TMTR #9 / Summer 2014

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I am proud to announce we are continuing to award outstanding poetry with the 1st Annual Margaret Randall Poetry Prize ($500). Next issue we will award the 2md Annual Gerald Locklin Poetry Prize ($500).


The winner selected by Margaret Randall is Lauren Camp, for her poem “On Schedule.” (p. 135) Lauren is on a streak that looks like it has no end on sight. (Tupelo Press awarded her the 2014 Dorset Prize) TMTR has published her poetry in past issues, and congratulates Lauren on all her accomplishments; past, present, and yet to come.


Here are Margaret Randall’s comments about judging all the poems that were considered for the prize: “The poems chosen by Richard Vargas for this issue of The Más Tequila Review are, as usual, stunning. The quality and variety not only make for another excellent issue, they made it very difficult for me to choose one as worthy of the prize the magazine has honored with my name. I read and reread all 91 poems several times; none bore their author’s names, nor did I recognize a particular voice. In many cases I couldn’t even tell if the poem had been written by a woman or a man. I made piles: great, almost great, maybe not. I asked myself what my criteria must be. Subjectivity is endemic to this sort of choice. It’s no exaggeration to say there are at least 15 poems in this issue of TMTR I might have picked. Ultimately, I choose “On Schedule.” It seems to me to be nearly perfect, and I say nearly because I don’t think of poetry as perfect; imperfection itself being an attribute. This poem engages with where we are at this moment in time in all the large and small ways. It is both grand and intimate. Its craft draws me in and rewards me, deeply. Its momentum builds. And I love its final two lines, which bring its vast geography into human time.”


The Editor’s Choice Poetry Prize ($50) was a toss-up between Danielle Mitchell’s “Postcard Trapped in the City of Industry,” (p. 50) and Frank Rossini’s “Photography in Mexico: 5 photographs at sfmoma.” (p. 115) They will both receive the honor for this issue.


The word about TMTR and the quality poetry we publish must be getting around. I received more submissions than ever before. I accepted more than I should have for this issue, and still have over 40 submissions to read. I will reach out to those poets, and ask them if it’s okay to hold on to their poems for the reading period for the winter 2015 issue. I will completely understand if they withdraw their poems. But I hope they will hang in there with me. If this continues, I might have to bring in some help.


On the other hand, sales of the magazine do not reflect the increased interest by would-be contributors. I hope this trend will reverse itself, and I’m open to any suggestions.


So kick back and enjoy this issue of TMTR. Put your feet up, stay a while…




Richard Vargas