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News: Foetry.Com v.2 Forum Archive Through May 2007
 
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Author Topic: Tupelo  (Read 92718 times)
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alan
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« Reply #180 on: April 06, 2007, 06:45:44 AM »

The line, which I've not seen in other versions of this form letter, that intrigues me is I've tacked Apologia Pro Vita Autistica to my bulleting [sic] board.  

Maybe a "bulleting" board is something Levine uses for target practice.  He thinks to himself: What can I say and do, and more importantly, pass off as real?  Who will be my pigeon?  Who will send me the money and who will I shoot down?

Thank you for posting this and may the Gods of Poetry have mercy on Levine's burning soul.
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"You especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it -- don't cheat with it.” -- Ernest Hemingway
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Alan Cordle
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« Reply #181 on: April 07, 2007, 01:20:54 AM »

Quote
Expatriate Poet wrote:

 My book must have been very difficult to fit into any of Jeffrey Levine’s 15 pigeon holes, it’s such an odd-man-out’s freak show, and he had to add a special bit of schtick to distract me from the fraudulent ‘scent’—because no other critical comments in the letter are specifically applicable to my work!



I would like to back-up this assertion a bit by explaining why GOLD LEAF ON THE WATERS! really can be described as "an odd-man-out’s freak show" and,  by extension, why Jeffrey Levine's canned critical comments are so insulting to it.

In my cover letter of July 23rd I wrote to Jeffrey Levine,"      I'm sending this m.s. to you not only because I like so much what you're doing at the Tupelo Press, but also because I so badly need feedback. I want to know how you cope with my "relics found amongst the ruins," for example. Do my doggerel metaphysics grab you, like the Mary who rolls her own and beds the rest? Or my magicians, my stuntmen, my life models and castaway saints?  It all speaks so clearly to me--but does it speak to you?"

And then this postscript:

"P.S. Or my "Notes Like Drapes upon the Ruins?" Are they helpful? Are they artistically justifiable? And what would the book be like without them? Is there information I should integrate in other ways—because my life is so long and so full of picturesque ruins whether or not they've managed to become relics?"

And finally this at the very bottom of the page:

"I don't think the "shaman" theme which runs all the way through the book needs extra help to be comprehensible, nor does a reader have to be familiar with the concept to understand the poems. On the other hand, I think my own autobiographical place in the Marpa/Milarepa/Naropa/Trungpa shamanistic succession adds a very interesting dimension to my work as a poet. (You’d be surprised how famous I am among the faithful—I have had people cry out, "Are you really Christopher Woodman?" in the oddest places, including on a beautiful schooner in Turkey and  on a derelict barge on the Seine! But what does one say when the Boddhisattva has identified oneself as the Demon?)"

Can you understand how abused and betrayed and INSULTED I felt? Because I tried for hours and hours to apply inapplicable comments to work that I had wrestled with for years and years and years all alone, and knew in my heart of hearts could not possibly be like anything else in Jeffrey Levine's pile. That's not to say my book ought to have been awarded the prize, not at all, but it cried out for a few words about its peculiarities, not the generic fluff it got waved off with. That's where the hurt lies, far more than the cheap come-on for the additional 295 bucks!

And are you still there, rperlman? And do you still insist no apology is owed me?

And what about you, Carol Ann Davis at Crazyhorse? Do you still feel that the author of this fraudulet feedback is the best person to teach your students how to organize competitions at the Crazyhorse/Tupelo Press Publishing Institute?

And why the silence? AGNI has cleared itself by simply acknowledging the existence of the scandal, but there's still no word from Crazyhorse or the College of Charleston. Why?

Finally, you might want to check out my defence of FIELD in the SMALLER CONTESTS, STILL QUESTIONABLE section, FIELD/Oberlin thread RRL http://foetry.com/newbb/viewtopic.php?t=1130  I'm no literary terrorist--and I have a pretty good track-record for patience and faithfulness. It would be so easy for you to get me on your side too!

Christopher
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Christopher Woodman
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« Reply #182 on: April 07, 2007, 02:35:20 PM »

Quote
And what about you, Carol Ann Davis at Crazyhorse? Do you still feel that the author of this fraudulet feedback is the best person to teach your students...



I hope, in lieu of paymnent, Levine's student sends something like this:  


Jeff!

Boy, what a summer. Work and school and all. You know how it is. Not a moment's rest. Then poor grand-mammy with her hip--a thousand more hours, a thousand more dollars.

