Back in 1988-90, I was on staff at Scrivener, the lit mag of McGill University.
I was one of three poetry editors my first year there and had to
endure not only the vast and incomprehensible slush pile of submissions
but also the attitudes towards poetry revealed by my peers.
One would throw out a submission because it rhymed, another because it didn't.
If only I had the foresight to not take seriously the pompous posturings of my fellow 19 year old fuckwads.
I stopped writing after the experience. Stopped self-identifying as a 'writer'. Oh Well. Here I am...
One poet who was routinely rejected and whom I tried to champion...but to no avail...signed their work Dead Sara.
The poems were handwritten (what a point of contention for the rest of the staff!)
often employing crude drawings and letters made up into math formulas.
I corresponded with this poet who thanked me...
perhaps the only sympathetic voice he encountered.
Luckily I keep every letter ever sent to me...and perhaps I'll share some of those poems one day.
I credit Dead Sara AKA Cameron Conklin of Amarillo, Texas for keeping my mind about poetry open.