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Saturday, May 04, 2013


And now it’s Barry Hammond’s turn to answer my questions. If you’re a poet, sit up and take notice. Barry is our Poetry Editor and one of On Spec’s ‘old guard’. He has been with the magazine since 1991. (Wow, how time flies—twenty-two years!):

1). What kind of poetry appeals to you most, Barry? Do you lean towards a particular type of poem or style?

The type of poetry that appeals to me is generally when the writer has something fresh and original to say (or at least from an original viewpoint) and says it with a voice of their own and with style and brevity.

2). What types of poems don't appeal to you? What are your pet peeves, writing-wise?

My pet peeves are rhyming poetry and writers who try to use an 'antique' style of language from what they consider 'the olden days' —not any specific period.  I prefer writing in a contemporary or fairly neutral style.

3). What advice would you give to a poet submitting to us?

My advice is to read contemporary poetry and try to find your own voice.

4). Please list any credits you'd like mentioned (ie. book pubs, editing/publishing involvement), in a small bio:

Barry's Bio: I am a professional freelance writer and editor, based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. My film, music, book reviews, interviews and writing on popular culture have most recently appeared on the Gig City website and have been in such diverse publications as The Edmonton Journal, Vue Weekly, See Magazine, Vex, Pacific Rim Review, Legacy and Independently Reviewed. I’m also a music, book, and DVD reviewer for Penguin Eggs (Canada's Folk, Roots, and World Music magazine). I’ve appeared as a guest on, an interactive television show in which mystery novels are deconstructed by both literary and actual crime experts. The show ran on Bravo, Book TV, CLT, Court TV Canada, and Access. My novel, Cold Front, was published with New American Library in 1982 and my short fiction and poetry have appeared in over fifty literary magazines and anthologies in three countries. I am the current Poetry Editor (and former Fiction Editor) for On Spec, Canada's Magazine of the Fantastic.

(Impressive, yes? I think so. You can read Barry's blog at:, Barry.) 

Next Post: Ann Marston, Fiction Editor

Stay tuned. 

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