Letters to the Editor

The editors of The Writer’s Chronicle welcome letters from our readers. Short letters of 300 words or fewer are most likely to be published, and all letters accepted for publication may be edited.

Letters printed from The Writer's Chronicle on:


Editor Contact

Supriya Bhatnagar
Editor
letters@awpwriter.org


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    A Room Without…?

    I am appalled by your latest cover “A Room Without Men” (The Writer’s Chronicle, vol. 51, #4, February 2019) featuring women painting out a man’s face. What about A Room Without Blacks? Or a Room Without Whites? If your cover showed the reverse—men painting out a woman’s face—your headquarters would be attacked. This kind of exclusionary, anti-male propaganda helps no one and makes a mockery of the ideals of diversity and community toward which we the enlightened are supposedly striving. Diversity—make that life—includes men, even white men. An irritating state of affairs, but there it is.

    Pope Brock
    Arlington, MA

     

    AWP Responds to Pope Brock

    Thank you for reaching out to our Editor with your concerns about the cover illustration for the February issue of The Writers Chronicle.

    The illustration does capture important elements in Stevie Edwards’s intentionally—yet constructively—provocative article. Both illustration and article assert that men do not have default privileged access to women’s space. The simple act of creating a separate women’s literary space is not referential to men, nor need it be interpreted as anti-male. Instead, such separation meets a deep yet largely unmet need in our society and in our literary circles for women-affirming spaces. As Ms. Edwards states in her article, “empowering women does not involve acknowledging men.”

    The desire among many women to occasionally have access to women space or to pursue creative writing that is intentionally women-focused may reflect an overdue rebalancing of gendered literary norms. As Ms. Edwards speculates in the article, one form of being enabled as a woman writer might be “to write primarily for an audience of other women (as opposed to the historical barrage of male editors, male professors, male critics, male colleagues, etc.).” The historical weight of that barrage is onerous for women and for men who respect the equal dignity of women; moving forward in a woman-affirming way need not be construed as being at the cost of men.

    Chloe Schwenke, PhD
    Interim Executive Director