Friday, June 27, 2008

editors breaking promises, part 2

One of the earliest encounters I had with an editor saying he would and then would not publish my work happened when I was still in college. Looking back, I know that I was very young to have substantial space in any literary journal full of mostly pretty well established poets.

How did this happen? you ask.

Well, I handed this new poem to this guy about seven years older than me, and he was mesmerized and moved. On the spot he said he would publish it. But then he reversed himself much later, making up some reason. It might have been simply that I was too young or something. I was really upset about that then.

But now, having seen how many times a poem getting published in an obscure literary journal has caused careers to burst into the stratosphere, how many lives have been saved by the publishing of a poem, how many political catastrophes averted by a few sage phrases from a poet, I think, yeah, maybe it wasn't such a big deal.

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