McNair to Hall: July 31, 1980


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July 31, 1980

Dear Don,

Foiled again. I had thought the “Fat” poem was
finished. But you have convinced me that I should wait
and try it again later.

You mentioned that I should probably drop the
epigraph. I am troubled by this because the
epigraph provides background for the stanza

Others saw the fat
Was their responsibility

(remember the fat people “had to be fat because it was
cold”). I can perhaps write about “cold”
without the epigraph – or leave cold out entirely –
but I can’t see how to make the above stanza
work without it (the epigraph).

Maybe I could kill the above stanza, but I’d
hate to.

Anyway, I am pleased to have your comments
on the poem, and I will be sure to read them
again when the time comes to re-revise. If


anything comes to mind re: the comments I’ve made
here, please let me know.

In the meantime, I am sending you “Calling
,” grateful that you liked it and found it
complete, however small the poem may be. I
guess I will just write Peter Davison and tell
him I have passed on his request for poems
to the Amaryllis agency, which handles my
poems. Does this seem right? Then Joey
can do what he wants to do about it.

I am also sending “When Superman Died.”
Thanks for clarifying.

Will you please tell Jane that E.V. Griffith,
Editor of Poetry Now, is looking for poems
for an anthology called Poets Now, “an
anthology of 80 new poets who seem likely to
win growing recognition in the decade ahead.”
The deadline for submissions is November 30.
Griffith’s address is 3118 K Street, Eureka,
California 95501. He’s asking for 10-15
poems from each submitting poet.


As you may have guessed, I am interested
in submitting poems to Griffith, especially
since he has accepted work of mine in the past,
for both Hearse and Poetry Now. I have not
submitted yet, because I’m not sure whether I
or Joey should do it. I’ve been thinking of
mailing Griffith Going Back Poems – the whole
book – so he’ll have plenty to choose from.
If Joey feels the submission should be made
through the agency, I’ll simply send him a copy
of the book, complete with envelope and stamps.

Please ask him about this. Thanks for everything.



Read The Fat People of the Old Days (published version)