Thursday, June 19, 2008

why editors keep promises, part 2.

MMM Vol VI., 2006, ended up with 93 contributors—90% of them were people who had been promised publication by the previous editorial staff. There were very few new people that we added to that issue, which the staff called “the catch up issue” while we were working on it.

I think that this issue was a very strong and very eclectic mixture—a very diverse and unusual anthology of 288 pages. It was heavy. When it came out with its beautiful b/w cover photo by Joseph Sorrentino of a young girl in Oaxaca, I knew we had created something that would keep up the standards of the past issues.

Keeping the promises the past editors made meant an enormous amount of work for us, but it was a good experience, that year.

Sometimes, that year and more recently, there was disagreement on the staff when e.g. one editor disliked things previous editors made. Sometimes an editor vehemently disliked things CURRENT editors made!

(This is okay with me as long as the staff acts in a way that fosters mutual respect; people need to be free to make decisions as editors and to have their space.)

No matter what, though, I think that it is more important to keep our word, and keep our individual words, to people once promises have been made.

Occasionally, a new poet or writer finds out we are alive, still, and guess what? A previous editor—gone some years ago—promised this person that this or that story would appear.

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