T h e N o t e
Early this year, I was able to recruit Sara Biggs Chaney to guest-edit a special issue. That issue, Words to Cure the Tameness, featured three mini-chapbooks by three fine writers, Lauren Gordon, Mary Buchinger, and Sarah J. Sloat. We got some really lovely feedback on that issue. In The Note for the issue, I said that Sara had struggled with selecting three from a large group of wonderful manuscripts. Then, it became difficult to limit each selection to six poems, which was the original plan. A plan we abandoned.
All this time Sara and I have shared a dark secret. She couldn't select just three manuscripts from that terrific group of submissions. Neither could I. So we selected six, presented three in the spring and now, with this issue, the other three. These poems are by Kelly Fordon, Jennifer Martelli, and Katie Longofono. Wonderful stuff and we thank them for participating.
I mentioned in that note that I've been trying to keep an eye on the gender mix of work in RHP. These two special issues were open to women writers only.
I had some good exchanges with Sara about the "3 women" concept. I didn't want these issues to become a sort of "look, women can write!" thing. I wanted, really, for rhp to take a few moments to just focus on a sample of poems by women. Ok. I'll stop being defensive.
That said, I just took a quick and unscientific look at where we stand with this. Get this: Approximately 36% of the people published in regular issues of RHP this year were women. I think. (Approximate because in some cases, I have to guess gender from names.) Then I looked at the last 100 submissions. 37% of those were by women. I'm not making this up. (For numbers geeks, what's odd is the variability. One issue had slightly more than half of the work by women. One issue had only 3 pieces by women in it. Go figure.) Anyway, here's the thing: Take a look at this amazing stuff.
I don't ever want an issue to go by without thanking you for your readership, for submitting your work, and for allowing us to publish your work. See you next month.
Enjoy the issue!