Editors say the darndest things …


Perhaps they see a side of their contributors that is carefully hidden from the rest of us, as we thumb through the proofread and printed pages of poetry journals, newspapers, scholarly reviews.

North Sioux City’s Joseph Peschel has had a chance to see behind the curtain: he’s written for The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The Barnes & Noble Review, The Kansas City Star, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Charlotte Observer, and The Raleigh News & Observer. He’s started a curious collection of the oddest comments from editors, and invites contributions.

Almost makes you want to see the literary efforts that the editors are commenting upon.  But then again, maybe not.

“I hope you’re OK with your breakdown. This poem takes me back to mine.”

(He accepted the poem. I wasn’t having a breakdown.)

–from Ira Lightman

* * *

“It would be an abrogation of my editing duties to agree to accept work casually over email — anyone could be using your name and a keyboard from, oh, say a prison cell.”

–from Elda Stone

* * *

“I also require a phone conversation to get a sense of the places from which you view the world, and to make sure you aren’t typing from some minimum security facility and using poor Joe Peschel’s name.”

– from Joe Peschel

6 Responses to “Editors say the darndest things …”

  1. Joe Peschel Says:

    The messages to Elda and me were from the same anonymous book editor in response to queries pitching books for review.

  2. Cynthia Haven Says:

    Hmmmm… There must be a backstory. He seems obsessed with prisons.

  3. Joe Peschel Says:

    I think the editor was trying to be funny. Beats me!

  4. Roseanne Sullivan Says:

    Really funny!

  5. Cynthia Haven Says:

    Well, Joe, as I’ve already said to you, the best I can offer is an editor who died between acceptance and publication of my piece. … Was it something I said?

  6. John Avanzini Says:

    Yes it was a bit funny, and the pictures most of the are like prison cells.