Sunday, September 04, 2005


Soundtrack: Bitches' Brew, Miles Davis

Well, just finished revamping the ole' manuscript for this fall's round of contests. Wish me luck, and I wish you the same.

B. and I had a long, complicated talk the other night about the value of new literary magazines that may not have the rescources to hold out in the long run, that may fold after two or three years. Basically, I said that the important thing is that young magazines create venues for new writing, offer opportunities for young, professional-quality poets who are unlikely to get into APR or The Yale Review to publish their work and become part of a larger community of poets all of whom share various aesthetic interests. B. contended that magazines that don't last do a disservice to young poets because in five years, if the magazine folds, no one will be able to find a copy, and the poems will be essentially lost. No one but the few people who actually got a copy of the issue will remember them. The publication credit, too, loses value because a defunct magazine doesn't carry much prestige, especially if people don't remember what it was about in the first place. I said, however, that no one expects the magazines, or the poems in them, to last; a poet needs to publish a book for his or her poems to stick a while. There are so many young magazines now, so many new ideas, so many folding all the time. It's hard to imagine this varied, compelling, trend-oriented, ever-blossoming poetic climate any other way. And hasn't it always been like this? But what will the consequences be in ten or twenty years?

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