It is the editorial contention of BEATITUDE that the corporate publishing structure geographically based in New York is continually ripping off the collective voice of poetry in this country.  Once a book of poems is accepted for publication by, say Harper and Row, it is, in effect, a statement that the material is safe enough to be incorporated- within the establishment.  The clear voice of the poet is stripped of most of its power by being diluted within the money/power corporate fantasy that cares nothing for individual human honesty.  We American poets are divided by the system of competition that has been created by the establishment specifically to divide us.  Prizes and grants, promises of publication by the large companies, money to live on, and so on, are constantly dangled before our eyes.  Through this division, we end up concentrating on competing with one another, rather than on the destruction of the power wielded by comfortable business executives, posing as editors, who, at least metaphorically, keep us in chains.

    Many younger local poets publish a first book with a small alternative press, but as soon as they begin to acquire some national recognition, they become anxious to publish a major book through New York auspices.  When asked why, a frequently cited reason is the lack of distribution that small presses are capable of offering.  However with the advent of Serendipity Books and Book People into the field, this situation has changed.  Now small press books are being ordered by almost every bookstore that carries contemporary American verse.  More and more magazines are reviewing small press books as well. Ironically, many of the larger houses would prefer to lose $500. on a book of poems than to make $1000., for tax reasons, and in such cases the distribution of their books suffers noticeably.

    The only way to maintain a real alternative to the corporate giants in the east, more and more  We all owe Allen Ginsberg a debt of gratitude for staying with City Lights over the years with his poetic output.  We hope a time is coming when more and more poets, as they begin to achieve recognition, will avoid New York and stay with the alternative presses.  In the same way, we would like to see a boycott of all the establishment awards.  If we cease competing with each other, we are on our way to becoming the humane voice of conscience this country desperately needs.

    (We feel it is important to add that we only refer to New York as a symbolic area of corporate power and recognize that it exists elsewhere, and that many fine presses, such as New Direction and many smaller publishers, are located there whose commitment to good poetry is beyond question.)

Luke Breit --- Harold Norse----Lawrence Ferlinghetti---Jack Hirschman ---- Neeli Cherry----Stephen Schwartz---Andrian Brooks---Thomas Dawson ---- Edward Holden---David Lerner---Lloyd Honeycutt---Jack Micheline--- Andy Clausen----Jerry Eastrin----Gene Berson----Howard Schrager Maria Nalak--- Ken Wainio---Kristen Wetterhahn---Poster Reed--Dean Lipton and many, many others, important, but too numerous to mention © all rights reserved
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