Peter LaBerge

Editor’s Corner: An Interview with Peter LaBerge of The Adroit Journal

Interview conducted by Stevie Edwards

Peter LaBerge is a poetry editor wunderkind. He founded The Adroit Journal in 2010 while he was still in high school with the mission of creating a space where high school students could be featured alongside established writers. Since then, The Adroit Journal has become one of the most selective literary journals in the country, currently listed on Duotrope.com as having a .46% acceptance rate. The Adroit Journal publishes poetry, prose, and art. Work from Adroit has been honored by inclusion in Best American PoetryPushcart Prizes: Best of the Small Presses, Best of the NetBest New Poets, and elsewhere.

Adroit has a massive staff (about thirty poetry readers and twenty prose readers), which makes sense given that they are known for their lickety-split submission responses. For staff applications, they specifically ask for writers who have yet to publish their first books. This focus on supporting emerging writers can also be seen in their other initiatives, including The Adroit Prizes (a writing contest for undergraduate and secondary students) and the Summer Mentorship Program (a free online mentorship program that pairs experienced writers with secondary students).

In addition to LaBerge’s generous vision for Adroit, he is also a very accomplished young poet. He is the author of the chapbooks Makeshift Cathedral (YesYes Books, 2017) and Hook (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015). His recent work appears in Best New Poets, Crazyhorse,