I am giving up on the Anthology for the following reasons:
- I don’t have the money to do it like I’d like to do it.
- Receiving daily emails from people who want to know when the Anthology will be out or other silly emails from people who have nothing better to do than hound me about it stresses me out
- I can’t get 400 people to proof a book. I can’t even get 400 people to give me bios in a reasonable time frame. For that matter, there were submissions flowing in two months after the submissions deadline. I don’t know if such problems derive from the number of people, their youth and inexperience with professional projects, the fact that they’re poets, or my own errors, but looking down the line at the number of details that must still be dealt with irritates me. Getting 400 people to do anything is insanely difficult, who would have thought?
- It takes away time from my life and my work. Rather than improving my quality of life in any way, it is a stress factor. I thought I could do it when I was bored in grad school, but now I’m not bored in grad school and I have enough problems with my own life without inventing new (publishing) problems. I need a job– I need this not to be a stress factor once I get a job. I need to write– I am a poet in my own right and the stress of this project kills my ability to write my own poetry.
I have help– offering to help isn’t going to make the project happen.
If your press would like to take over the project, I will send you all the files I have. Outside Voices will still be around as a sometimes-publisher. I am not an editor– or, I don’t want to be an editor, and in many respects I’m a bad editor. I feel an obligation to the community to edit– I often find myself resenting people who don’t either run a press or give significant sums of time or money to those who do, since publishing doesn’t just “happen” and living off the fat of the land without contributing to the process seems selfish– but I will continue to edit Foursquare, so I will still be doing my part.
If you have pre-ordered the Anthology, your payment will be refunded within 90 days.
Tomorrow night’s reading will go on as scheduled. Even as a ghost, the Anthology is a unifying element. Although the commercialism of poetry readings seems almost pervasive, I think we don’t need to have a book to promote in order to have a good reading.