I was happy to see such a clear statement of your review policy in the last issue, and in general would like to praise you for your efforts to re-involve all of us in the important work of commenting on contemporary poetry. I would encourage you, however, to offer an equally reasoned explanation for how you exercise your editorial discretion as regards the publication of reviewer responses to letters, specifically letters addressing omnibus reviews.
Such reviewer responses seem to disrupt your magazine’s efforts to encourage poetry to, as you say in your editorial, “pull its head out of its behind.” Is it wise to reward those who have written letters in good faith with a response that can only be read as mean-spirited and small (see Dan Chiasson’s response to Kevin Simmons, June 2005)? Surely you want such letters and many of them, but the effect of reviewer response seems to me largely counterproductive to that goal.
Charleston, South Carolina