Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Good Luck To You

I am installed at the poet's and burrowing away at the archive. I've got my own, warm quarters, the gallery overlooks an exceedingly charming garden decorated with antlers, I heard foxes and owls at night, and the gentle fog raising from Sherwood Forest is the stuff of winter dreams. I must confess secretly to expect Robin Hood to burst into the study, handing me a wad of cash for my literary troubles and wishing me well with the rest of my life.

As I was leafing through mags, journals, collections, anthologies and cuttings, I came across Bogg, a poetry magazine apparently still in existence, at least according to a certain poetry website. I have been skim-reading an awful lot of info over the past two days, but one line in particular has stuck to memory, this one:

As always, editing is a subjective affair, and we print what takes our fancy.

Think I made that pearl of wisdom up? I've got photographic evidence, look closely:

I re-read it a few times, of course, just to make sure it really had been printed. The initial surprise at such degree of honesty was soon replaced with gratitude. Ah, you see? Someone who has the guts to tell writers that they operate within a subjective business and that tough shit if they don't like it! If only all editors were like this, if only they did not come up with a rack of statistical data and a far-fetched report on how your writing could be improved but in fact just said, I don't like it and that's why I won't publish it! The sooner you realise this is the way it works, the better it is dear writer. And, as ever, good luck to you, for you are going to need it.
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