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Letter From the Editor
Kolleen Carney Hoepfner

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Hello, friends.

There is often chatter on social media (mostly Twitter, which is a general cesspool of bad takes) regarding things like blacklists. In case you aren’t aware, pretty much every publication has a list of people they refuse to work with. This is not something that should be made public, though some less than desirables insist it’s only right, and that blacklists themselves are a form of censorship. I argue that some people need a crash course in what censorship actually is; here at Drunk Monkeys we refuse to work with serial harassers, or publish work that is -phobic or violent in any way (and I mean gratuitous violence for the sake of being #edgy), and let’s face it, you probably will know if you’re persona non grata here, as I have a hard time keeping my big mouth shut.

There are plenty of venues that will publish problematic work and people, we’re just not one of them. Too bad, so sad. It is our belief that abusers should not be published in this journal, and so it remains.

I argue that maybe it’s just better to try to be a good person. If you get called out on your bullshit, you’re not being bullied—you’re being called the fuck out, something I wish people would do more.

I have seen pushback on things like Vida’s #SaferLit campaign, which I will never begin to understand. In the wake of people like Sherman Alexie and Ravi Shankar being “accused”* of sexual impropriety, the fact that sexual harassment and assault is rife in the literary community is finally bubbling to the surface, FINALLY. Nothing will ever be a perfect safe space, but if you have an issue with processes put in place to protect people, I have a feeling you’re on the wrong side of things.

Of course, I am not a perfect paradigm of steadfast morality, though I am trying very hard every day. I find myself at crossroads constantly, and sometimes I fail at making the right decision. Every day is steeped in self-reflection, not self-deflection.

What I genuinely ask is for you to put your best self forward always, especially with your writing. And if you send us something we reject for offensiveness, don’t bother responding to our rejection letter. All that accomplishes is a snarky post on social media, and I feel like we have enough of those to begin with.

This past weekend I ate pancakes and watched Vanderpump Rules with founder Matthew Guerrero and managing editor Chris Pruitt as we built the March issue together, which I hope you will enjoy. Next month, we debut our Pop Culture issue, and we are very excited for that.

We won’t be at AWP this year, but we hope that, if you go, you have a wonderful time.

It’s spring, a time for rebirth and growth. Let’s all grow.

Always,

Kolleen

 

*I mean I’ll say accused, but come on now.