Friday, May 22, 2009

Editors, journals, rejection and acceptance

Another poem accepted in a journal I like. This time Crannog.

I'm always grateful when someone takes a piece, especially as in this case it's one I like, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only conclusion to come to is that there is a logic in the way editors of journals accept or reject poems.

It's not immediately apparent. You send them three or five, and they choose the one you thought the weakest, or they send them all back and the next editor takes all three. Or they choose the one you knew they’d take, although last time you were that convinced they all came back.

So the logic is simple: “poetry” is always someone else’s verdict. One does the best one can, one sends it out, and it gets weighed and evaluated and labeled by someone else according to his or her values. If you’re lucky, they are looking for the same things you were when you were writing the piece. If you’re unlucky, that piece you would have sworn was the best thing you've written comes boomeranging back.

Wot may mon do bot fonde

Which is not to suggest there's any resentment. Anyone willing to give up their time and energy to run and edit a poetry journal has every right to push their own wheelbarrow.

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