I enjoy meeting with people, and like most people, I enjoy talking with people who share my passions and interests. I know some people dislike the idea of ‘networking’ with regard to poetry, but I have few problems with it. The By Leaves We Live event confirmed how productive networking can be for all concerned.
For the magazine editors and publishers – they got to meet their readership, to sell magazines and subscriptions, and to talk to potential contributors.
For readers and poets – we got to put a face to people we’d normally know only through editorials and acceptance/rejection letters, to look at magazines and discuss them with those who produce them, and to talk about submissions.
Several magazines were displayed on tables without editors present. I strongly suspect that few of these were bought. But the editors I spoke to told me they had sold a lot of magazines, simply because they had made the effort to be there.
It was beneficial all round. Some might feel it’s all wrong, and that when editors can put a face to a submitter, they might be more inclined to accept poems by them. I really doubt this. I expect most editors are concerned only with putting out the best issue they can. Their reputation is on the line after all if they include inferior poems.