Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Kate Gale's Donald Trump moment.

If you're in the upper circles of Los Angeles literati, you hope your manuscript of poetry will be accepted by Kate Gale's Red Hen Press (I have a few Red Hen books in my library).

I've heard stories of hubris and hauteur--and there was that time when Kate got a bit over contemptuous about what type of poet doesn't qualify for the coveted Poet Laureate of Los Angeles position.

And then, in the context of a piece in THE HUFFINGTON POST on the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, Ms. Gale graced a mostly progressive publication with a load of mean-spirited stereotypical drivel at the expense of minority and LGBT writers.  Oh how dare they complain about inclusiveness and complain at AWP, states Kate.

This encapsulates what occurs when the self-appointed Gatekeepers of Literature in Los Angeles choose to use their power to sneer, marginalize and gerrymander instead of promoting inclusion and diversity of voices.

And it's another rare chance to see this behavior displayed in public rather than exposed to Inner Circles of just a few like minds.

Here's Carolyn Kellogg's LOS ANGELES TIMES column--linking to Ms. Gale's original article and the clean-up-my-mess statement she later substituted for it:

UPDATED 8/29/15: Link to Kate Gale's second--more sincere--apology on her blog:


  1. Have you looked at the Red Hen Press catalog? Extremely diverse if you ask me. Over HOW MANY local books from all walks of life? Since 1994?

    Do you know their staff? Again, all you find is diversity.

    Are you familiar with their imprints? One is dedicated to LBGTQIA writers and the other to ALASKAN writers of all places.

    Did Kate Gale write something stupid? Yup.

    Will she ever publish me? Nope.

    But to call her racist or bigoted is a Biiiiiiig stretch.

    1. Here's a comment left on the Facebook Red Hen page by Alyss Dixson: I'm sure you understand this [apology correction[ is inadequate. It neither restates the issue nor unravels the thinking and attitudes that brought Kate here. I, and many others, continue to question the bias Kate brings to the gatekeeping positions with which she's been entrusted. She had immense intentionality with the piece, posting it on her Wordpress then on her HuffPost blog. Rather than "retracting" she edited then erased her post. There are far too many qualified people who are committed to inclusivity for someone with this level of entitlement and rancor towards others to continue to enjoy the largesse of the literary community.

  2. So no matter what she has already done for the literary community nor how good of a poet she personally is (she is an excellent poet) we must cut off her head.

    I remember when *you* Terry was enjoying the "largesse" of the community and some of us came to your defense.

    1. It's not a true equivalence. Unlike Kate Gale, I don't punch down.