Who we are
Better Than Starbucks
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
Anthony “Uplandpoet” Watkins Publisher, Founder, Senior Editor and Contributor (May 2016 - September 2020)
Vera Ignatowitsch Editor-in-Chief (January 2018 – present,) Formal & Rhyming Editor (November 2016 – present,) Managing Editor & Content Editor (November 2017 – present)
Tom Merrill Advisory Editor (May 2020 – present)
Kevin McLaughlin Haiku Editor, Spiritual Adviser, Poetry Mentor (November 2016 – present)
Suzanne Robinson Poetry (Free Verse) Editor ((November 2016 – September 2020)
Susan McLean Poetry Translations Editor (March 2020 – present)
Robert Schechter Poetry for Children Editor (March 2020 – present)
Joseph E. Petta Experimental & Form Poetry Editor (May 2020 – present)
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: International Poetry, Poetry Translations, African Poetry
(May 2018 – March 2019)
A.M. Juster Guest Interviewer (May 2019, January 2020)
Christy Burbidge Associate Copy Editor (January 2019 – present)
Elaine Wilburt Copy Editor (November 2018 – present)
The Next Chapter
September 1st, 2020.
This is Anthony “Uplandpoet” Watkins’s last issue of editorial involvement in Better Than Starbucks. He will continue to be publisher and might even make the occasional guest appearance in future. Suzanne Robinson likewise is retiring. Please join me in wishing them all the best in their future lives and endeavors. We’ll miss you both, and are happy to know you’re not really gone!
Anthony revived his poetry and creative writing publication as Better Than Starbucks in 2016 and I joined as editor of Formal & Rhyming Poetry later that year. I wholeheartedly agreed with the journal’s refusal to ever charge fees and fully embraced the concept of offering as many different genres and styles of writing as possible.
In January 2018 I took over as editor-in-chief and started a print version of the journal. We established everything from a style guide for editing, to guidelines for short bios (and against editors self publishing.) We held our first annual sonnet contest that year. The journal shifted from a monthly to a bi-monthly or six issues per year.
20 issues on, we are making changes again. There will be a short hiatus (one issue) during which we’ll do some redesigning, and we will become a quarterly, to be published on February 1st, May 1st, August 1st, and November 1st of each year. Our next issue will be published on February 1st, 2021. It will include the winners and honorable mentions of our 2020 Sonnet Contest.
We remain unfunded and all volunteers. Costs are paid by small donations from faithful readers and print sales. The next goal, as always, remains paying contributors and we are now up to offering an honorarium to six contributors per issue.
The wonderful editors who will continue on with us into the next chapter include Tom Merrill, Kevin McLaughlin, Susan McLean, and Robert Schechter. Elaine Wilburt, with assistance from Christy Burbidge, continues to provide the eagle eye required for copy editing.
We welcome volunteers who would like to join our team in every area. An experienced interviewer and experienced section editors would be as welcome as an art director. Someone to take on promotion and media matters would also be more than welcome. Should your talents run to fund raising (grant writing, etc.) we are waiting for you!
Meanwhile, 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 given 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 love poetry and creative writing enough to want to make a contribution, email us. With some experience, you might join us as an associate editor. With more you might take over a section or work on the whole with us. If you aren’t able to devote the time, you can still support us by buying print copies or making a donation, however small.
May we continue collecting and publishing the best of, and the widest range we can find of, poetry and creative writing for many years to come. — Vera Ignatowitsch
Anthony’s Mentors, Ghosts, and Spiritual Editors
Neither of these wonderful ladies are on our staff, as both are deceased, but they put this little muddy footed boy on the path to the love of the written word.
As of December 4,
2016, we can add
the ghost of my
father. He never
quite understood why
anyone would work so hard for something that didn't make any money, but he always supported my efforts to create a place for poetry, literature and art.
— Anthony Watkins
Use these link buttons to visit our other poetry pages, fiction, creative non-fiction, and the interview!