I received an e-mail from a reader, suggesting that Post Foetry might be be a "puppet" blog. I decided to answer here and clear up any misconceptions.
I'm in charge of Post Foetry; when Foetry closed, I created the Post Foetry blog, and I'm its sole administrator. I created the blog with great trepidation and some fear, but that wasn't going to stop me. I decided early on that my posting style, for better or worse, would reflect a more moderate tone, which is more in keeping with my basic personality.
As you can clearly see in the left panel, Alan, Matt, and Nomi are team members, but, so far, only Nomi has posted entries, and that is perfectly okay. They understand that I would never censor a team member, so if Alan decided to post something in his own style, no big deal.
However, I make the decision as to what I post, sometimes scathing, sometimes humorous and downright silly, sometimes newsy, sometimes sad, and sometimes just plain fun. I wanted to create a place where I would want to visit time and again--besides, aren't blogs really a form of "literary masturbation"?
But I also want foets to understand that they won't get a free pass here.
I don't have the money, time, or staff to do in-depth investigative work, but if I get a tip and can verify it with two or more sources, I'll do my best to act on it in a timely manner. Also, readers can leave comments (or e-mail me) if they want to tell their side.
I have posted a "Watch List" of contests, and I have yet to receive a message from any of the people running these contests. Perhaps they believe that a wall of silence will shut this site down, but they would be totally wrong. I may be a kinder and gentler soul, but I'm also persistent and stubborn.
In other words, I'm no puppet of anyone.
In his personal blog, Alan Cordle did coin the term "Foet Laureate" (as it pertains to Charles Simic), and after looking at the facts, I agreed with Alan's assessment. Alan had absolutely nothing to do with my launching the "Foet Laureate" web page; he didn't even suggest the possibility. I take full credit and responsibility for the Foet Laureate site, not the term itself.
Believe me, it was a difficult decision for me to challenge a major poet and the Library of Congress, but it was the right decision. Still, my writing career, such as it is, has probably been ruined, at least in a traditional venue.
Alan has made the decision to distance himself from Foetry and Post Foetry, and I respect that. I was disappointed and sad that Foetry closed, but circumstances change and people move on--the cycle of life in motion.
Alan is my cyber friend (we have never met), and I will always admire him for what he risked personally and professionally three years ago.
Of course Alan and Foetry have influenced (to a certain extent) my thinking; two years ago (yes, sadly, I missed the best year of Foetry), I was thoroughly pissed off at the publishing industry, in particular The Iowa Review and The Paris Review. I would never submit to these two publications again, not because they rejected my work, but how they rejected it: no answer from Iowa at all and a mangled manuscript from Paris, with ripped pages and not even a form letter.
All I could see was a wall of red, and, somehow, I stumbled on Foetry and stayed with it for two years (a lifetime on cyberspace).
Writers have long memories, and little magazines would do well to remember that.
I have picked on New Yorker poetry on both Foetry and Post Foetry, but someone has trained their staff well in the art of basic courtesy; once (1988), when I was living in Yugoslavia, I submitted a manuscript to them, with a SASE for "reply only." They rejected the piece, but someone took the time to explain to me that (at that time), they returned all manuscripts, and gently chided me for not including full postage. They actually paid international postage to send the piece back to me. I was embarrassed, but also impressed that they would treat a lowly, totally unknown writer with such respect (and on their dime, and it wasn't cheap, either).
So, here's the deal: love us or hate us (or somewhere in between), Post Foetry will hang around for as long as at least one other person reads us; my posts, for better or worse, will be mine alone; if Alan wants to say something, he will have to say it himself, and he knows that.
I see no reason to "out" the questioner, but if he/she would like to respond, feel free, either anonymously or signed.
Jennifer Semple Siegel