Criticism of a journal/magazine from its rejected poets need not be ignored.

Their wise-after-the-event proferred opinion is often mocked, but contrary to popular thought which depicts them as raging malcontents in search of a parting shot, the poets who’ve not been accepted into a magazine are perhaps (and I say this with humour) uniquely placed in critical relation to its content.¬†Attentive and close readers alert to be horrified in detail about what you’ve chosen over them, the *idea* of their successful poems in their head is what they’re going to be comparing your choice again. This probably hasn’t made it onto the page, but their peerless intentions are useful phantoms for benchmarking others’ last best efforts and the decisions of the editors.

For journals are nothing if not displays of editorial taste. An editor recently said at an event I was at that she wished people would send her different sorts of poems, but why would you, unless you didn’t care whether you were published by that journal or not. There is a sort of catch 22 here: if you are writing a poem solely to get it into a certain journal, it is likely to be scuppered by its own sycophancy; but if you’re not, and you don’t care about whether that journal accepts it, where’s your motivation to send?

I suppose the compromise I’m sold on is to write the range of poems I want to write before thinking about who’ll publish them and then try to match them up to opportunity when I’m taken with a notion of self-promotion. We each move the world with us in any direction slowly.

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I can’t [well, couldn’t] wait, for the weekend to begin. Aha!

Ok, just a teensy wee update, given I’ve been not posting much and that the reason for that is that I’ve been doing the sort of stuff that I said I would be tracking. This last weekend was a nice ¬†contiguity of a couple of my creative interests. I was through in Glasgow on Friday night to see my friend Tom Marshman perform at Buzzcut. Was a great excuse to visit The Old Hairdressers too. I’m realising that Glasgow is really a lot like Bristol in terms of quirky artist-led community spaces. Anyway, loved that and enjoyed getting a bit out of my, er, comfort zone.

Then, yesterday I caught the last day of StAnza, the poetry festival in St Andew’s. Picked the Sunday because previously discussed¬†Joe Dunthorne was reading and Kathleen Jamie too (she’s doing an event at the Gallery next month so was good to get my ear back into her work). One of the things I loved about both weekend festivals was that I was able at each to talk directly to the performers about what they were doing. It made both events feel much more animating/energising and I really value that part of the festival experience. Plus kudos to whoever the girl was who was reading poems out to punters around the bar.

So, turns out Edinburgh in Spring is a pretty decent base to get to get to my various culturals from. Good to see friends old and new.

And lest anyone think that I was skiving off Mother’s Day, I took Mum and Dad to the pictures on Saturday in the middle to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. #guiltypleasures