I'd worry that trying to manufacture a poem for this issue would not satisfy the quiet and music and intelligent sentiment of your work. I'd rather you not rely on my willingness to run "Guardian" [a poem I sent him some months ago], whole, again. I want your full ambition toward a new poem or two. Maybe one that answers one [i.e., a poem] you have already written but no longer feels true enough, because you have changed some. I work constantly against manufacture. I also don't think poems come to us. We find them because we are looking.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Of literary editors…
Paul Nelson is the editor of Kaimana, the literary magazine of the Hawai‘i Literary Arts Council. He sent me an e-mail message with this text. I felt it was such a wonderful example of a literary editor's thinking that I wanted to share it with you.