_____ Review is looking for savvy, sharp, well-polished literature that captures life in a post-natural world. We will be open for submissions until March 1st, seeking work which is outstanding and motivated by concerns with human’s place in the world. This isn’t your grandmother’s moldy copy of Shelly poems. Show us the “new-nature” with your place, post-colonial, post-gender, and activist writing. Cast new light on rapid species extinction, climate change, food production, technology, sustainability and community. Show us what it means to exist in an ecosystem, a biosphere. Most of all inspire us. Give us hope.The editors of this journal seem to be entirely ignorant of Shelley's political, scientific, social, religious, and sexual activism, let alone his singular contributions to English poetry. If Shelley wasn't concerned with "human's [sic] place in the world," I don't know who was. Meanwhile, the editors toss around jargon such as post-gender (um, Shelley? Mary Shelley? waving the banner of women's sexual and intellectual freedom? the physical and emotional complications that ensue when one tries to pretend that gender is irrelevant? and how can this complexity be reduced to "moldy"?). They make reference to so-called 21st-century problems such as food production, technology, and species extinction. Apparently it has not occurred to them that Shelley, as a poet who came to power in the rising industrial age of the early 19th century, as a man who was keenly involved in hands-on scientific experimentation (to cite only a single example of his wide-ranging studies), might be exactly the writer they should be reading. The fact that these editors can't even spell Shelley, let alone handle an apostrophe, is the least of the problem here. The short-sightedness of their editorial vision reminds me of nothing so much as the present state of our blinkered Republican party--yet I daresay these writers are progressive voters with strong liberal ideals. That irony does not give me much hope.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Monday Morning Rant
Following is a call-for-submissions entry that appeared on the website of a well-known literary clearinghouse. It illustrates a common situation among aspiring young writers: the assumption that the past is dead and gone, that all unfashionable poets were always old fogies, that anyone who continues to read them is absurd. This, in a nutshell, is why I'm concocting my new book project.