One of the pleasures I had over the last several years was to launch a poetry and short story journal with two friends . We were quite presumptuous, thinking we could do so, but we learned a lot in the process about what is good and what is not so good in poetry and story. Though no longer published, it was a great experience, one I remember fondly.
The idea behind ProCreation: A Journal of Truthtelling in Poetry and Prose, was to select and publish poems and stories that contained truth -- not just experiential truth (which is subjective), but universal truth (which is objective). We approached it from a Christian worldview but recognized that through the operation of common grace, truth, wherever it was found and whoever expounded it, was God's truth. We also believed, as did Francis Schaeffer, that art had both minor (because of the Fall) and major (because of Redemption) themes, so we endeavored to reflect both themes in each issue. Looking back, we may have majored on the minor too much at times, but I think we largely got it about right.
Two groups of submitters were the most difficult to deal with: the gay community and the Christian community. Both tended to preach too much. As a result, their work was less artful and effective. For gays, everything was about being gay; for Christians, all was religious. I think I understand this, but, as Picasso once said, "Art is the lie that tells the truth," meaning indirection is a powerful tool in the hands of the artist.
Not every poem embodies both major and minor themes, and they need not. However, the best seem to connect with us as human beings, in our difficulties and longings, and point outside of our circumstances to hope, to something or Someone transcendent, like a signpost pointing Home.
I've scanned one volume of ProCreation in, and you can access it here. I also plan to add each issue so they can be accessed on this site (from the sidebar). So, stay tuned!