Wednesday, November 18, 2009
*The outbreak of lists of best books of 2009 is freaking me out. The sheer number of poetry books that people are recommending is staggering, not to mention all the fiction and non-fiction out there as well. I feel like I've finally made it to a place where I can buy books of poetry fairly regularly without going into serious credit card debt, and I'm also a huge advocate of borrowing from the library. However, there's no way I could read all of the books out there. Who said poetry/literature is dead?
*Given all the back and forth about women on the PW list, I just want to clarify one of my personal positions. I am not advocating any kind of a quota system, and if the editors at PW stand by their list, then that is their right. It is my right to ignore any other recommendations they might make because I've lost faith in their judgment. What I am most interested in is addressing the institutionalized sexism that appears to exist at the upper levels of decision making about publishing and awards. Also, I'm interested in the number of women who hold positions in the upper echelons and if there is an imbalance there.
*I know there are many men out there with great books who struggle just as hard as women writers do to break into the publishing world. I salute them.
*Two books I bought recently that are now on the to-read shelf:
Holding Everything Down
Southern Illinois University Press, 2009
Beauty Breaks In
Mary Ann Samyn
New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2009
*Last week's acceptance was rapidly followed by two rejection envelopes. I'm cool with that. On my best days rejection letters are an inspiration to revision.
* A short poem by Emily Dickinson:
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.