Editors Talk: MM Carrigan, Editor of Taco Bell Quarterly

As a platform for emerging poets, our mission is to provide practical help for serious writers. The community lifts itself up together or not at all. In that light, we’ve been asking some great editors from around the literary community for their frank thoughts on why poems may get accepted/rejected from their own slush pile of submissions, and what poets can do to better their chances. Today we’re speaking with MM Carrigan, Editor of Taco Bell Quarterly


How did you first join / create Taco Bell Quarterly as an Editor-in-Chief?

I created it after tweeting a joke that I was going to start a Taco Bell lit mag. It got a few likes so I leaned in and created a makeshift website and submission call.  It started as a bit that I became very serious about and has grown to be something larger.


Can you talk about the work and writers you publish—any consistent themes, forms, aesthetic qualities, you look for? Feel free to shout out some writers you’ve published here.

We’re interested in exploring what literary writing is, what being a writer is, what is means to have insert a nod to selling Taco Bell in every piece. We ask writers to make art among the white noise and cruelty of capitalism. The strongest pieces transcend the prompt while also not being afraid to directly address it. In the latest issue, poems by KB Brookins, J Villanueva do this particularly well.


What advice do you have for new poets who are submitting work?

Just read the magazine and submit and  come hang in our taco bell. 


From a craft standpoint, what typically causes you to accept a poem? What causes you to turn the page and move on to the next submission?

I’m always looking for voice and immediacy. A story that is told. Striking images. I’m standard in my poetry order as I am in my Taco Bell order.  


What have you learned as an Editor-in-Chief and writer from working on Taco Bell Quarterly? Where do you see the magazine in five years?

I’ve learned nothing is real. Just make art. In 5 years, we hope to be still alive! Live mas!



MM Carrigan is a writer from the Baltimore area and the editor of the Taco Bell Quarterly.



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