Hey! I’m in the Reader!

4 June 2007

 Click here to see me in lights!  Granted, the reason I’m mentioned is because I’m getting ignored in favor of Dana Goodyear, but . . . no such thing as bad publicity, right?

 On the one hand, I think many folks would think that it was kind of sad that my mention is about not getting noticed and that I wasn’t even aware that people were more interested in Dana Goodyear.  Hell, I wasn’t even aware Dana Goodyear was there, who she is, and (save for the Reader’s information in the above-linked article) what she was doing.  I guess the Poetry Foundation’s new president is an important person to interview, and I don’t mean to disparage the Foundation, which gives a lot of money to young poets, but I’m surprised I was so oblivious.

Honestly, I think this obliviousness (I almost wrote “oblivity” which is a more interesting word) is a good thing.  It may not make me a wheeler-dealer, mover-shaker, seeing-and-been-seen type with a book out, but the lessons that my early teachers taught me say that until you have a book out, until you have become known and successful for your work, it’s best not to have that dilettante-ish networking habit of knowing who everyone is and what’s going on in the World of Poetry and Writing.

My philosophy has always been that the creative work, while not made in a vacuum, thrives most in a situation where outside considerations of publication, success, and notoriety are ignored.  Once people take notice and you have a book out, get solicited for anthologies and manuscripts, and have made a habit of writing well in relative obscurity, then you can (but don’t really need to) start to keep track of the World of Poetry and move about in it.  Until then, best to not really worry about anything but the work itself.

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3 Responses to “Hey! I’m in the Reader!”

  1. Fr Chris Says:

    Wait, how did I miss that you’re in Chicago? I’ll have to treat you to a coffee next time I’m in the city. (I live in NC now and grew up in Southern Illinois, but my heart is a native Chicagoan 🙂 ) Our plan is to move back after S. is done with law school.

  2. Beth Says:

    “My philosophy has always been that the creative work, while not made in a vacuum, thrives most in a situation where outside considerations of publication, success, and notoriety are ignored.”
    Amen, Brother. You are a very wise man.

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