Posts Tagged ‘ryan rickrode’

So I’m starting to realize that I’m one of the few writers that (despite my bitiching) seriously considers themselves writers in all of the main genres (fiction, poetry, and non-fiction [ok, so I haven’t written non fiction recently, but I will]).  One thing that really bothers me is when people stand ground in their genre like it’s the best ever.  Bailey always says that fiction is the hardest to write, thus making it the best.  So far, I, personally, have found this to be true, but I also know these two things 1} I wrote poetry first (like…since I was 9) 2} Someone like Ryan Rickrode could never write poetry. Sorry, Ryan, but you know it as well as I do.
Nevertheless, an interesting battle came up in my editing and publishing class.  We were voting on which manuscripts we wanted to win a chapbook contest.  There would one prose chapbook and one poetry.  We had two issues to deal with:

1) Some of the work had been previously published in RiverCraft.  It was not being published this year, which we had already decided not to include, but had been published the year before.  Poetry didn’t have a problem publishing one tiny poem that had been published before but did have a problem with publishing a story that was a third of one of the prose manuscripts (I did not have a problem with this latter one, but my group did).

2) One of the manuscripts (the one that won) was very narrative while the other was more “traditionally” poetic–whatever that means.  The prose board was arguing for accesibility.  They said that the traditional manuscript was not accessible.  We said that they both were.

Now, here’s where I get to my quandry.  The prose board started arguing these two things:

1) Why should a poem (and not a large story) be allowed in just because it’s small?  Isn’t each poem supposed to be equal in weight to each story?

2) If “I” didn’t understand this poetry, why should anyone else who reads fiction?  Shouldn’t we want them to understand what’s going on?

So basically, this is where I realized later I should have argued.  Stories, especially long ones, take awhile to read.  Let’s say a half hour.  A poem–which according to the fiction board IS equal to a story–takes about 2 minutes to read.  Why won’t the fiction-minded take the same time to work with a poem that they will with a story?  Obviously this isn’t every fiction-minded person’s point of view, but that’s just how it came up in the class.

And like I said, I have NO idea why it was a problem to re-publish things anyway.  OKAY, so don’t publish something getting published this year in RiverCraft so as not to tread on their territory–we all agreed on that.  But chapbooks are often (if not mostly) comprised of many many single works that were previously published in literary journals.

Honestly, I was pleased with the results of the contest, but I was slightly disapointed because I felt like the one manuscript won for the wrong reason.

Oh well.

All my affections,



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