Lately the cardboard armor I made for myself with the Rate the Rejection series has been showing its weaknesses. The fact of the matter is that getting a rejection note is still dispiriting, and each one saps a trickle of the energy I have to write. Well, here's another little leech, from the Beloit Poetry Journal:
Rating Summary: It's obviously an email, which is unusual given that I did not submit electronically (and which makes me curious about what happens to all the SASEs they get). Though terse, it comes directly from the editor's own email account and is at least somewhat personalized. I like the idea that, in theory, I could fire off a response ("Thank god! The New Yorker wants those poems instead and I had no idea how to tell you.") and I appreciate Mr. Rosenwald's willingness to expose himself to the hoards of embittered, attention-starved poets who submit to BPJ. I am sure that many of them take it as an invitation to dialogue rather than what it is: Simply, "no, thanks."
[UPDATE: I received my poems and a printed rejection slip by mail yesterday afternoon. Apparently I owe the post office in Eastern Maine 2 cents postage.]
The Grade: B+. Direct communication is everything. Plus, turnaround time for this submission was incredibly fast -- just about two weeks. But it remains an email message, and there's just something cold and impersonal about that.
Click here for more about the Rate the Rejection series and links to other rejections I've rated.