Letter to the Editor

by Neal Whitman

Dear Editor,

Thank you for Jason Guriel’s lively recap of the Spectric Poets [February 2013]. Your readers might also want to look into a hoax from down under. In 1944 James McAuley and Harold Stewart were able to get published in Angry Penguins, under the name of Ern Malley. The jokesters concocted the story that, after his death from Grave’s disease, Ern’s sister Ethel found a sheaf of poems in the attic. The editor of Angry Penguins, Max Harris, wrote, “Ern Malley prepared for his death quietly confident that he was a great poet, and that he would be known as such.” Like the Spectric perps Bynner and Ficke, Aussies McAuley and Stewart left clues ensuring that they would be caught. That was the fun of it.

Originally Published: April 1, 2013

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This prose originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2013
 Neal  Whitman

Biography

Neal Whitman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and today lives in Pacific Grove, California. Whitman took up writing poetry in 2005 when he was in transition from a long career in medical education, where he had promulgated the reading of poetry as part of learning the art of medicine. Since his retirement from the University of Utah School of Medicine, Whitman has served as an editor and member of the advisory board of Pulse: . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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