What The Fuck Is An Editor For?

I’m reading this new journal by Birds LLC (a dearly beloved press, with good words and decent book objects), called So and So, and I just don’t have a fucking clue what’s going on. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good poems (the second one by Jackie Clark is pretty sweet), but are they all dudes? I mean, have they heard of VIDA? Jackie Clark is a lady with a standout poem from the issue, (her name makes me think of Jackie Treehorn), but if my count is correct, 4 of 16 is not a good score. It puts them above a lot of places scored in The Count (The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, London Review of Books…), but, it’s still below a lot of them too (Poetry, The New Yorker, The Boston Review…). So they’re in the middle of the pack as far as treating women unequally. Good job So and So! You’re not the worst asshole!

For a press, they have good numbers (books by the ladies, Sommer Browning, Elisa Gabbert, and Emily Pettit), but the newest issue of So and So doesn’t show the same representation of ladies to dudes. If you’re an editor, shouldn’t the thought cross your mind? Shouldn’t you look at the names after you’ve selected half of your issue, and just ask the public for lady writers? Ask a good lady writer that you like if she has poems laying around? I KNOW I’d be flippin shit if ANY journal asked me for a poem.

I’m not asking for journals to publish shitty writing. I’m not asking journals to lower their standards so women can compete. I’m asking you, editor with a penis, to pretend like you are a person without a penis, and imagine what it’s like for a lady poet. Or at least look at other small online lit journals, and see how they can put together a ladies only issue, and see how they kick ass (Talking about you, NAP, ILK, and Red Lightbulbs), or even look at women’s only journals that are AMAZING (Bone Boquet). So what I’m asking you is, be better. I think smaller journals can and should be.

Don’t worry So and So, you’re not the first one I’ve hated on, and you won’t be the last…

Sidenote: In light of this VQR article by Sean Bishop, I’d actually be interested to know how many dude poets “buck shot” their poems compared to lady poets…


One thought on “What The Fuck Is An Editor For?

  1. Thank you for sharing the link to the VQR article, it enticed me into reading a bunch of their articles, all of which were thoughtful and engaging. I admit I don’t pay enough attention to presses in general to really say much about your point although 4 female poets out of 16 does seem unfairly disproportionate.

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