Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Case of the Misspelled Spice

How does this happen?

While gathering up a few copies of our chapbooks, mine and Andrew’s and a copy of the excellent but moribund bimonthly poetry magazine Ephemeris, that we gave up in frustration at not being able to find enough good poems last year to publish, to take to my lunchdate with D… on Monday I opened Sixteen Poems and there on the first page the word cardamom (which is used three times in the poem is spelled two different ways! Eek. It is just one letter, but it is like wearing a huge flashing neon sign that says “Amateur!”

We had excellent copyediting. We both looked at the darn thing again and again and…this is from last November. No one pointed it out to us.

Actually, I just finished reading a murder mystery with worse typos but still…

After having spent what probably amounts to a year of my life at bad poetry readings by wildly ambitious moderately talented individuals who are all in the grip of this cluster of desires about their work and are sticking badly edited and lamely written chapbooks and anthologies and little magazines in my face and wanting me to buy them, (often at exorbitant prices) to validate their fantasy of being “real” and valued, the last thing in the world I want to do is to foist mine on you.

And I don’t want you to buy mine because you like me in the “real” world or think I am cute. (well, after having had a really bad driver’s license picture taken today that I have to live with for eight more years, I might make an exception to the “cute” excuse.)
The only reason I want you to put out the whopping $5 we price point our publications at is because you are interested in the poems!

We publish good poems.

And as far as I know, we spell all the exotic spice names properly… mostly.

And why am I all riled up about this? Because someone has asked Andrew to do the thing he is most gifted at in the whole world and revive Ephemeris from the dead and edit his heart out.

If you have a really really good poem that is looking for a publication home worthy of its quality, watch this space…

Keep in mind though, that you may have to market the thing yourself.
Obviously, we have an attitude problem.


Blogger Darius said...

Mmm... "Marketing" poetry is really tough to do. Even if it's really good. Even today's famous (sort of) poets, don't sell many copies.

Have a full book of poems myself, written over a 25 year period. But to make matters even worse, my esthetic is SO not-modern. For example, the "Angel" post under my Previous Posts is a true prose poem, outstanding if I do say so myself, but will never see the light of day.

8:13 AM  

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