Notes on the Poetry Selections

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March 19, 2020 by The Citron Review

“Focus, too, on small occurrences” is something I told my creative writing class this week. We were having a discussion about big and small occurrences in poetry and prose, and how many beginning writers focus exclusively on the bigger, tension-laden moments. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with writing about big ideas; it’s just nice to adjust the camera. As a poetry editor, I will admit a quiet thrill comes over me when I find a submission with something random in the title—like a poem about a laundry room or yard work. Maybe the poem starts in the laundry room before getting to a realization in the last stanza.

The poems in the spring issue manage to capture big and small occurrences in their lines, and we feel their energy from the cinematography that surrounds them (“Gates”), from the images that are real and without gloss (“Whorls”), from the realizations that go largely unnoticed (“escapee”), and from the deft commentary on humans’ idiosyncrasies, desires, and fears (“Privacy in a Small Town”). These are also poems where more than one thing is happening at the same time. Even in an empty square there is movement, and perhaps it is our job as poets to capture that movement without getting the reader lost.

A big thank you goes out to Michael Lauchlan, Leah Mueller, and Stephen Whitaker for considering The Citron Review and for crafting memorable occurrences in their poems. Each submission we receive contains something memorable, so thank you to everyone for sending us work. It’s not easy to decide, with the help of our editors, which poems to include in an issue. Happy soon-to-be spring and thanks for reading.


Eric Steineger
Managing Editor
Senior Poetry Editor
The Citron Review



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