9/27/13

Neglection Slip

Ms. Rich
     When Adrienne Rich was editing The Best American Poetry (1996), she chose a couple poets who she could not locate. She mentioned them in her introduction, even though - without their permission -  she had no choice but to leave them out of the anthology. When the book came out, at least one of them wrote back, upset by seeing her name in the introduction, yet not being included in the anthology.
     Rich responded:
     "A poem often becomes a kind of commodity in the competitive literary world of curriculum vitae, though I deplore the fact. I would be very sorry if either this mischance, or your numerous recognitions, were to get between you and the life of poetry, which is an art, not a competition, an art demanding self-discipline and apprenticeship, often through very unencouraging circumstances, for stakes which have nothing to do with the market."

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