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Author Topic: Tupelo  (Read 94252 times)
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Bill Evans
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« Reply #105 on: November 28, 2006, 01:18:11 PM »

fraud
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you lent
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frau dead
d'Fraud
dee fraw haw hawded
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alan
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« Reply #106 on: November 28, 2006, 01:33:08 PM »

Quote from: "Crimson"
They can't touch me, I publish Ku On, dammit."


So true, Renata, and now that he's signed on Jorie's daughter, who from all evidence, hasn't even finished writing her damn book, he can say that too.
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Alan Cordle
Monday Love
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« Reply #107 on: November 28, 2006, 03:47:07 PM »

Quote from: "Chinatown"
Quote


As in publishing immigrant poets and then opening the press to overseas markets, the good will ambassador angle a cover for the less than stellar poetry and the editor's desire to make a buck?

Purists among us will always object to poetry being used for other purposes.


Monday Love,

What ARE you talking about? Your first sentence barely makes sense. And how do you know Tupelo's motivations for publishing someone in any given case? How do you know that poetry is being used for other purposes?

Quote


Dear Amanda,

I never take anything on hearsay.  

Ko Un may be "brilliant," or he may not be "brilliant."  



Uh, or you could read the book, and decide for yourself?...Wouldn't being brilliant qualify one to be published, even if one is an immigrant or a foreign poet? I've read these posts several times. What are you getting at? Am I missing something?




Sorry, Chinatown, I’m a cynic.  If a man fishes, and keeps the fish he catches, and eats them, you could say he just loves to fish, but how wrong would it be to “guess” at another motivation when it comes to this man’s hobby?  

I suppose I have no right to guess at Tupelo’s motivations, for Tupelo is a shadowy and mysterious entity of the sacred calling, poetry, but can’t I state what is obvious to everyone?  Surely the priests at Tupelo cannot object to conclusions reached that are as plain as the temple on yonder mountain?

As for “poetry used for other purposes,” poetry is always used for other purposes.  Even the most secretive priesthood belonging to the most intimidating sect would have to admit that yes, poetry is used for “other purposes.”  Is silk used for other purposes?  Or is silk meant to resist all other uses?  No, I think it’s pretty clear that silk is meant to adorn and comfort and make beautiful.  We use poetry to get laid.  We use poetry to bring glory upon ourselves.  We use poetry to build a resume.  We use poetry to make friends and influence people.  Why should we even question these things?  How can we ever assume  silk will lie curled in a ditch?   So when you ask, “How do I know that poetry is being used for other purposes,” I must inform you that my belly is full of fish, and would you like some?

As for Un, I didn’t qualify his ‘brilliance’ one bit, as you imply.  I simply refused to believe on hearsay that Un was ‘brilliant.’  

Now having seen some of Un's poems, thanks to Crimson, I am Un-impressed.  

Monday
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Amanda
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« Reply #108 on: November 28, 2006, 10:53:28 PM »

Renata wrote <clipped in the interest of netiquette>

As for Ku On, judge for yourself http://hompi.sogang.ac.kr/anthony/ManinboTen.htm His poems seem to be entertaining little stories about village life. The style and sheer quantity of them tells me this man has a novel in him he is too lazy or disorganized to write. His biography is equally entertaining at wiki. He had the decency to see hard times and attempt suicide in a creative way (acid in ear!  ).


I appreciate your not enjoying or understanding the work of Ko Un and certainly we all have our own tastes.  In fact.....

I recall seeing a review of your book...was it on Amazon perhaps....where the reviewer did not seem too impressed and as I recall ended his review something like this:

"Self-published indeed...."    

Perhaps actually selecting volumes to read in their entirety might be a way to become truly familiar with a poet's work. A sampling by googling is not always enough to gain true appreciation for the work of others.

Ko Un read at the Dodge Festival this year and he was giving us much more than "entertaining little stories"......

Should he win the Nobel Prize, he will be most deserving.

Best, Amanda
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Crimson
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« Reply #109 on: November 29, 2006, 12:32:58 AM »

Quote from: "Amanda"

I recall seeing a review of your book...was it on Amazon perhaps....where the reviewer did not seem too impressed and as I recall ended his review something like this:

"Self-published indeed...."    


