Christmas, 2001 / No. 7

A composite poem of sentences from Rampike, Zygote, Black Cat 115, Ink, Cencrastus, Broken Pencil, Above/Ground Press, Coach House Books, Brick, Blood & Aphorisms, Pedlar Press, Quarry Magazine, Descant, and the New Quarterly.

Dear Ms. ALLand ,

You’ll notice this is neither

an acceptance nor rejection letter.

There is no logical reason

for this decision.

Recently, we rejected work

from a writer who won

the $5,000 Stephen Leacock award

two weeks later. Actually,

this might mean it is better

to be rejected by us

if you want to become

rich and famous.

Because our magazine

is created in the scraps

and odd shavings of time

between paying our rents

and living our lives,

choosing work for each issue

is a painful experience.

We prefer works

that display polyphonic

and dialogical qualities.

This prevents us from taking

some exceptionally fine writing.

Competition was fierce.

Many projects were meritorious.

As you can imagine, the majority

of submissions come from writers

we either publish

or who are friends of the magazine

in some way.

Unfortunately, however. Please see

the list below for reason(s)

we could not use your work

this time. You should hear from us

in January.

I apologize for the time it has taken.

Whatever though, do keep in touch.

Please consider becoming

a subscriber.

We would have encouraged you

to try again, but, unfortunately,

we are ceasing publication.

Writing is an occupation which,

generally speaking,

requires a great deal of solitude.

It has become necessary

to make use of these terribly

impersonal reply slips.

We have all received

these letters and cursed

the fools who sent them.

We hope you understand.

You definitely have potential.


The Editor

P. S. I think I’m in the next

Paperplates, too. If it ever comes out…

I’m reading at the Imperial Pub

next week. See you there?

Sandra Alland is a writer, multimedia artist, curator, bookseller, micro-press publisher, translator-in-training, and activist living in Kensington Market. Her first collection of poetry, Proof of a Tongue, was published by McGilligan in 2004. Her poetry has been published and presented in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Bermuda, Spain, Scotland, and England. Last updated Christmas, 2006.