Monday, May 6, 2013

Too ironic not to share: RADIUS online journal seeks submissions re series on bullying.

Reprinting this from the RADIUS website ( for your edification:
Radius is currently seeking poems and essays for a special series on Art, Bullying and Culture.
“Bullying” has long been a part of the cultural conversation, but it turned deadly serious in 2010 with the suicides of several teenagers who were bullied for being or being thought to be homosexual. The outcry was enormous and wide-ranging, from several attempts to pass “anti-bullying” legislation, to journalist Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project, to responses in poems and pop songs.
It’s 2013, and whether anything has changed  remains an open question.
Radius is looking for poems and essays that pick apart the question of bullying, and which look at it through the frame of the journal’s mission: How art works, and how it interacts with the world.
We’re looking for poems that put a human spin on the phenomenon, essays that illustrate the role of bullying in the creative process, and examinations of what effects the conversation has had on the culture.
While Radius is primarily dedicated to poetry, essays do not need be exclusively about that particular art form, but should probably have an arts component. We might, for example, be interested in a non-ironic essay on Taylor Swift’s “Mean” or Katy Perry’s “Firework.” We would also be extremely interested in brief memoirs from artists of any discipline who may have been bullied, and how that effected their artistic paths. As always, we’re open.
The deadline for submission is Midnight Friday, March 15, 2013. To submit, please visit our submissions manager, and use the word “Bullying” in the title.
Thanks, and we look forward to hearing your perspective,
Victor D. Infante
: Poetry From the Center to the Edge

Here's my perspective on bullying--starting with a re-quote of something the Editor-In-Chief Victor Infante wrote to me years ago (taken from a previous post titled NAME OMITTED AND THE UNDERBELLY OF POETRY):
"First off, I'm sorry I called you a jerk. I was out of line, and for that, I genuinely apologize. On the other hand, I'm not going to apologize for not paying more attention to you, and it's glaringly obvious that's what this little tantrum has been about. [prominent poet, now MIA from the scene] didn't pay attention to you. I didn't pay attention to you. Wah, wah, wah.Grow up, Terry. If you've got problems with the poetry scene, do something about it. Start your own readings, start a festival. Publish a journal or Web zine. Whatever, but stop acting like a baby because you don't get the attention you deserve and others do. You're right, it's not a level playing field, and you don't get points for just being there. You've actually got to do something well. Writing well would be a start. I DO remember your chapbook. I still have it, in the piles of several hundred that I dutifully carried with me cross-country when I moved. Terry, it was dull. Very dull. Not bad, but there was little of interest going on there. I don't recall if I had read it yet when I saw you in Redondo, but even if I had, I doubt I would have said much. What was I supposed to say? "Sorry, it bored me to tears." But as I recall, it took me awhile to get around to it, because, even now, I get a ton of chapbooks very month. I've not thrown one away, and I try to read them all, but no, I can't review them, and I really had nothing consequential to say about it, for good or bad. As to my "wisdom would be something of value," Whatever. I don't recall volunteering to be your mentor, and while I've taught poetry in high schools and colleges, I don't recall you being in any of my classes. The sad fact is, Terry, I thought you were a nice guy,and always tried to be friendly to you, but no, I didn't care much for your writing. Would you have preferred that I said that? I can't see what good that would have done. It's not like I walked out of the room when you were on the microphone. Maybe you've gotten better, I don't know.You can have whatever opinions you want, Terry, and you can have whatever opinions you want about me, but the fact is, you're not the one out there doing the work, and if you've made any serious effort to BE the one out there doing the work, I'm sorry, but I don't recall it. [name omitted]."

For better or worse, Name Omitted's letter has been an impetus for me to carry on as a poet over the last half-decade. I've learned a few things since then (and have to learn a few more), but I hope I never sink to the depths of writing to someone else who sends me a book or poem with the condescending, dimissive tone of what Name Omitted dictated above.

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