Your point being?  I should be nicer, so people can be nice in response, when writing anonymous reviews for my work?  Would that be a nice world for you? My dear, all artists live in glass houses; paranoid, megalomaniac, fragile palaces of the ego.  Every bad review hurts a bit, even the dishonest, bile-driven ones. Your suggestion is to adopt a defensive strategy of dishonesty, false flattery, hoping it will result in reciprocal ego protection between oneself and other artists in positions of power.  It's a common strategy.  The problem with it is that art, to have any value, must contain honesty, sincerity, truth.  If you adopt a policy of dishonesty relating to your art, you hurt your art most of all.  You protect your ego palace to the detriment of your art.  The artist must therefore remain vulnerable, must insist on being vulnerable because protection is a trap.  The artist's ego, like a government, is quickly corrupt in the absence of criticism. Criticism of any kind, but particularly intelligent, honest criticism is a necessity to the vitality of an art form.  

Quote from: "Amanda"

Perhaps actually selecting volumes to read in their entirety might be a way to become truly familiar with a poet's work. A sampling by googling is not always enough to gain true appreciation for the work of others.


Of course a sampling is enough.  How big a sampling depends on circumstances, but it's ridiculous to claim I have to read an entire book to form an opinion.  Sometimes I read one paragraph before I throw it against the nearest wall.  I don't know what you mean by "true appreciation", it sounds like the apogee of some kind of submission ritual.
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enata Dumitrascu
alan
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« Reply #110 on: November 29, 2006, 08:54:57 AM »

Quote
I've been searching for some discussion of these letters on the internet and was happy to find this thread on Foetry.  Last year, I received a letter filled with glowing praise for my manuscript (specifically mentioning a number of poems) and encouraging me to enter the Dorset Prize and the First Book Award contests, saying that I would automatically skip over the first round of readings.  I, banking on the sound reputation of Tupelo, entered TWO manuscripts into the Open Submissions period and received TWO nearly identical letters, with only slight alterations, both encouraging me to spend $300 on the critiques.  These letters seem to also be nearly identical to those several of the posters mentioned, including comments about "orphic utterances," the order of my lines, and so on.

Thank you for warning about this and other unscrupulous presses.  It's a difficult business -- I have very little money to enter contests, and feel queasy now that it seems so much of it was wasted.

***********************************************************
Quote
I received one of the "submit to the Dorset Prize" letters and a very complimentary letter from Levine mentioning specific poems and commenting on the manuscript, well over a year ago.  I was suspicious when he suggested I enter the first book contest, even though he knew that I had several books in print.  A friend in another state received a similar letter.
 
I asked at a panel discussion with editors last summer if some presses weren't trolling for entries, but all of the editors denied that anything like that was going on.  There were several on the panel who definitely knew better.
 
I regret the loss of my entry fees, but I think you've rescued my honor!!  Thanks for patroling the poetry world for us.
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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
Monday Love
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« Reply #111 on: November 29, 2006, 09:06:09 AM »

Quote from: "Amanda"
Renata wrote <clipped in the interest of netiquette>

As for Ku On, judge for yourself http://hompi.sogang.ac.kr/anthony/ManinboTen.htm His poems seem to be entertaining little stories about village life. The style and sheer quantity of them tells me this man has a novel in him he is too lazy or disorganized to write. His biography is equally entertaining at wiki. He had the decency to see hard times and attempt suicide in a creative way (acid in ear!  ).


I appreciate your not enjoying or understanding the work of Ko Un and certainly we all have our own tastes.  In fact.....

I recall seeing a review of your book...was it on Amazon perhaps....where the reviewer did not seem too impressed and as I recall ended his review something like this:

"Self-published indeed...."    

Perhaps actually selecting volumes to read in their entirety might be a way to become truly familiar with a poet's work. A sampling by googling is not always enough to gain true appreciation for the work of others.

Ko Un read at the Dodge Festival this year and he was giving us much more than "entertaining little stories"......

Should he win the Nobel Prize, he will be most deserving.

