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Tab Staff Updates

headshot of jay dye, who is smiling and has hair that falls longer than shoulders and bangs

Tab Journal is excited to welcome Jay Dye to the staff as an Assistant Editor. Our assistant editors play several roles, including evaluating submissions and writing book reviews.

Jay Dye (she/her) is a writer and artist from Orange County, CA. Her work has been published in CalliopeScribendi, and Sapere Aude. See more at https://jaydye.org.

headshot of ian ooh, who is wearing glasses and a jacket

We are also happy to share that Ian Koh has joined Narrative Magazine as an Assistant Poetry Editor. While this opportunity means that he can no longer evaluate submissions for Tab Journal, he is staying on staff as a book reviewer and to help out in other areas. Ian joins Chapman University MFA alum Mariana Samuda and soon-to-be-alum Paige Welsh on the Narrative staff.

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Exciting News Important Update More about TAB Submission Info

Tab Contributing Editors: Ruben Quesada & Lynne Thompson

Tab Journal welcomes Contributing Editors Ruben Quesada and Lynne Thompson as part of the editorial team for the July, September, and November 2022 issues. We’re grateful for the Poetry Foundation grant funding that supports these positions.

Ruben Quesada is the editor of Latinx Poetics: Essays on the Art of Poetry, out this year from University of Nebraska Press, and hosts the Mercy Street Readings. He visited Chapman University via Zoom last fall to speak with MFA students in the required Aspects of a Writer course. His energy and breadth of knowledge and experience made him a top choice for our new position. His latest poetry book is Revelations from Sibling Rivalry Press.

Lynne Thompson is the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles and has visited Chapman University several times, so she has a good sense of what we’re trying to accomplish with Tab Journal and how she can make a difference. A lawyer by training, Thompson sits on the boards of the Los Angeles Review of Books and Cave Canem and is the Chair of the Board of Trustees at Scripps College. Her latest book is Fretwork (2019), winner of the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize.

In our grant proposal, we wrote:

Tab Journal requests a grant from the Poetry Foundation specifically to continue our diversity and inclusion initiatives. A diverse pool of submissions flourishes based upon several factors: the journal’s self-representation, credibility of staff, integrity of equitable policies and practices, analysis of and response to demographic information, broadly written calls, expansive networks (visibility in BIPOC spaces), and incentives. 

We consciously chose not to use the guest editor model, which too easily shifts responsibility for inclusion away from the organization’s underlying structures, policies, and practices. Instead, our contributing editors are part of the conversation about how Tab Journal reaches potential readers and contributors, how staff read and respond to submissions, and which poems end up in the published issues. We’ve defined the contributing editors as collaborators rather than advisors, and we’ve had some frank conversations about the challenges we face and the possibilities we envision.

One of the first changes we made was to add optional demographic questions to the submission form.

Submissions opened in February, with our greatest one-month influx of submissions. At least two staff read each submission anonymously, and those submissions that make it to the next round are read by the Contributing Editors, Editor, and Creative Director, who will collaboratively make decisions about what goes in which issue. The decisions we make together will be evident in the published issues later this year, but we’re also excited about how the conversations are shaping the way we do things and suggesting future goals.

In the last couple of weeks, submissions have slowed down a bit, so now is a great time to send something our way! Keep in mind that, because we give a lot of attention to design and production, we work several months ahead of each issue’s publication date. Once we fill the November issue, we’ll close submissions–and that could happen in May. So, get yourself over to Submittable this month.

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Exciting News Submission Info

Tab Submissions Open

Tab Journal submissions are now open!

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Read the Submission Guidelines before submitting your work to Tab Journal. We consider all things poetry, including poems, scholarly and creative essays about poetry, poetry pedagogy pieces, and interviews with poets. Because Tab Journal is continually evolving through design thinking, we’re doing a few things differently this year, not only on the surface but in our policies and practices.

We welcome submissions from writers with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, voices, and aesthetics and encourage BIPOC, LGBTQ, and Disabled poets to send us work. As part of that, we’ve updated our submission form to include optional self-identifying to help us work toward an increasingly inclusive submissions pool. Of course, our staff readers don’t see identifying information when they evaluate submissions.

This year, we are especially encouraging of submissions of visual poetry. You can see examples we’ve published by Keith S. Wilson and Monica Ong in Volume 9 (2021). Plus, there are more in the January 2022 print issue and also a conversation with several visual poets coming in the March online issue.

Tab Journal uses Submittable. We do not charge a submission fee. If you’re unable to use Submittable, please use the Contact form to ask for the best way to submit your work. If you can’t use Submittable or receive email, you can write to us using the postal address in the footer of most of our webpages; if you do that, make sure you that don’t put your name on the poems themselves and that you include a return envelope.

