Monday, January 10, 2011

More on publication, bio statements & thusly

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Most journals want short bio statements. The work represents the author more than her time in the academy or grants, or should.

I'm happiest when authors self-deflate and are funny in listing accomplishments; feel most comfortable writing that kind of biography. Maybe that's because I can't ante up impressive academic credentials, or any that mean anything to me, or maybe I am a product of the aw-shucks-ma'am strain of Gary Cooper-ish self-estimation.

Of course I am egotistical in my own way, and a bit contemptuous of a proper-noun bio statement without flair. Everyone has standards. And maybe I'm too (toooooo) analytical. I keep breaking down accomplishments with self-talk.

Self-talk:  Well, being listed as a best by the New Yorker or N.Y.Times, simply means one person at those publications liked the writer. It doesn't mean clouds opened up and a booming voice (female, foxy) said, "This is the best."  But it's not without meaning and I'd be proud to be liked, loved or even tolerated by most any publication.

I wanted to be in The Threepenny Review from its beginning. My mom sent me an L.A. Times clipping about the journal and I was jazzed by Wendy Lesser's vision. Something about Gargoyle caught my eye, too; its editor Richard Peabody seemed so cool from far-off Seattle, and of course his last name so old money, so Gatsby.

Wendy Lesser is great (I had a poem in Threepenny a few years ago) as is Richard Peabody, with whom I share musical memories of our era (poem forthcoming in Gargoyle). Don't be careful what you wish for.  Just submit over and over.

This was going to be more about bio statements but, hey, the year is young. Stay tuned.

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