Hall to McNair: June 21, 1979

Hall-to-McNair-06-21-1979-Page 1

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21 June 79

Dear Wes,

Well, it’s damned discouraging. You are good!
Eventually, more than 4 or 5 of us will get the
message. Many good people have been slow to
get published – Frost & Muir for two. Harper
& Row is unbearably slow. Of course the letter
from Ochester is hardly a bad sign – but one
needs more than good signs. I was quick off
the study block, an ambitious & precocious
child – but my first book was rejected 13
times before acceptance. Jane is going through a
patch of getting everything rejected from mags,
having been lucky earlier. She’s discouraged
too. I cannot remember if you have ever tried
Wesleyan. Are you at all interested in a small
press? I just had a pamphlet with BOA.


You might try Galassi (Jonathan) at Houghton
Mifflin in the autumn, saying to J.G. that I
asked you to try him. Publishers don’t
generally accept anything – but some will &

No reputable agent is
useful to a point. I can explain, if this is
obscure. I do use agents – but not for poems.

The writing – I don’t need to tell you – is
what matters. Keep getting better, & improve
the mss. every time it comes back, & you
will win through. As Jane & I always
quote to each other, from “Mary Hartman,”
: “Trust me! Trust me!”

Love to you both,