1 nov. 2007

It takes Ron about 4,000 words to twist around what should have been a positive--The Hat is a good magazine, good poems and poets, clearly defined editorial agenda--into a negative. With some misdirection about fonts (what's a "san seraph" by the way? I've never heard of that category of fonts! something to do with a lack of angels?), the lack of contributor notes, alphabetial order, etc.., a little slight of hand, he ends up with the conclusion that the strength of the magazine is really a weakness. Ok... if you so say so.

I'm totally biased, of course, since I am a Hat contributor. I think it's pound-for-pound about the best publication that's out there. That's the only criterion that matters. The more you overthink it, the less clear you will be on that.

10 comentarios:

Henry Gould dijo...

Of course I'm always too ready to rag on Mr. Silliman, but I do agree with you -

the more I read his post the more it seemed like arguments FOR The Hat, in spite of himself -

the alphabetical order, the lack of contributor's notes - what's wrong with that? Seems like a way of putting the poems front and center.

Rocco DiStreitlmahn dijo...

"Sans seraph"? I think that's supposed to be "sans serif".

Jonathan dijo...

I know that's what he meant; I just like "san seraph" better.

Tony R dijo...

I agree with you on all except one point.

The Canary is better than the Hat!

Jonathan dijo...

It's hard to argue with The Canary either. I love The Canary. Ron could make the same argument there--praise the individual poems and poets, the clear-sighted editorial vision--but where's David Antin? Or whoever... You haven't published him. Where's your sound poetry?

Tony R dijo...

Actually, I'd love to publish David Antin....

Oh, and Philip Levine once wrote us a letter telling us that we had no editorial vision.

Jonathan dijo...

How would he know an editorial vision when he saw one?

Whimsy dijo...

I tried to leave a post on Ron's blog praising The Hat, but either it didn't stick (the new Blogger comment login is trickier than in the past) or Ron didn't approve it, harmless though it was.

I, too, don't understand the problem of unadorned poetry. Personally, I never read poems from front to back, preferring a whimsical order. Having the poems alphabetical actually makes it easier to find someone I want to re-read. I do like to read bios, just to see what people have to say about themselves, and where else they've published. Jordan and Chris prefer to keep The Hat all about the poems, and I think that's dandy. I help run a litmag now, and I appreciate how difficult, time-consuming and expensive it is to organize contributor notes, cover art, and all the rest. It's refreshing to just pick up a volume and read the poetry (that, and John Poch's editorship, is why I have always liked 32 Poems).

One comment that struck me as odd was Ron's belief that Hejinian, Mackey, et al. would never show up in The Hat. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Mackey, for example, in The Hat (e.g., any of the "Song of the Andoumboulou" series). I think what Ron *may* have been addressing is a certain strain of irreverence in The Hat that doesn't reflect the rather deadly serious tone I find in the work of some of the poets he mentions (and/or crowd he hangs with).

All that being said, it's so refreshing to see less-than-fawning reviews of litmags (even if it's one I like), I applaud Ron for supplying his take. Don't we all wish that all reviews were as honest (even if we disagree with them)?

Stephen Baraban dijo...

Whimsy,

Trouble posting on Silliman's blog make be because once you type in the Word Verification non-word (rvjdvzhb), you often-or perhaps now always--are presented with a SECOND such non-word you have to type in. Make sure to wait for the message that your "message has been received and will appear upon review".

Stephen Baraban dijo...

I meant of course "trouble posting...may be".