Thursday, August 09, 2007

Rate the Rejection -- Poetry

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.


KrisUnderwood said...

yes, I have to agree with you-they are by far one of the better rejections I've recieved...that sounds strange-a good rejection; but they have always been quick on turnaround with me and their slips look as if some actual thought went into it. Not just slap-and-dash rejection.

Anonymous said...

I would really appreciate a note like that. Might even hang it on my wall. I mean let's face it everyone is starved for communication. This rejection really makes me want to submit to Poetry. But does everyone get a real signature, or only the best submissions?

David Scronce said...

Re your polite, signed rejection from Poetry, on stationery, no less: Some of us continue to receive thin, xeroxed strips from this illustrious journal--so consider yourself honored. Or perhaps Mr. Wiman has heard about your on-line rating system. Hmm.

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I don't like the kind of poems that question the current editorial direction of Poetry, but it's obvious that variety exist, and we can not do anything to avoid this.... so we must read only what we like to.

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