Thursday, August 06, 2009

Quick turnaround

Anyone have a short list of journals that turn submissions around quickly? I'm thinking of compiling such a list to add to my website's resources page. In going through the list of places I've submitted to in the last year, I was struck by the increasing number of periodicals that take more than six months to reply, or never reply at all, despite the inclusion of an SASE. I suppose their keeping my stamp sans reply constitutes minor theft, actually.

This practice of non- or slow response is unprofessional and disrespectful to poets. Another example of the degradation of the art form, in my opinion -- and what's worse, by its very practitioners. Rather than ding the journals that have sloppy practices, I'd rather praise the editors who uphold reasonable professional standards.

So I'm hoping you can help me compile this list of good places to send work!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Women in Literary Arts

Women in Literature is the theme of a new literary conference and organization that is being formed by a group of writers who have concerns about the organization of this year's AWP conference and its panel discussions.

I, too, notice a nagging disparity in the prominence of men and women in literary arts. It seems to me to reflect the persistence of male chauvinism in American society, though I do believe this old-generation attitude is waning. It just isn't waning fast enough, I think. So the emergence of organizations of women writers is a natural occurrence to redress the disbalance. It will be interesting to see how this organization develops and how much energy is behind it.

Equality and freedom seem to be key issues around the globe right now, bubbling up in countries like Iran, which is undergoing a transformation of its culture from the bottom up -- and that is involving women taking leadership roles. Women tend to lead differently than men. They often lead by example and by collaborative efforts. It will be interesting to see how a woman President operates, when the day comes that America is ready to give that kind of respect to a woman, to allow her to lead the country.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Sea of Green

I've decided to wear a green bracelet until Iran is free, a day I know is coming. I've also been looking through various translations of Iran's favorite poet, Hafiz of Shiraz, and came across this, which is inscribed on his tomb:

Though I be old, clasp me one night to thy breast,
And I, when the dawn shall come to awaken me,
With the flush of youth on my cheek from thy bosom will rise.

Translated by Gertrude Bell (1868 – 1926)

The translation is a little creaky, but I like the idea. I think Iran will soon awaken because of having clasped for even a night (or a month or more) the idea of liberty. Dawn shall come.