Tuesday, November 28, 2006

VQR Takes Note

Chalk one up for the rejected writers! A friend just pointed me to this posting in the Virginia Quarterly Review's official blog, which acknowledges the journal's long turnaround times for submissions lately and promises action. In fact, they even went so far as to apologize to your humble blogger directly. Sez VQR:

".... I’m trying to imagine watching an Oscar-nominated actress portraying the author reaction of a rejected author. I’m guessing she doesn’t take it as well as David Keeling. (By the way, David and all submitters, we apologize for taking so long to respond. We’ve been buried in submissions ever since our National Magazine Award nominations in March. I’m pleased to report that we’ve hired additional readers, we’re enlisting new interns, and we’ve just started using a spiffy new submission database that we hope will help us streamline our process.)"

Well, the apology won't get VQR a better rating, but my hat's off to them for caring enough to make their submissions process more efficient. Just another reason why it's among the best big journals out there.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

And another thing...

Poets Gary Snyder, Yusef Komunyakaa, Philip Metres, Dunya Mikhail, Brian Turner, and Jorie Graham will be panelists for a discussion on poetry and war at the Chicago History Museum this Sunday at 3:30. Tix are $6 at the door or $5 in advance (call 312.494.9509 to reserve). With such an eclectic group of poets, this promises to be an interesting event.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Jimmy Santiago Baca Reading - Nov. 8

A quick alert to those in Chicago: At 6:30 on November 8, poet Jimmy Santiago Baca will be reading at the School of the Art Institute Ballroom (112 S. Michigan Ave). I think tickets are around $8 at the door. Sadly I will be out of town -- otherwise I would certainly be there. Baca's life story is a compelling and remarkable one (illiterate at 21, he began writing poetry during a five-year stint in a maximum security prison) that he recounts grippingly in his memoir A Place to Stand (Grove Press, 2001). Plus, he's a damn good poet. Go see the man speak.