Best, Amanda


Amanda,

Your arrogance is showing.  You say Crimson does not "understand" Un's work, but this is not true.  She nailed it.  Those poems are "amusing little stories of village life" and little more.  Un's little stories would work better as tales, or as a novel, as Crimson correctly states, if Un would take the time to work them up.  Right now they are sketches, and they are rather pale and cliched ones at that: the "lazy wife," the "dust-chasing hausfrau," the "laughing old man," etc etc   The unsentimental tradition of George Washington Harris, Mark Twain, William Faulkner is so much more colorful and interesting--just to throw out one example--that to express admiration for these poems can only throw doubt upon the judge who expresses such judgment.  But for the judge to jump up and down cheering for such work to win a Nobel is downright unseemly.  This is not to say we don't love Korea and the helplessly stiff translations that occasionally come out of that great and beautiful land.  We love Korea from the bottom of our hearts. But let us not be ignorant and arrogant, for then even Korea herself might never forgive us.

So pray tell us, what was read during this "Dodge Festival?"  I really am curious to hear your honest take on it.

Monday
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Wilson
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« Reply #112 on: November 29, 2006, 10:25:24 AM »

The Nobel Prize has its politics just as everything else. I remember hearing something about considering Jimmy Carter being nominated just to piss off Bush.
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Wils
Wilson
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« Reply #113 on: November 29, 2006, 10:26:46 AM »

Jimmy Carter writes poetry.  Maybe Levine could publish his book!
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Wils
Monday Love
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« Reply #114 on: November 29, 2006, 10:46:34 AM »

Quote from: "Wilson"
Jimmy Carter writes poetry.  Maybe Levine could publish his book!


Where's Jeff Levine??

You whooooo!    

Opportunity knocks!
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Wilson
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« Reply #115 on: November 30, 2006, 01:37:36 PM »

The other motivation for publishing foreign authors is also a financial one if you are a non-profit and fill out your application for an NEA grant.  

Right, Alan?
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Wils
alan
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« Reply #116 on: November 30, 2006, 01:47:12 PM »

Quote from: "Wilson"
The other motivation for publishing foreign authors is also a financial one if you are a non-profit and fill out your application for an NEA grant.  

Right, Alan?


Yep.  Makes it look like you care about diversity, for one thing.

Dear Ku On,

I enjoyed your manuscript Koreaphic Utterances very much, but it is not yet ready for publication.  Although Tupelo has just been given some taxpayer money, I still need 274,541.75 South Korean won to give your manuscript the line by line critique it deserves.  Make your check to Jeff.
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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
Wilson
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« Reply #117 on: November 30, 2006, 01:53:21 PM »

Who Got Da Ku? (2007), one star*
Scott Biao, Daniel Dae Kim
The whacky hijinx begin when twenty Korean poets get what appears to be a personalized letter from an American publisher (Biao) in this madcapped romp!  86 minutes
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Wils
Amanda
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« Reply #118 on: December 01, 2006, 11:38:46 PM »

Monday Love wrote: <clipped in the interest of netiquette>


Amanda,

Your arrogance is showing. You say Crimson does not "understand" Un's work, but this is not true. She nailed it. Those poems are "amusing little stories of village life" and little more. .....


No intent on being arrogant, Monday. My point was simply that we all don't appreciate or necessarily understand the work of every poet.  You are reading too much into that aspect of my post.

My original point was Levine would be foolish, as a publisher, to pass up the opportunity to publish a poet who potentially may win the Nobel prize. It is good marketing strategy. This has nothing to do with the judgement lapse and those matters related to that event. This was strictly a point being made about why he might have chosen the work of Ko Un.

Some poets are better on the page, some not. But poetry is an oral tradition and I would say that to get the full connection with the work of Ko Un, it requires hearing him read. Also remember, these are translations.

I did not intend to stray this far off the topic, but it seemed balanced to mention that Jeffrey Levine had legitimate marketing reasons for wanting to secure the work of Ko Un.
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Expatriate Poet
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« Reply #119 on: December 04, 2006, 02:42:37 AM »

I want to thank those of you who held out a hand to me a week ago when I lost the long and I think valuable letter I tried to submit about my experience with the Tupelo Press. In fact the failure made me decide to write Tupelo directly, and I’m happy to say I got some good replies on some of the issues.  I also have a feeling that I may have had an effect on their decision to clarify the Guidelines for the current Dorset Prize. You can see the new version now if you go to www.tupelopress.com.

