Poets & Writers Magazine welcomes letters from its readers. Please post a comment on select articles at www.pw.org/magazine, e-mail email@example.com, or write to Editor, Poets & Writers Magazine, 90 Broad Street, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10004. Letters accepted for publication may be edited for clarity and length.
The Best Rejection
I thoroughly enjoyed Michael Szczerban’s interview with Michael Wiegers, editor in chief of Copper Canyon Press (Agents & Editors, November/December 2015). Wiegers’s astute vision for the press will help it continue to be a leader in quality poetry publishing. In 2013, when I submitted my manuscript, “Palimpsest,” for consideration to Copper Canyon, I received the best rejection letter! The response commended my writing style, clearly stated the reason why they couldn’t publish the manuscript, and gave me confidence that it would be published elsewhere in the near future. While I’ve yet to find a publisher for it, I am still thankful for Copper Canyon’s utmost professionalism, because as influential as the press is in the poetry publishing world, the staff still took the time to respond to me in a way that other presses should emulate.
Highland Park, New Jersey
The Deeper Mind
As a writer and pastor I appreciated Kevin Nance’s profile of Marilynne Robinson (“The Deeper Mind,” November/December 2015). Robinson’s ability to combine literature and faith in a creative way fascinates me. I look forward to reading Robinson’s new essay collection, The Givenness of Things.
Bravo to @poetswritersinc on the thought-provoking interview with Marilynne Robinson. Simply terrific.
@poetswritersinc’s profile of Marilynne Robinson makes me crush on her harder. Pick up a copy today.
F is for Success
Grazie mille to Michael Bourne, for his reassurance that there is life on the other side of failure (“Why We Write: Failure Is an Option,” September/October 2015). Almost every article I’ve read about the difficulties of first-time publishing is written by a recently contracted debutant, leaving the unpublished author—me—feeling increasingly isolated and mildly patronized (and not at all bitter). I’m thankful to Bourne for speaking from within the ranks of those who have not yet made the lucky leap into print.
The Real World
I enjoyed Marie Myung-Ok Lee’s article, “My Own Path to Publication: Choosing to Forgo the MFA” (September/October 2015). I am glad there’s someone like me out there. Without an MFA, I face the “real world” every day and it can take a very long time to finish a story or poem. It took me thirty years to find the perfect title for my poem, “Credo Junkie,” which I had originally titled “Credo.” I needed to experience life among all types of people including addicts in order to find that second word. Thirty years later, the poem takes on a wider meaning.
B. B. Smith
Ossining, New York