February 19, 2007

(a composite poem of complete sentences from Rampike, Zygote, Black Cat 115, ink, Cencrastus, Broken Pencil, above/ground press, Coach House Books, Brick, Blood & Aphorisms, pedlar press, Quarry Magazine, Descant, and The New Quarterly)


Dear Ms. Alland,

Youíll notice this is neither
an acceptance nor rejection letter.
There is no logical reason
for this decision.
Recently we rejected work
from a writer who won
the $5000 Stephen Leacock Award
two weeks later. Actually,
this might mean it is better
to be rejected by us
if you want to become
rich and famous.

Because our magazine
is created in the scraps
and odd shavings of time
between paying our rents
and living our lives,
choosing work for each issue
is a painful experience.
We prefer works
that display polyphonic
and dialogical qualities.
This prevents us from taking
some exceptionally fine writing.

Competition was fierce.
Many projects were meritorious.
As you can imagine, the majority
of submissions come from writers
we either publish
or who are friends of the magazine
in some way.

Unfortunately however. Please see
the list below for reason(s)
we could not use your work
this time. You should hear from us
in Jasnuary.
I apologize for the time it has taken.
Whatever though do keep in touch.
Please consider becoming
a subscriber.

We would have encouraged you
to try again, but, unfortunately,
we are ceasing publication.

Writing is an occupation which,
generally speaking,
requires a great deal of solitude.

It has become necessary
to make use of these terribly
impersonal reply slips.
We have all received
these letters and cursed
the fools who sent them.
We hope you understand.
You definitely have potential.

The Editor

P.S. I think Iím in the next
Paperplates too. If it ever comes outÖ
Iím reading at the Imperial Pub
next week. See you there?

—Sandra Alland
previously published in Taddle Creek magazine (in 2001)

Posted by dwaber at February 19, 2007 01:13 PM