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Unread 01-31-2018, 09:31 PM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: England
Posts: 2,602

I'm back to say that I completely understand Roger and Susan's points as well, and the always reasonable Matt, and am therefore in a genuine quandary. I'll try to clarify my position, which may involve several questions so, again, bear with me. When I read Accomplishment Members I'm happy for every announcement. I'm frankly just happy to be part of this world, full stop. But. Presumably Rick's original post must have been motivated by some discernible change that he has seen on the sphere in its long history and as a relative newcomer to all this I'd like to understand. Is it that there has been a rise in the proliferation of poetry sites in the last decade, so that the possibilities for 'accomplishment' have become greater and therefore easier? Is it just easier to get published somewhere/anywhere now? How was AM different, say, 10 years ago and why? Or wasn't it? Is Rick just feeling grumpy?

Roger asks how people are supposed to know whether their 'accomplishment' is going to be deemed sufficient enough to merit announcement. This is a good question, which could be asked in two different ways. It could be asked rhetorically, ironically, in the sense that it is designed to mock the idea that there should be any discrimination made between degrees of accomplishment. Or it could be asked as a genuine question, with the assumption that there is some kind of hierarchy of achievement. Is it wrong to acknowledge hierarchy of achievement? Of course, you can always do what Simon and Matt suggest and just self-filter the posts as you read them, internally differentiating between someone on a daily website and someone announcing a major publishing event with a glowing review from the New York Times. But I always, from my first day here, kind of liked the idea that there was a board on the sphere that had a whiff of something special about it. I liked it precisely because I felt it was a world beyond me. I think that's good motivation for an emerging writer. It took me a good while to realise there was a difference between Autumn Sky Daily and PN Review, say. I knew nothing, still don't know much. It can't be reasonably called snobbery can it, because poetry is a meritocracy. Mostly.

I speak as someone with a grand total of two published poems (and a couple in the bag). These are my thoughts. Sorry if they seem over-earnest. I seem to have two modes: over-earnest or over-flippant.

Edit: Practically, though, I doubt much can or should be done to change AM. Interesting discussion still.

Last edited by Mark McDonnell; 01-31-2018 at 09:49 PM.
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