Thursday, December 21, 2006

Poets & Writers ...

... turns 20.

1 comment:

  1. In some respects, it's really older than that. Coda: Poets & Writers Newsletter started in 1973, I think. The early issues had about 16 pages, perhaps 24, and for the first couple of years they had three holes on the side so you could stick them in binders, I guess.

    As the years went on, it turned into something bigger, with more feature-type articles. I did a couple of articles for them in the early '80s: a feature called "Fiction Writer as Publicist," giving writers tips on how to publicize their books back in the day when most literary authors thought doing that was not their job, and one of their regular regional reports on literary activity in a particular part of the country -- in my case, South Florida.

    As with a lot of the 1970s/early 1980s small press/litmag scene, there was a kind of DIY spirit to the old Coda.

    P&W's Directory of American Poets and Directory of American Fiction Writers were originally biannual volumes which included writers who were considered "literary" by a panel of well-known writers. I was rejected the first time I sent in the necessary three stories published in literary magazines because Rosellen Brown thought my work was not good enough. (She told me this kind of as an apology years later.) Eventually this exclusivity disappeared as they allowed people in on the basis of enough publications.

    By the mid-1980s Coda was getting fatter, with more photos and better layout, until it finally morphed into the not-quite-slick magazine Poets & Writers in 1986.