Tuesday, August 4, 2009

On Why I'm Not a Businessman

Since it's out there, I might as well throw a penny in the fountain. The whole Seth Abramson thing: I'd like to drop a big, steaming pile of I don't care on this. Would I have considered using such a consulting service when I was applying to grad school? Absolutely not. Do I think others should? Absolutely not. Do I care if some people do choose to use this service? Absolutely not. As far as larger comments on the nature of the MFA go, I think anyone who has done any amount of reserach on the degree knows what they are and are not good for (are not good for: guaranteeing jobs, "turning you into a writer"; are good for: conversation starters at parties, time to read and write, meeting agreeable and not-so-agreeable folks, coasters).


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I don't think I've ever said it on here, but I really dig reading lit mag reviews. Especially now that I'm removed from the treasure trove of back issues we had in the Hollins grad lounge. There, I could page through pretty much any journal I wanted to get my hands on, though it may have been outdated, at least it was something. Now I'm left to peruse websites for research, read the litmag reviews, and (*gasp*) subscribe to journals. The above link has reviews of 2 lit mags that I had poems in (BPJ and NYQ). It's interesting to read these. I can't help but think: I know you read my poem, so why didn't you say anything about it? Do you think it was a mistake it was in there? Was it just so bland that it didn't bear mentioning? Simply my egomaniac-neurosis on the loose...


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A tangentially related question: how do people feel about sending work to places where you've already published in the past? I haven't done this yet, but with a new submission season almost upon us, I've been thinking about sending some work to places I've enjoyed showing up in. Are there any rules I don't know about in this respect? A certain amount of time one should wait from last appearance to re-submission? Educate me, blogosphere.


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Killer opening-line of the moment:

"The woman who taught me to curse first gave me She-Ra dolls."

--from "In Praise of Lies" by James Allen Hall
(Now You're the Enemy, University of Arkansas Press, 2008)


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Anna Sutton reads poems!

3 comments:

Kristin said...

I think it makes sense to send work to places which have liked your work enough to publish it in the past. In terms of how long to wait--I used to bombard places with submissions when I was younger. Now I tend to submit only once during a reading period (if the reading period is a semester; perhaps twice if the reading period is a school/calendar year)--but that may say more about how much less time I have to do mailings than any sense of etiquette.

I try not to be a pest, but to politely remind places that I'm here, writing poetry, submitting patiently.

Luke said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kristin!

There are definitely a few places I want to try again, but like you said, I don't want to bombard them. Maybe I'll just wait until the end of this submission cycle to try the repeats...

Keith said...

I usually wait until one to two years of issues have been published before I try again.

Unless they encourage writers from the last issue to submit again.

Editors change so much that for many journals, as you know, your chances may not be as good as when you first sent, but it's always cool to be in a journal a few times over the years.