Interview with Kallie Falandays

Hi blog followers. I got the chance to interview our editor in chief, Kallie Falandays, to give you a glimpse of one of the minds behind mojo. Enjoy!

 

Matthew DeAngelis: I’ll start with an easy one. How did you come to be involved with mojo? What has kept you involved?

 

Kallie Falandays: I became involved with mojo during my first year as an MFA student at Wichita State. I started as a reader and I fell in love with reading submissions and discussing which poems should be featured in the issue and why. Composing an issue is sort of like making a mix-tape in that what comes before an after a poem can affect the way it is read, and I want to be a part of that, so I applied to become an editor and, well, here we are.

MD: When you first started at the journal, what was the publication’s mission? How has this changed since you’ve been here?

 

KF: When I started (which was only a year ago), the mission was kind of the same: to publish great works from new and emerging literary voices and to put together beautiful publications (both online and in print).

 

MD: It has only been a year! So when you read a submission, what are the first things that turn you off about a piece?

 

KF: The first thing that turns me off about a piece is lack of detail. I don’t want to read a poem that anyone could have written; I want to read the poem that only you could have written.
MD: And what keeps you reading?

 

KF: It depends on the poem–I like poems that do something interesting with language. Something different. I like experimental work, so I usually keep reading poems that are quirky or odd in some way.

 

MD: I know cover letters are always a tricky aspect of seeking publication. With regards to cover letters, any advice for our readers? What shouldn’t they put in a cover letter?

 

KF: Keep your cover letters simple. Or fun. Just don’t be mean. It’s always cool when you can tell that a reader actually reads your magazine: putting the name of the genre editor in the cover letter is always a good idea.

 

MD:  Interesting info. What types of submissions to you believe mojo should be publishing?

 

KF: I think mojo should publish pieces that push the boundaries. There are so many literary journals out there, that I think it’s best if we publish work that makes us feel like mountains or rivers, whatever that means. It is good to finish reading a poem and want to read it over and over and over again. I hope we publish work like that.

MD:  Has there ever been a piece that you recall fighting tooth and nail for that ended up not getting published?

 

KF: Oh, many pieces! Sometimes we disagree, and sometimes that involves fighting. Although I haven’t physically assaulted anyone over a poem. That is yet to come

 

MD: And if you could change one thing about mojo what would it be?

 

KF: That’s a great question. I would make the next issue a pop-out issue full of handwritten poems and pop-out postcards and stickers. I want something that would be cool to put on my bookshelf. Maybe that’s what we will do next. Maybe something like Nox or Saporta’s Composition No. 1.

 

MD:  How would you like to see mojo improve in the future?

 

I hope mojo can continue to be a publication that showcases great work by great authors. I hope we can gain more readers and I hope we can continue to listen to suggestions that our readers give us.

 

MD: If you were in charge of your own literary journal, what would you call it and why? What kinds of work would you publish?

 

KF: I am! It is called Kenning (www.kenningjournal.com) because a kenning is a compound word (like whale-road) that uses figurative language in the place of a more regular noun. We call it kenning because we try to bridge the gap between page poetry & spoken word. We publish poems side-by-side with sound files of readings & we just started accepting videos, so we will start to publish those as well.

 

And that’s all for us today! Check us out next week for another editor interview as we continue to offer you some of the voices behind mojo!