Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ramblings

Acceptances at Heavy Bear, Poetry Now and Paper Darts, for which I am very grateful, though I worry anyway about the quality of the work that's been accepted. . . I used to take an acceptance as a kind of certification of the genuine quality of a poem and, in fact, would think I was slipping if my latest poem was having a hard time finding a home. . . Now I'm not sure what an acceptance certifies. . . I say this while still serving as guest poetry editor for issue #29 of Right Hand Pointing (an interesting experience, by the way). . . I've resolved to give as many deserving poets as I can a slot in the issue. . . This effectively means accepting only one poem per poet. . . I haven't turned down any poem I wouldn't have turned down anyway because of this, but it does indicate that other factors beside quality can and do play into an acceptance. . . What a world, what a world.

3 comments:

Serena M.Tome said...

When you wrote this I was thinking the very same thing. Do you feel that the editors you are working with just believe your work is good and want to support or do you think that familiarity contributes sometimes? Do you have a mature reader outside of the submission process who you trust will always tell you the truth?

Howie Good said...

Hi, Serena --

It's not like I don't get rejected. I do. Sometimes the rejectiosn force me to reexamine a poem, which is usually to the good. In that sense, those editors are what you call "mature readers" whom i trust to tell the truth. But otherwise I am alone in here trying to figure out for myself what works and what doesn't. . . .

Serena M.Tome said...

I agree with you. How do you handle it when your work is getting accepted everywhere but you feel disconnected towards what you producing? It is not an issue of am I a good poet, but really wanting to know for yourself that you are growing. I want my work to strike my heart and maybe the fact that I wrote about a particular subject matter is when the striking took place I just didn't know it.