COMMENTS ON SOUTH BY SOUTHEAST
Have been impressed with South by Southeast. I feel time, real time in that journal.
I haven't received SxSE for some time now, but I remember it for high quality work, creatively presented, good amounts of space, fairly small in size. A fine journal.
South by Southeast is an issue I enjoyed immensely, but I ceased receiving them!
I find that recently the attention paid to the appearance of South by Southeast as well as the quality of inclusions has declined. I found the recent issue with all the haiga especially disappointing. So many of the drawings seem to be poorly crafted sumi-e that illustrate rather than complement the haiku. Outside of including an occasional haiga I prefer them in another journal.
I like its independence, but it lacks a focus, and is still having trouble with consistency of production.
SxSE has greatly sunk in quality in recent issues, and was overrated before that anyway.
In a new format, this regional journal publishes haiku, senryu, sumi-e and occasional essays. With sumi-e, a column on the "haiku spirit" in non-haiku settings, and a haiku "party by mail", the editors are clearly striving for innovation. However, there is often a large lag time between the dates of submission, acceptance and erratic publication. The "books received" page often repeats what Frogpond and Modern Haiku have already reviewed.
I rank it a C -- quality has deteriorated.
Solid, but often doesn't send back submissions, I don't know what is accepted till I get the next issue.
Quality of content is still good; presentation has slipped a bit.
Editors are maddeningly unresponsive. No reply to repeated inquiries. Poems are published without prior notification, while those not selected are held hostage six months or more. Makes one not want to submit any of one's best work.
Third fastest to send my submission back. Has it changed much since Jim Kacian moved on?
South by Southeast needs a
great lot of improvement, just to get back to where it used to be -- which
was, unfortunately, largely imitative of journals such as Woodnotes,
Modern Haiku and earlier Frogpond. Some of the recent interviews
have been "name-droppings" (Gary Snyder, Sonia Sanchez, etc.)
that could have done so much more than demonstrate how little these people
know of American haiku.