Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 37, No. 10. May 22, 1974

A letter from the former poetry editor — ruthlessly deposed

A letter from the former poetry editor — ruthlessly deposed

Dear people,

I had intended welcoming everyone into the second term by presenting several of what I consider to be sensitive and skilful poems. However, I have been given a new editorial directive: that all works at present submitted to Salient are of low quality, that they are the works of "literary wankers", and therefore not fit for publication. Henceforth, any submissions to Salient will be Judged by the resident expert, Roger Steele, possessor of the Witi Ihimaera seal of approval. His opinion alone will decide the merits of any work. As a rough guideline, submissions which do not present constructive criticism of society will be unwelcome; and poems which are designed simply to express some emotion rather than to provide an analysis of the inequalities of control of the means of production will be categorised as "literary wanking" and treated as such.

From time to time I have made the ill-informed statement that Salient is interested in printing original submissions. It was made in good faith; but as Salient now equals R. Steele it is utter nonsense and I retract it.

Poems of high quality, technically sound, describing the merits of the revolution, the achievements of Communist China, the furtherance of the workers' cause or well-reasoned social criticism will be most acceptable. In other words, keep your emotions out of literature and stick to politics.


[There's an element of truth in what Marty says about my criteria, but he is using that old literary warhorse, hyperbole, rather (self) indulgently. I do not expect or wish contributors to conform to "the tine " whatever that may be — I wish I knew myself.

However, I have rejected a number of poems' on the grounds that they exist merely to express some highly personal emotion or other, and make a bad job of it, failing even to communicate. Just by the way politics is pretty emotional stuff too. — Ed.]