Mix Tape: Ignore the Man Behind the Curtain

Maggie Smith
August 30, 2012
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A look at the gratuitous-by-nature acknowledgments page—from “faux-modest self-promotion” to name-dropping to the ubiquitous list of friends and colleagues. “Is it really so gratifying to be recognized in print when your name is included on a list that looks like the bcc line of a mass e-mail?”

With a rise in self-publishing comes a rise in book-reviews-for-hire. So how can readers trust online reviews by “real people,” if many of those people are in fact paid reviewers?

You’re in someone’s apartment, eating hors d’oeuvres and chatting with Louise Gluck about poetry. It’s not a dream…it’s Wilde Boys, a “monthly invitation-only salon where young queer poets and poetry lovers gather to experience queer and queer-friendly authors in an intimate atmosphere.”

Roxane Gay’s 25 pieces of advice for how to be a contemporary writer, including number 4: “Accept that there is no one way to make it as a writer and that the definition of making it is fluid and tiered.”

An interview with poets Farrah Field and Jared White, who run Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop at the Brooklyn Flea on Saturdays. Why shouldn’t folks be able to buy a kitschy vintage lamp and a poetry chapbook in the same shopping trip?

A review of Jeffrey Skinner’s new book, “The 6.5 Practices of Moderately Successful Poets.” In the final chapter, Skinner writes: “Every (moderately) successful poet I know has taken the long view. What is the long view? Well, what it’s not is a stab at the art, a dabbling, a part-time avocation. Taking the long view has nothing to do with a desire for the cool of being a poet. . . . The long view is not an infatuation.

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