Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Final Issue 2018
Catch and Release
Susan Yount

Pain. I don’t know anything about it–where it comes from, how to make it stop. I chase it around my
body like a squirrel. When the doctors ask me to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, I’m sure I answer wrong.

Many have asked why I want to quit publishing the Arsenic Lobster. First, a literal pain in my literal ass
has been growing, making it uncomfortable to sit in front of a computer for long hours. So, I traded time
spent working on the Arsenic Lobster for time focusing on myself: traveling, walking and losing weight. I
had to break some bad habits and, in the process, the Arsenic Lobster fell victim to those changes.

But there is a second reason. I’m not interested in working on the Lobster anymore.

In the last few years, a figurative pain in my ass has developed, too. The Po-scene has become too
focused on things I find have nothing to do with poetry. If you don’t know what I’m talking about,
I understand–it’s hard to keep up.

It’s stressful to see the Arsenic Lobster appear on whatever “boycott” list is hot this week because any
number of years ago, we published a poem by so-and-so, who is now in a social media drama with
another so-and-so. It’s also tiresome to receive messages repeatedly suggesting I “reconsider” whom I
should be connected with on social media because of whatever drama has befallen the Po-community
this week.

As a publisher–and, a human–I will not continue to volunteer my time and spend my money on a
venture that others use to troll me. My life is too full of great things, and great projects which remain
incomplete to spend so much time working on a journal for a community that does its best to make
poetry about everything other than poetry.

I know these incidents are rare(ish) and not everyone is trying to damage me or the journal. I’ve worked
hard to build, promote, publish and edit the Arsenic Lobster and many have expressed gratitude. I am
thankful for you too. However, it’s time to release the great Lobster back into the sky. With tremendous
love in my heart for the ArsenLob, this will be the final issue.


O, History: 1999–2018
The Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal was an Idaho-based publication founded in 1999. In 2004, Jen
Hawkins, one of the founding editors, agreed to pass the Arsenic Lobster on to me. We launched the
website in 2005 and became one of the first and longest-running online and print poetry journals.

During my tenure, I’ve published nearly 500 contributors of poetry, art and reviews. I have edited and
printed 11 anthologies and donated hundreds of books to the U.S. military, poetry workshops, lit crawls
and writing conferences. I’ve also created lesson plans for publishing classes and worked with several
interns who received university credit for their experience reading submissions, writing reviews and
editing for the Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal.

ArsenLob contributors have had their poems featured at Verse Daily, Best of the Net and Best of the
ArsenLob’s finest editors have gone on to create their own journals, magazines and workshops.

I wish continued success and a beloved farewell to the Arsenic Lobster family! You were truly the arsenic
in my eye.

Please enjoy this final issue of the Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal.

—Susan Yount, Editor & Publisher