Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Dear poet,

We're having another manuscript competition. We hope you'll submit yours. Also, we hope you'll send us a check or money order or an open credit line. While you're at it, please tell every other poet you know about our competition. We hope the thought of all the other poets submitting doesn't make you want to slit your wrists, because we're kind of hoping you'll keep submitting your manuscript forever. You never know--this year, or the next, or the next, or the next, might be your year.

Don't be bitter, dear poet. You, your manuscript, and your open credit line are important to us! If you weren't around, there would be no reason for our existence! Chin up, dear poet. You are our raison d'etre.

In a side note, dear poet, we notice you haven't been writing much lately. Why is that? We realize we're veering away from our mission here, and that's a little risky, but we're a little worried about you. We know about those two word notes you make to yourself while you're in meetings, notes that you hope will turn into poems. But dear, dear poet: surely you can face the fact that if you don't at least spin those notes into sentences, they will be as dust. They will not become poems.

Well, dear poet, we hope you've noted the deadlines and the requirements for our manuscript competition. We hope--really hope--you'll start writing more. And we hope to see your manuscript soon. We're thinking about a secondary business, making bricks comprised of pressed manuscripts. We intend to sell them at an affordable price to community housing activists. We feel pretty good about this project. Think of it, dear poet! Think of how much good your manuscript will do in the world!

Sincerely yours,

The Press


  1. I effing hate those people. Emotional terrorists, that's what they are.

  2. Dear poet,

    You have already written words that live inside me. And you will yet write many things powerful, virtuous and of good report, and praiseworthy.

    I can't wait to read them.

  3. I do think I'll send your letter out instead of my manuscript. Maybe they'll publish that. Because it's true and funny.

  4. Love the autumnal look of HTMS. And I hear you. "With our new online submission form and shiny blue PayPal button, you can enter as often as you like. Just keep clicking. Who knows, this could be the click that makes you a winner. (At last. Not bloody likely but) who knows?!"
    I'm down to one-word poems now, e.g. and to wit: *inveigle*. Or: *hangdog*. Maybe that's avant-garde . . . not just sad?

  5. I think that letter should be submitted to the New Yorker or someplace like that. Maybe you have a sideline in being an essayist.

  6. Yes! I could see that letter in Shouts & Murmurs, unlike the unfunny stuff they regularly publish.
    Because even 2 word notes ARE poems. I mean, c'mon.



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