THE SWEET SPOT: literary journals put the work of emerging writers into perspective
The reason we have that sweet spot is that we want our students to be connected to and engaged with writers who are just at the next level above them. Because that’s who you’re really going to learn from, and who you really need to know, because those are the people you’re going to hang out with, those are the people you’re going to read and are the closest to what you’re doing.
Everyone knows who the famous writers are; I don’t need to publish John Ashbery; I’d love to, but I don’t need to because there’s lots and lots of ways students can get access to fresh John Ashbery. But Dana Tee Lomax is a writer they should be reading too. She’s a really important, major poet. And if I’m not publishing her and my students aren’t observing her, knowing about her work, they’re not going to find out about it. And she’s the writer whose work has a lot of sympathies and empathies with what they’re doing.
— Hugh Behm-Steinberg on Eleven Eleven‘s policy to publish roughly 50% emerging writers in a recent interview, more of which you can read here. The journal celebrates the release of Issue 11 tonight at CCA, where Lomax will be one of the readers.