Academic journal article Field

Fifty Poems from Fifty Years

Academic journal article Field

Fifty Poems from Fifty Years

Article excerpt

In 1969, when FIELD was founded by a group of junior faculty from Oberlin, nobody could have imagined that the magazine would last for fifty years. Poetry journals tend to be ephemeral, especially when they're staffed almost entirely by volunteers and supported by a shoestring budget. Changes in taste, an unpredictable literary landscape, and shifting staffing patterns all conspire against longevity. It's harder still to foresee whether a publication will find an audience, or that that audience will remain engaged.

Nevertheless, we persisted. Our mission was, quite simply, to present the very best work we could find, without regard to literary fashion or reputation, led by our collective sense of merit. Some wellknown poets submitted to FIELD for years before we accepted their work, and we appreciated their gracious tenacity. Conversely, we were always excited when a poet unknown to us sent poems fresh and original enough for us to take right away, at the beginning of what sometimes developed into a distinguished career. The magazine has thrived because of the hundreds of poets who have entrusted us with their work. And we're equally grateful for the loyalty of readers who have responded enthusiastically and thoughtfully to what they've found in our pages. …

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