22 December 2004

Mistaken identities

Two events this year have made me think about how we are often more easily misunderstood than we know.

One was being phoned by an irate poet, asking why he/she had not been included in 'The River of Verse'. How would I know, I wasn't its editor, nor involved in the project in any way at any stage.

The other was being emailed by an irate poet, asking why he/she had been rejected by'Famous Reporter'. This time, the assumption that I was the person to complain to was a little more understandable, though not well-founded in fact. While my name has been on the editorial panel for FR for many years, my involvement in editorial selections for FR is nil.

For me, being the victim of an ear-bashing by irate poets came as a bit of a nasty surprise. I guess one sometimes has to retort. But this is not so much a retort as a statement of my position: I am totally supportive of any Tasmanian literary venture, but unwilling to put my name to any that I am not actively involved with. It is a fact that I have not been involved in the selection of poetry for FR at all for a good number of issues, and maybe even a good number of years now. While I had been happy for my name to be included in the list of editors for Famous Reporter "just in case", I now feel that it's more accurate not to have my name there. So I have quietly had my name removed from the editorial panel. It feels cleaner that way, and reflects reality, and Ralph has gracefully accepted my bowing out. He's a fine editor and well-respected by everyone, which is a tribute to his work on Famous Reporter. FR is steaming along under his stalwart and extremely able editorship.

I can recall the days round about issue n.4 or 5 of Famous Reporter when Ralph was resolute that his magazine would never include poetry, and I recall too the time when he first came round to changing his mind on that matter, how exciting it was to see poetry in its pages, and to sift through incoming submissions to find things to include.

I have been responsible for the Famous Reporter web site for many years, but this too is changing, as Ralph is going to do his own thing with his web site from now on.

Ralph still shares our PO Box number -- I guess that's about all that remains of any potential for further mistaken identities...

1 comment:

Petra_Stone said...

It can be very frustrating when people mistake identities and misdirect their comments. I can understand where Anne is coming from.

I know that many poets feel very strongly about having their poetry published or in the winning sections of competitions, but for the most part I pray they remember the most basic and important thing about poetry. It is a story to be told, to be heard, to be felt. It comes from experiences. It comes from dreams. It comes from many unexpected directions. But most importantly it should come from the heart, the soul. To be used as a tool of self respect, growth, and so much more. Share it. Make money from it if you wish, but try not to mistake identity when it comes to your poetry not being where you want it to be.

Is the system being gamed, and "Does Australia Need an ICAC for Poetry?"

Does Australia Need an ICAC for Poetry?  David Musgrave's article in Southerly is not new, but it's worth reading if you missed it....