Like many of the casual visitors to this site, I am very grateful for your energy and persistence in exposing the judges and competitions that obviously do not provide a level field. You provide an invaluable service to poets like myself whenever you come up with hard evidence. On the other hand, there is a note of stridency that runs throughout this site which does you a disservice, particularly when you assume that editors and judges are motivated by greed for money, which obviously they aren’t.

 The fact is there just isn’t any money in poetry, period. Our case in point, Jeffrey Levine, was a corporate lawyer before he became an editor after all, so he could presumably still make $295.00 a minute if he wanted to. Suggesting  that his offer to provide a $30.00 review for every manuscript received for last July’s Open Reading was out of greed for money is simply ridiculous—indeed, such a claim makes Foetry look bad, not him! All your talk about "pyramid schemes" and "sleazy scams"—some of you should take a good deep breath, really, and look to the lady too!

No, what principally distorts an editor’s judgement is inflation, the sense that he or she not only has a hotline to the truth but the power to make or break great artists. This is heady stuff indeed, and presumably the drug that got Jeffrey Levine out of the legal firm and into the Tupelo office. Because let’s face it, regardless of how much money Jeffrey Levine made as a lawyer he would never approach the lasting fame and glory  he could achieve as a Great Editor—which he’s very likely to turn out to be, it seems to me—not inspite of his faults but because of them!

Here’s what happened to me. When I first became aware of the uproar around Jeffrey Levine’s $295.00 full-manuscript-review offer, I wrote the following to him:

"I heartily agree with your decision not to link your  full manuscript review with any Tupelo prize—from all I have heard about you, you would be the last editor to let yourself be influenced by ‘connections’ of any sort, but not everybody is going to believe that. In our times nobody can afford to take such risks, and that makes me feel for you. Indeed, people like you deserve a better world in which such offers could be made with a clear conscience! We deserve a world, you and I, that still has room for the naïve—indeed, in which that word doesn’t exist, just "innocent" in the sense of not-guilty!"

And that’s the word you want, naïve. He’s naïve, Jeffrey Levine—like so many great-hearted facilitators from P.T.Barnum to Bill Clinton!

Then I got that horrible "manuscript review" letter, and as I said in my post of November 22nd, I went crazy trying to figure out what the great man might have meant, I was so ready to hear something truly deep and useful from him. I thought I was blocked, that I couldn’t see what was wrong with my own work because I was too fond of it. Terrible. Then when I realized the letter was a form letter, and not about my book at all, I went wild, and wrote this to dear Jeffrey:

    "I'm an old man and have no contacts (or contracts!) with anyone. I've never been in a writing workshop in my life, have no mentor, belong to no school or university, have no links to any editorial board or press, and have no influence anywhere.  So I'm a good person for you to listen to, Jeffrey--I will serve you well if you do.
 
    "I'm also a person that should not have been hurt by you, and how I wish I didn't have to say it!
 
    "So here is what you're going to have to do. First of all  you are going to have to face the dark, confused, contradictory side of your nature. You are obviously a very gifted editor, but there are clearly other dimensions to your nature which pressure you to do things no self-respecting editor would do, and particularly not someone who is Editor-in-Chief of the Tupelo Press, the fiercest champion of editorial integrity of them all! Yes, you've got to face the fact that you, Jeffrey Levine, are a skillful trickster as well as a facilitator, like Loki or Hanuman, a charlatan shaman so to speak, a huckster --like so many people I admire (name them yourself and you'll see!).
 
" That's going to be hard, but many, many, many great people have been there, done that. What you do now will determine whether you self-destruct or self-heal."

My name is Christopher Woodman—and I reveal that here because I talk about someone called Jeffrey Levine so openly and it would not be fair to hide behind my pseudonym. Everything I say here I have also written to him as well, using my own name,  and I write it again in this forum that it may truly help everybody, you at Foetry as well as Jeffrey Levine. Everybody’s got to get it, Jeffrey Levine if he is to become a great editor—and you Foetry demons if you are going to understand anything about poetry. Jeffrey Levine’s not a cheat, he’s a child—a child, I suspect, who grew up in a world where success is very much over-rated. Poetry, you see,  is an anti-dote to all that--probably the main reason he made such a dramatic career change!

Good luck to you all, then, Christopher
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