We are now reading for the July, September, and November issues. As part of our ongoing efforts in diversity and inclusion and with the help of a grant from the Poetry Foundation, new Contributing Editors Ruben Quesada and Lynne Thompson will help Editor Anna Leahy make final decisions on the content of these three issues.

For as long as we can afford it, every contributor to Tab Journal receives at no cost a copy of all future print issues, which are published each January. We are also working toward offering small honoraria to contributors.

We remain grateful that so many wonderful poets have trusted Tab Journal with their work these past nine years. We’re excited to see the work that poets send our way this year!

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Exciting News More about TAB

New Communications Coordinator at Tab

Earlier this year, Tab Journal added several new staff, including Lydia Pejovic. We’re happy to announce that Lydia is our new Communications Coordinator.

Lydia coordinates social media, Tab Musings, and other interaction and content. We’re in the process of developing a new overarching communications plan for 2022. As part of this effort, Tab Journal has been cultivating its Twitter feed. Follow us @TabJournal.

Lydia is a Dual MA/MFA student at Chapman University. She’s using an independent study to work on in-depth research and communications planning for Tab Journal. She earned her BA in English from the University of San Diego. Her work has been published in Calliope Art & Literary Magazine, Pomona Valley Review, and Voices Magazine and is forthcoming in others. Like all Tab staff, she’s a terrific book reviewer too. You can find out more at https://www.lydiapejovic.com.

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Nomination Season at Tab

It’s nomination season for literary journals, and we’re excited to be part of this literary celebration. Tab Journal is thrilled to nominate the following poems from this past year’s issues:

Pushcart Prize Nominations

“Migration Seasons” by Dia Roth | Volume 9, Issue #1

“Anonymous Years” by Suphil Lee Park | Volume 9, Issue #1

“Chaoite” by Melissa Eleftherion | Volume 9, Issue #2

 “Pandemic Q&A” by Susan Michele Coronel | Volume 9, Issue #4

“Test Match” by Satya Dash | Volume 9, Issue #4

“Guarding Thresholds” by Pratibha Kelapure | Volume 9, Issue #6

Best of the Net Nominations

“Dispatch” by Sarah Boyle | Volume 8, Issue #4

“Erasure #2 from Smart Chefs Stay Slim” by Lydia Weinberger | Volume 8, Issue #4

 “It Could: One End” by Lisa Alvarez | Volume 8, Issue #5

 “Signals” by Dia Roth | Volume 8, Issue #6

 “salt of body over body” by Melissa Eleftherion | Volume 9, Issue #2

“Encanto” by D.S. Waldman | Volume 9, Issue #2

These were tough decisions because we value every poem that we publish. Congratulations to these poets and good luck!

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Welcome New Tab Staff

Tab Journal welcomes the following new staff: Ian Koh, Vesper North, and Lydia Pejovic. All are current students in the MFA in Creative Writing program at Chapman University. They join alums Liz Harmer, Daniel Miess, Sam Risak, Laila Shikaki, and Tryphena Yeboah as submissions readers and book reviews for Tab Journal. Bios for all of us are on the website’s Staff page.

Ian Koh (he/him) moved to California for studies from Singapore several years ago. He is an Dual MFA/MA student at Chapman University. His work can be found in Forth MagazineInkslinger, and others.

Vesper North (no pronouns) is a writer and artist based in Orange County, CA. North teaches English and communications and is a contributor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Lydia Pejovic (she/her) is a writer and Dual MA/MFA student at Chapman University. She earned her BA in English from the University of San Diego. Her work has been published in Calliope Art & Literary Magazine and Voices Magazine and is forthcoming in others. See more at https://www.lydiapejovic.com.

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Exciting News Important Update

What’s New for 2021?

Each year, Tab Journal makes changes to how we do things. We use a different design for the print issue each year and carry elements of that design into the online issues. Our staff evolves. Our contributors evolve. But there’s even more to it.

In 2019, for example, we published the print issue in January and then spent the rest of the year on hiatus as we updated our Archives for accessibility. In 2020, we launched this new website with an accessible-ready theme/template and made style decisions based on accessibility. Admittedly, it was a little uncomfortable at first for those of us steeped in design principles from days of yore to allow widow and orphan lines, but we understand that when editors “fix” these traditional design “flaws,” e-readers get confused. At Tab Journal, we try to make bold leaps and challenge our habits. We continue to take specific actions in hopes of doing better each year.

For 2021, Tab Journal now requests pronouns on the Submittable form and includes pronouns in contributor notes and staff bios. This change in submission policy and style guide reflects our larger commitment to fostering inclusion through a literary project that welcomes a variety of experiences, backgrounds, and aesthetics.

