Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Jim Carmin
Dear Editor,

I was moved almost to tears by David Biespiel’s infectiously enthusiastic review of  James Laughlin’s The Way It Wasn’t [“Former Dogs,” November 2007]. I would have run out and picked up a copy of the book if I hadn’t had it in hand already. This posthumous “auto-bug-offery,” as Laughlin called it, is an odd book in its choppy but beautifully designed abecedarian layout, in which almost no entry completely satisfies the reader, who now teased wants more. But fortunately there is much more by and on Laughlin out there, including the smartly edited collections of  his letters to and from Williams, Merton, Schwartz, Pound, and Rexroth.

Thank you for allowing Biespiel the space to roam around a bit in his essay, and thank you Ezra Pound for saying to Laughlin: 
“Jas, you’re never going to be any good as a poet....    You’d better 
become a publisher. You’ve got enough brains for that.” Where would poetry be now without Pound’s directness, the publications of New Directions, and the great intelligence of  James Laughlin?

Portland, Oregon

Originally Published: January 28, 2008

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This prose originally appeared in the February 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2008

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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