Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Darling, It's Not Me, It's You (by The Paris Review)

I usually refrain from spreading gossip unless it's of my own concoction. Still, this is what I call news. I have warned writers, especially poets, to be careful with their CV/bio. Do not, I repeat, do not, (are you listening?) tell the entire world that you have a poem, a story, an interview, etc. "forthcoming." Until it happens/just before it happens. You will seem tasteful, elegant, & suitably modest. Oh, what a delightful surprise, there is your work, your quote, an interview with your charming self in [insert title of periodical]. But really, I'm trying to save you from possible public humiliation. Now, if others need to be contacted, of course, you tell them that a reporter will be calling, etc. Use your commonsense, if you have it. If not, borrow some.

Articles & columns are spiked routinely. But "unacceptances" such as being reported? No. What's worse, writers are turning on writers, poets on poets, editors on editors (well, OK this is not news), telling others to get over it. So rafts of accepted poems have been unaccepted at a major literary journal, so what? Oh, it happens all the time, etc. No it does not. Rinse, repeat, with adverb. No, actually, it does not.

Here are pertinent links. Behind the Scenes, We Who are About To Die, The Great Paris Review Poetry Purge, Part I, here. Part 2, here. The Poetry Foundation Harriet blog, here. Follow the threads. I don't particularly like to wallow in this ugliness, but people need to look out for themselves. I don't blame anyone for telling about acceptances (it is exciting, yes). It can help one's lot. Just don't FB/Twitter/Blog/YouTube to the moon & back, if it's not out/imminent. (Books are a different matter.) But now...hmmm. Back to fussing with templates, annoying phone calls, the cat's hurt feelings, & so on.

For those who don't give a damn (who could blame you?), there are worthy links on this blog & on Giulia Geranium about other matters. It's all a mash-up, anyway.

[lovely photograph by Dottie via her Dream Camera tumblr. Now I have to bookmark her Let's Go Ride a Bike blog & flickr account. She turns out to be very interesting, damn her.]


Penney said...

It's great to learn how to avoid getting humiliated,hurt and spat on.
Thanks for this head's up.
This Sapphire is exquisite!!!

Giulia said...

Saving one person at a time, that's me gig. No one hired me, it's just something I feel must be done. And now, I sound like the devil in the original Bedazzled. (Peter Cook) That's what's go me up to no good.

It is a great pix, no? You should go see her blog, etc. As I said, damn her for being interesting.