Better Than Starbucks — who we are:
Founded 1995 as Scene, Arts of the Treasure Coast.
Renamed 1998 Abundance, a Harvest of Literature, Life & the Arts.
Revived 2016 as Better Than Starbucks.
Vera Ignatowitsch Editor-in-Chief (January 2018 – present)
Managing Editor & Content Editor (November 2017 – present)
Formal & Rhyming Editor (November 2016 – present)
Anthony “Uplandpoet” Watkins Publisher and Founder
Senior Editor and Contributing Editor (May 2016 – September 2020)
Tom Merrill Advisory Editor (May 2020 – present)
Kevin McLaughlin Haiku Editor and Spiritual Adviser (November 2016 – present)
Susan McLean Poetry Translations Editor (March 2020 – present)
Robert Schechter Editor of Poetry for Children (March 2020 – present)
Elaine Wilburt Copy Editor (November 2018 – present)
Christy Burbidge Associate Copy Editor (January 2019 – present)
Andreea Finichiu Assistant Editor International Poetry and African Poetry (November 2021 – present)
Sally Thomas Sonnet Contest Judge (2020, 2021)
Lindsay Wang Assistant Fiction Editor (October 2020 – August 2021)
Gabriel Awuah Mainoo Associate Editor of African Poetry (February 2021)
Suzanne Robinson Poetry (Free Verse) Editor (November 2016 – September 2020)
Joseph E. Petta Experimental & Form Poetry Editor (May 2020 – Sept 2020)
S. Ye Laird Poetry Translations Page Editor (November, 2016 – June 2018)
Tendai Rinos Mwanaka African Poetry Editor (July, 2017 – July, 2018)
Rameeza Nasim Asian Poetry Editor (September 2017 – March 2018)
Michael R. Burch Guest Editor of International Poetry, Poetry Translations, and African Poetry (May 2018 – March 2019)
A. M. Juster Guest Interviewer (May 2019, January 2020)
Welcome to the new Better Than Starbucks!
First, our goal is to publish as broad a range of interesting voices as we can find. Some of our readers and contributors love particular modes of poetic expression best, or even exclusively; but many of them enjoy the opportunity of exposure to a wide range of approaches and styles. Thus our aim is to be eclectic: to satisfy the tastes of a diverse readership with the best sampling on offer of assorted genres. Assessing written material is necessarily subjective, so prospective contributors are advised to browse our over 30 issues online and decide for themselves if BTS is the right kind of showcase for them.
Second, we are, and will remain, committed to never charging reading or submission fees. I personally have always felt it was adding insult to injury to be asked to pay for the privilege of being read only to wait an eternity to receive a rejection.
Third, since our print editions duplicate our online editions, we only accept as many submissions as our print edition — with its more or less fixed number of pages — can hold. As a result, many submissions must be declined due to space limitations, including submissions we might like to publish.
Fourth, we remain an unfunded group of dedicated volunteers. Our only income is from a few faithful readers who donate and from print sales. After print sales began, we established Features, paying an honorarium to every writer we featured, and we are now up to seven Features per issue. If our sales and donations increase, our intent is to pay more contributors. They are the ones who create our content.
We are seeking volunteers to join our team in several areas. An experienced interviewer, experienced section editors, an art director, someone to take on promotion and media matters, anyone with skills in those areas would be a welcome addition to our team. And anyone whose talents run to fund raising (grant writing, etc.) we are waiting for you!
Sections such as The Interview may see various guest editors, and Poetry Translations would also be well served by guest editors. Susan’s talents in Translation are highly developed in various European languages, but we’d welcome an issue each of Asian poetry translations, Middle Eastern poetry translations, and perhaps South American or other broad cultural groups. A Poetry Translations guest page in an occasional issue, however, does not have to cover a continent or three. It can focus on only one or two languages, depending on the guest editor’s area of study, knowledge, and preferences.
If you want to join our team, email us. You might join us as an Associate Editor or take over a section or work on the overall production with us. If you are short on time, there are other ways to support us, such as purchasing print issues or even making a donation however small.
We hope to continue publishing as many interesting voices as we can, and for many years to come.
— Vera Ignatowitsch