Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Barnaby Thieme
Dear Editor,

Marilyn Chin’s vituperative response to Joseph Bednarik’s letter is so uncivil, and so utterly devoid of merit, that I am taken aback to see you reproduce it without comment. On what basis does Chin believe that Bednarik’s letter is “fraught with demeaning sexist, racist, imperialist overtones”? Such powerful charges demand explanation, but she has provided none.

Chin’s accusations are baseless, and her response suggests little more than a violent intolerance of criticism. Such inflammatory rhetoric can only serve to immediately halt any meaningful exchange of ideas. Its inclusion lowers the level of discourse in your pages.

San Francisco, California

Originally Published: October 23, 2008

Poetry is looking for thought-provoking responses to work published in the magazine, as well as letters that raise new questions about the state of contemporary poetry. To send us your letter, please fill out all the fields below.

If we choose to use your letter, we will notify you by phone. If you have not heard from us within two weeks of sending your letter, you may assume we will not be using it. All letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may appear online, in print, or both.

Please do NOT send poetry submissions to this account. See Submission Guidelines for further information and policies regarding poetry submissions.


* All fields are required


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

September 2008

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.