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  #131  
Old 09-20-2014, 10:58 PM
Anna M Evans Anna M Evans is offline
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What claim are you talking about, specifically?
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  #132  
Old 09-20-2014, 11:37 PM
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R. S. Gwynn R. S. Gwynn is offline
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Anna, I have repeatedly asked you for your source about "financial transparency" at the West Chester Poetry Conference. I ask you again, please enlighten us.
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  #133  
Old 09-21-2014, 12:06 AM
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Still asking.
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  #134  
Old 09-21-2014, 12:09 AM
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Still waiting.
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  #135  
Old 09-21-2014, 01:06 AM
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"Two things in particular have stood out since Mezzo Cammin's inception. The first is that there is still a pressing need for a magazine like Mezzo Cammin both to re-frame and reclaim portions of the poetic. When we decided we would begin to do features on women poets who had not gotten enough attention, like Julia Randall and Josephine Jacobsen, we realized, soon enough, that such features would include most women poets. In a field where roughly sixty percent of working writers are women and forty percent are men, and where literary journals, by and large, do not reflect those numbers, there is a responsibility to give voice to excellence by women. We see that as one of our missions, besides our emphasis on form.

"The second is that Mezzo Cammin would not have been possible without a community of women who have been supportive both in terms of establishing the groundwork and in contributing to the journal itself. Mezzo Cammin came out of the West Chester University Poetry Conference, and out of early women's voices at the conference, such as Rhina P. Espaillat, Annie Finch, Rachel Hadas, Marilyn Nelson, Molly Peacock, and Kathrine Varnes. I am indebted to two seminars at West Chester, the first headed by Rachel Hadas and Marilyn L. Taylor, focusing on forgotten women poets: Mary Agner, Debra Bruce, Jenny Factor, Gardner McFall, Meg Schoerke, Ellen Smith, Rachel Wetzstoen, and Terri Witek. The second, on the same topic, headed by Marilyn L. Taylor, was the one out of which Mezzo Cammin was born: Kim Bridgford, Debra Bruce, Barbara Crooker, Moira Egan, Jenny Factor, Annie Finch, Diane Lockward, Margaret Rockwell, Meg Schoerke, Patricia Valdata, and Kathrine Varnes.

"Dana Gioia and Michael Peich have been supportive of both Mezzo Cammin itself and The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project, inviting women scholars to run seminars that led to the journal and the timeline, and eventually including a home for those entities at the Poetry Center at West Chester."

Kim Bridgford
January, 2011
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  #136  
Old 09-21-2014, 01:11 AM
Gregory Dowling Gregory Dowling is offline
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I repeated Rhina's plea for people to calm down for the very good reasons she gives in post 103 on this thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhina P. Espaillat View Post
On the contrary: calming down is precisely what we all need to do, because what comes of immediate and spontaneous responses arrived at on the basis of too little information is exactly what Anna has had the grace and wisdom to apologize for: "slander and blaming."
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  #137  
Old 09-21-2014, 01:15 AM
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Why "calm down" when so much of this is public record?
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  #138  
Old 09-21-2014, 06:07 AM
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Quincy Lehr Quincy Lehr is online now
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Okay, let's not debate Peich vs. Bridgford. Gail's right that only sorrow lies that way. For that matter, defenders of both have not made any accusations that weren't hastily withdrawn speculations, or, for that matter, inadvertent possible innuendoes quickly withdrawn. Why doesn't Anna reveal her sources? I imagine that the answer is that her sources wish to remain anonymous, and that in the absence of subpoenas, one can't actually talk numbers. I am curious to see what the Inquirer turns up, though.

As for Mike Peich, I wasn't there in the early years, but I think it fair to say that if Peich had a fair number of women on the platform, Bridgford didn't freeze out the men, either. There is a lot that could be said about the evolved culture of a twenty-year-old conference, good and bad, but this does not seem the time, especially if no one is seriously impugning either director. (My comment about the gender dynamics of this thread was directed at Tim in particular, who was pretty blatant about blowing off the women until he'd checked in with a bunch of dudes who, with the possible exception of Gioia, are probably getting the same dribs and drabs and off-the-record revelations the rest of us are.)

So, why make a stink with the documentation unavailable? Because lots of things, some UNjust, can happen in a court of law, sure, but also because it has attracted attention. Something happened--I'm not quite sure what--and Kim Bridgford took the fall for it, apparently as a direct result of trying to clear the air. I, too, want to know more, even while understanding that, based on current information, all that can be said has been said.
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  #139  
Old 09-21-2014, 09:07 AM
Pat Valdata Pat Valdata is offline
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I was at Kim's reading and the only thing it suggests is that Kim had no idea the university was going to remove her. It was a lovely event with a mix of student, faculty, and community attendees. (Notably absent was the dean.) The October event was to be Paul Muldoon, and the November event was to be a performance by the young Urban Word poets. All business-as-usual.

In fact, everything was business as usual the week before Kim's removal, except for a really bad thunderstorm and lightning strike that fried the graduate assistant's computer. I don't think you can blame any of that on Kim!
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  #140  
Old 09-21-2014, 09:39 AM
Pat Valdata Pat Valdata is offline
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Sam, I was taking minutes on August 25 at the Poetry Center's 3rd quarter Advisory Board meeting (for the rest of you, I was there as a temporary employee from mid-February through August 29). The board's financial committee requested an audit for two reasons: (1) it is good financial practice for every organization to be audited on a regular basis and (2) audits are required on most grant applications. The Center had never been audited, so it was long overdue. The advisory board approved the audit, quite enthusiastically, I might add.

As soon as the meeting concluded, the dean left the room like she was shot out of a cannon, without a word to any of us. Three weeks later, Kim was removed, ostensibly because she didn't "work closely enough" with the WCU Foundation, which is ridiculous.

I think it is extremely strange that she was removed for that reason right after requesting the audit, which would have involved both the Center and the Foundation, since the Foundation holds all of the Center's funds that are received through donations (except for the Poet's Prize, which has its own account). I question both the timing and the reason for her removal, hence my request to open the books. Others agree with me, which has resulted in the groundswell of requests for financial transparency. Kim and her advisory board were all in favor of it--it seems that the university and its foundation are the ones who are uncomfortable with the concept.
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