I mean to say I can't be paying you just yet.

But enough about me! Let's talk about you!

What a seminar!

Still, a few suggestions:

You'd do well do stop mumbling. Punctuality sets a good tone. And try not to end every class with an Orphic utterance--shake it up, Jeff, see what happens!

Plus our eyes are still right up here....not, like, down here, breast-level.

But dude. Jeff. Don't worry. Teaching a few more seminars would really clear this up for you. And I'm so happy to help.

We'll talk about that payment at our next evaluation. Smiley

Signed,

Your Student



...Then they should send him a hundred more, just like it.
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Monday Love
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« Reply #183 on: April 20, 2007, 04:22:17 PM »

In the latest Poets & Writers, Jeff Levine has an angry letter re: P&W story on him.  Levine doesn't defend his actions at all; he just says the P & W article hurts poetry, hurts his press and poets published by his press.  In other words, he's taking hostages: you attack me, and you attack others!  It's the usual defense: Poetry and the publishing of it vaguely excuses everything.
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« Reply #184 on: April 21, 2007, 12:34:05 AM »

Quote
Jeffrey Levine wrote in the current issue of Poets & Writers:

"Shame on you (P & W's Editor, Kevin Larimer] for so irresponsibly playing with the [Tupelo] press's reputation and for the collateral harm you are doing to our past, present and future authors. Shame on you for not only joining the feeding frenzy, but for giving it so prominent and well respected a forum in which to survive."

Jeffrey Levine
Publisher, Tupelo Press
West Hartford, Connecticut



Quote
Monday Love replied just above:

He's [Jeffrey Levine's] taking hostages: you attack me, and you attack others!  It's the usual defense: Poetry and the publishing of it vaguely excuses everything.

Monday


Just recently a paedophile philanthropist made exactly the same defence here in Thailand--in other words, dedicating yourself to children excuses the occasional romp with them! "Look what I've done for the poor, abandoned kids of Thailand," argued the accused, "--all the money I've spent, all the hours and hours I've given of my time, all the homes I've set up, caregivers I've trained, awareness and goodwill I've inspired. Nobody will be able to work with children anymore if you attack me like this!"

He still went to jail--and I don't think anyone would argue that the poor, abandoned children of Thailand are not better off without him!

Of course the offences are not comparable--when I got abused by Jeffrey Levine my soul was not scarred for life. But what I'm fighting for personally is what Metta Sama of Binghamton, New York emphasizes in her P & W letter immediately following Jeffrey Levine's: "But more important, what does Larimer's [Kevin Larimer, P & W Editor's] article suggest about the state of poetry publishing?" What indeed, I want to ask, and wherefore from here?

And I personally want to ask Jeffrey Levine, was America pulled down when the whistle was blown on Richard Nixon's little indiscretion at Watergate, or would Italy collapse if their great communicator, Sylvio Berlusconi, was finally sent to jail, even if just for some little judicial fiddle? And what about Martha Stewart? Did cooking and house decorating come to an end when the boutique queen of America served time? And what was the name of that organized crime figure that argued what a gentleman he was? Did smart suits and ties stop selling after he went up the river?

But let's be serious, all we're asking from Jeffrey Levine is the following:

1.) A clear, unequivocal acknowledgement of precisely what he did that has no place in the repertoire of a respected editor and publisher of poetry;

2.) An immediate clarification of all the conflicts of interest swirling around the composition of the Dorset Prize panel;

3.) An immediate resignation from the Tupelo First Book Prize panel and an agreement to stay off such panels until such time as he can assure all of us he has reformed--and how, and why, and wherefore from here.

With these three, simple steps Jeffrey Levine could preserve not only the reputation of the Tupelo Press but of all the excellent poets it has already published and the network of readings and exhibitions it sponsors. Jeffrey Levine could also set a precedent for all editors of poetry in America, and truly lead the art out of the corporate quagmire into which it is now descending and on up into the clearer, less self-serving air it deserves.

And if you think about it, all that would be so easy to organize with but one huge, most painful exception--the reorganization of Jeffrey Levine's own personal priorities within. To do that would be truly heroic!

Christopher
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Christopher Woodman
alan
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« Reply #185 on: April 22, 2007, 10:10:39 AM »

I posted Levine's letter and another by a writer who is "truly saddened."
« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 06:33:49 PM by alan » Logged

"You especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it -- don't cheat with it.” -- Ernest Hemingway
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Alan Cordle
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