On Fitness & Expulsion

Trinity. We maintain shortages—as a necessary condition. Our needs vary.

1. Editors who actually hold writers accountable, refusing to promote substandard work—regardless of how many publications writers claim, whatever program or nominations they list, or any tacit endorsement that reeks of favoritism (reciprocally, from editor to editor). Want advice? An editor’s job is to supervise, to read with utmost concern for the improvement of any single work, not merely to select and match up pieces to fill an issue.

Some publications strongly suggest (or require) familiarity with what they have previously published. Why limit each offering? Why repeat the same thing over and over?

2. Readers who actively study the “high and ancient art” of writing poetry (I speak of poetry in particular, although other genres require similar engagement)—whose sound judgment is qualified largely by objective criteria instead of personal taste and name recognition. “Refuse/Resist.”

3. Writers who publicly acknowledge that they are done—that their muse long ago abandoned them, that they function more as hindrance than help (as instructors, no less). Same story, same old players. Time to stop.

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