Outside of sex, the New Yorker is not too stylistically risky…
Sketch of Alfred D’Orsay, 1830
I’ve sent poems to the New Yorker for about 30-40 years. Through three different editors. Not every day or every year but it would strike me every now and then that it was something I ought to do. And to explain this I mainly need to say my desire to be in the New Yorker has to do with the fact that it’s a general interest magazine. I mean like toney to everyone in the writing world with all the up and downsides that entails (certain kinds of female sex don’t appear, certain kinds of male sex do. Men are still represented as the adventurers there and broadly speaking ((outside of sex)) the New Yorker is not too stylistically risky, that’s a fact). But by general as I said earlier I mean there’s political commentary, there’s listings, there’s fiction and there’s non-fiction, cartoons, and poems. So you potentially get read by everybody who likes those other things. Genre-wise in this situation poetry seems normal. I like being read that way. No matter what my poem says or even how it says it in a general interest magazine I am not writing in a deviant form that should be only consumed alongside others. That general condition of the poetry world entirely sucks yet frankly it is not my life quest to upend it. Wish I could but I only have this one life. Perhaps people love the New Yorker because it is the end of something. And I always like to be there. Generally I’d send a pile of my best I thought. Generally they would be poems in which I didn’t swear & ironically when I finally did have a poem accepted by the New Yorker it did have a swear in it. I just checked and it’s true. I say ‘shit.’ The time was ripe. So. Let’s see. I’ve had plenty of thoughts about the New Yorker and the poetry they publish.