. That’s cool. Dustin Pearson whose first book just came out, it’s called Millennial Roost, has written a full book of epistolary poems to an abuser using the second person so that the audience is also implicated and sort of can’t look away. And it is a stunning and deeply unsettling first book. It’s also sardonically funny, and it has its voice. Voice is so important. I want people to use their actual voices instead of like their poet voice. Yeah. Use the language that exists in your life. So that’s exciting to see. Kenyatta Rogers, we just published two poems of his in [PANK] 13. He is this lyric associative writer and he just blends bizarre and intensely vivid and imagistic combination. And it’s dope. It’s a lot of fun to read. Those are the kinds of things I’m hoping to see more of, honestly. Again I want to thoroughly written text and want attention to the sentence. I want people to know the rules of grammar, even if they’re going to break them. Grammar does matter. It teaches me how to read your poem. So, yeah, that’s important. So, those are the things I’m wanting to see more of.

Rachel Thompson: [00:28:56] I think it bears repeating, and you’ve said it a few times, that you really want people who are enchanted with language and that level of attention to the writing. So, that’s just lovely.

Maya Marshall: [00:29:05] It doesn’t always have to be sort of you know elevated text, like Jericho Brown has poems written in the dialect of the deep Louisiana south, and Black dialects. So attentiveness and skilled control of your craft is important to me. That doesn’t mean you have to be writing like some sort of pantoum, or in an elevated register from an era that we don’t belong in anymore. There are lots of different Englishes, so use the best of your ability. That’s what I’m wanting to see.

Rachel Thompson: [00:29:39] I know you recently also started a journal called underbelly and I’m wondering how that work how the work they’re different from your work at PANK.

Maya Marshall: [00:29:48] Well, first of all, underbelly for the first year has all solicited work. So, we’re reaching out to writers who we met, and admire, and care for, and saying please, please, show us like the hidden parts of your process. And the mission of underbelly is different from the mission of [PANK]. It’s a heuristics and it’s here specifically to be a teaching tool. Like yes, we are signal boosting exceptional writing, but more than that we’re showing how we get from the beginning stages of just a block of clay to the final stage of the sculpture. And I think that’s important. It’s important for people to see that, like, writing is hard. And it takes a long time and various steps to these processes and those processes are different for every writer. And so if you’re like a writer-nerd then you would love this, because there’s a whole bunch of marginalia. You get to see Nicole Sealey’s handwriting and her colour-coding system, or you look at Destiny Birdsong’s track changes. And each of these writers writes a little blurb about how they got from the beginning stage to the end stage of a poem or whatever and it’s just cool to hear them using the language of writers talking about writing, but also it’s important, I think, and helpful to see how they put these made objects together. So [PANK] is developed to provide this platform for people of colour and women and their surprising experimental writing and artwork from across the genres. And it’s still and now interested in hybridity and multiplicity with regard to both identity and to form, and underbelly has space for all those things but its intention is not only to share exceptional work from a wide array of voices and ages and genders and sexualities, etc. But also, and I think, more importantly, it’s there to think through and demonstrate how these pieces of artwork get put together. It offers a space in which to look for how the Gestalt comes to be. It doesn’t want to remove mystery, but it does suggest through example and examples how craft and attention to detail and enchantment with language, as I’ve said so many times, creates mystery. So, that’s fun. I get to learn from it and someone walks me through the decisions that they made. I can look at the slush and I can read the things that we write that we publish in [PANK] and pick out what stands out to me about the nonfiction piece or the fiction or the poetry. But to have a writer tell you is more informative and it’s fun. It’s like being in the backstage.

Rachel Thompson: [00:32:22] It’s exciting. Thank you so much for sharing all this time with me and talking about [Pank] and underbelly and for the demanding and obviously productiveness that you’re putting out in the world. That’s great.

Maya Marshall: [00:32:34] Thanks again for having me. I feel honoured and surprised to have been picked out of the large pool of editors around the world.

Rachel Thompson: [00:32:42] The honour is all mine.

You can connect with Maya Marshall at mayamarshallpoetry.com.

What We Learned

  • If you are enchanted by language, Maya Marshall is your dream editor.
  • That this is not a moment in our history to go along to get along—to speak out. (Thinking of Write Rhymes with Fight from Eufemia Fantetti.)
  • [PANK] publishes 90% slush! That’s a lot for a mag of that profile. So, do send your work, but also recognize they get a lot of work!
  • Maya Marshall says she specifically listens for people of colour and queer folks, and people who are obviously writing because they pay attention to and are invested in some sort of level of experiment at the level of craft.
  • She has spent time being thoughtful about literary stewardship, so if you get a chance to learn from this editor through submissions or workshops, do check it out.

Lit Mag Love is co-presented by Room Magazine, Literature, Art and Feminism since 1975 and the Lit Mag Love course—and online course to get smart fearless and published with lots of help from me! Sound editing for the episode is done by Mica Lemiski. The transcript for this episode was done by me, and I’m your host, Rachel Thompson. Thanks for listening.

You can find us online at litmaglovepodcast.com or on Twitter or Instagram @litmaglove

Credits

Host: Rachel Thompson
Sound Editor: Mica Lemiski
Transcript Editing: Rachel Thompson
Presented by Room magazine and the Lit Mag Love Course