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Publishing Poetry Is Recession Proof!

April 10, 2009

poetry: another diagram


recently farrar, strauss and giroux rejected your new manuscript of poems.  and yet they still had time to blog about the future of poetry publishing.  somebody’s huffing a sibling’s aderall.

so look, we don’t know who this ron hogan joker is, but he’s behind the longest continuously running literary website on the intrernets & he’s on twitter so he must be someone.

oh, yah, and he says some sensible things about poetry & also compares poetry books to water coolers.  it actually works, no worries.  so here you go, friends, let us all share ron’s 50/50 view on the future of poetry.  no. srsly.  because 50/50 odds represent the most positive assessment on the future of poetry, like evar.


FSG: As a publishing industry and book blogger, how do you think the current, strained climate of layoffs and industry shake-ups will affect poetry that is published?

RH: It will either have absolutely no effect, or it will gut poetry completely, and I’m betting on the former. …At New York publishing companies, working on poetry collections is probably the purest labor of love the industry has to offer, and the advances, print runs and so forth are minimal compared to the most other types of books.

And, sure, you could run the numbers and say, “Hey, look at all the money we’d save if we cut these books out,” but taking poetry away from editors would be like—oh like pulling all the water coolers out of the building. Whatever you’d save financially, it’s not worth the hit to your staff morale when you take away the projects that give them that sense of doing something culturally significant.



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