Feedback from readers
It was moving to read the conversation between two gifted writers, Natalie Diaz and Jacqueline Woodson, in “Energy” (March/April 2020). As we muddle our way through the pandemic and the fears that are interwoven with it, we should all embrace what Diaz says: “I believe language lasts. In all its violence and tenderness, it lasts and lasts. You and I are here because of how it lasts—because of story.”
Ann Arbor, Michigan
I loved reading John Freeman’s “How to Live: Lessons From Last Night’s Reading” in the Writers Retreats Issue (March/April 2020). In fact, I read it twice. Freeman writes about how every event holds the possibility that someone will leave changed—even the writer. And how readings are a form of living literary history. That’s what I like about writing conferences, too.
I have been a fan of Poets & Writers Magazine for years and finally broke down and subscribed. Upon receiving your latest issue, I was, as always, happy with a beautiful and extremely helpful collection of art. I have come to the conclusion, however—and this is no reflection on the magazine—that I apparently have outlived my hope of ever having a book published. I say this because out of some 168 ads and notices of publishers and contests, I found only four that might at least accept an inquiry. The others? Well, for the most part inquiries and materials are only accepted online. I, with great pleasure, gave my computer away and cannot go online. A good many wanted a fee just for submitting anything. Those with special submission requirements I fully understand. It’s the “accepting only online” that I question. Surely I am not the only soul who still works with a typewriter. Possibly it’s because I am eighty-eight, but don’t accuse me of being completely out of touch. I just retired from an organization after serving there for twenty years as an administrative assistant. I have a completed book and have sent inquiries to five publishers. One had the courtesy of responding. Is courtesy, too, a thing of the past? Please forgive me for bothering you. I’ve had the need to complain for quite a while. I think I feel better, but who knows about tomorrow? Thank you again for a wonderful magazine.
Port Huron, Michigan
Checking in with last issue’s cover poet
In the seven days following its release, Postcolonial Love Poem, the latest poetry collection by March/April 2020 cover poet Natalie Diaz, posted sales of more than five thousand copies, making it one of Graywolf Press’s all-time best-selling books of poetry in its first week, according to executive editor Jeff Shotts. The indie publisher had anticipated high demand, scheduling an initial print run of nine thousand copies, and Shotts expects to order a second printing soon.
Three of the most popular posts from pw.org
1. “594 Ways of Reading Jane Eyre” (March/April 2020) by Bonnie Chau
2. “An Alaska Retreat for Women Writers” (March/April 2020) by Amy Pence
3. “Inside Publishing: The Book Publicist” (March/April 2020) by Michael Bourne
In Adrienne Raphel’s “At Home With Elizabeth Bishop” (March/April 2020), the town where Elizabeth Bishop was born was misspelled. Bishop was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, not Worchester. The name of Sandra Cisneros’s photographer was misspelled in “Cisneros Celebrates Macondo” (March/April 2020) by Jennifer De Leon. Her name is Patri Hadad.