We have also expanded the use of audio recording for all poems we publish, including those in the print issue. While many readers may appreciate hearing the poems read by the poets themselves or our staff, the decision is driven by our hope that those with low vision have increased access to the creative work we publish. This year, Jason Thornberry serves in a two-year funded Tab staff position focused on diversity and inclusion. He writes book reviews, reads poem submissions, does the audio recordings when poets prefer, and represents Tab Journal on two disability groups on campus. Jason is a neurodivergent writer and survivor of traumatic brain injury who is publishing a lot of his own writing in addition to working on Tab Journal.

This spring, we will invite and train additional staff to expand the range of experiences, backgrounds, and aesthetics that our staff represents. An expanded staff will also allow us to develop a stronger social media plan over the course of this year and encourage submissions that represent the diversity of voices in our culture. We hope you’ll keep reading and sharing Tab Journal as this project continues to evolve.

If you’d like to get monthly updates from Tab Journal, including special calls for submissions, please sign up for Tab Musings.

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Exciting News New Issue

New Print Issue!

Yay! The new print issue of Tab Journal is ready for readers. This issue launches Volume 9 with a large-format design on newsprint and features the work of ten poets, most of whom are making their first appearance in Tab Journal. Before you dive into the poems, we wanted to share this issue’s backstory.

Feature Image Collage

This print issue has been created entirely during a time of quarantine as the world underwent the isolation and anxieties of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, we reflected in this issue on concepts of time—as a sense of place, as space, as structure, as the visual experience of light and dark. Time has an impact on psychology; we can lose time or lose track of time. Time has a history of visual representation and documentation as well. This year’s print issue explores visual expressions of time warping, time-traveling, and the chronology and the kaleidoscope of time-keeping. Here, the images and texts engage in ideas of process over time, such as healing or growth.

Also as a result of the pandemic, the Tab staff has very limited access to the office and mail room, and our work continues to be done remotely. We are in the process of getting copies to contributors, not only this issue’s contributors but, as always, to all whose work has appeared in Tab Journal over the entirety of its publication history. We also welcome requests for copies, especially by teachers and librarians to use in discussions and by readers with low hearing; please use the Contact form to make a request. We’re excited to distribute this amazing issue as widely as possible and as soon as possible, given the current constraints.

We hope you’ll look at the Current Issue online and share it with others. Usually, we don’t include the entirety of the print issue online and instead upload only the Table of Contents and elements that convey the new design. Because of pandemic-related delays in mailing, we have uploaded the PDF version of the whole issue as well as audio recordings of all the poems for increased accessibility. Because print offers a very different reading experience than online, we don’t want to replicate the print issue online. The issue uses large-format newsprint, a material mode that further suggests ways we consider time, news, and cultural documents in a so-called post-truth or post-factual age that has seen newspaper staff and circulation decline dramatically. Our website and your screen, therefore, can’t convey how Keith S. Wilson’s poem gallops across the page, and you can’t cut out and fold Amelia L. Williams’s cootie catcher poem to experiment with its possible iterations. Poetry’s ink won’t rub off on your fingers here.

If you’d like to receive a monthly recap of Tab Musings, please sign up for our newsletter. We have lots of plans for 2021! We also encourage you to follow Tab Journal on Twitter and Facebook.

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Pushcart Nominations!

design detail from Volume 8, 2020 print issue
TAB 2020

Tab Journal is thrilled to nominate the following poems from Volume 8 (2020) for a Pushcart Prize.

“Nocturne” by Vandana Khanna | Issue #2 (March)

“Unfriending the Dead” by Jen Karetnick | Issue #2 (March)

“Beloved” by Emily Capers | Issue #5 (September)

“There there” by Laura Stanfill | Issue #5 (September)

“Portrait of a Mouth” by Jake Bailey | Issue #6 (November)

“Signals” by Dia Roth | Issue #6 (November)

These were difficult decisions because we admire every poem we publish. We congratulate these poets and wish them good luck.

“Snow White” by Chloe Honum was published in Volume 2 (2014) and appeared in Pushcart Prize XL (2016).

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Tab Staff at LitHub

Tab staffers Sam Risak and Tryphena Yeboah collaborated with Tab Editor Anna Leahy on “What Happens When Literary Events Move Online?” at Literary Hub. This article explores how organizers of literary events across the country have been rethinking their goals and audiences and have been experimenting with online formats for author events of all kinds.

As part of their investigation of how the pandemic is changing literary culture, they interviewed Guy Choate of the Argenta Reading Series, historian Jaipreet Virdi, Steph Opitz of the Wordplay festival, Association of Writers and Writing Programs board member Stephanie Vanderslice, Victoria Chang of the Antioch University low-residency MFA Program, Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal, Genevieve Kaplan of the Tabula Poetica series, and mangers at The King’s English Bookshop and Writer’s Block Bookstore.