I've been curious for a while about what kind of rejection notes the grande dame of the American poetry community sends to the hopeful poetish masses. Turns out she's rather a polite and thoughtful old bat.
Rating Summary: There are a lot of poets who question the current editorial direction of Poetry (and the motives and methods of its publisher, the Poetry Foundation). But something you have to give them credit for is respecting their submitters. In response to my submission, I received not the poorly reproduced and cut-out rejection slip that has become commonplace among literary magazines, but an honest-sounding note, addressed to me specifically, on stationery, signed by editor Christian Wiman (or whoever on staff best forges his signature). Not much to expect, is it? Yet anonymous newbie writers like me so often get so much less. They've turned us all to beggars.
The Grade: A. It's respectful, forthright, and shows evidence of a real person on the other end. Also, the response came back in a short four weeks. There isn't much I can complain about, except for the fact that it remains a rejection. That still stings.
Click here for more about the Rate the Rejection series and links to other rejections I've rated.