• Allie McFarland

On Redactions

Hi friends and followers. Today, we aren’t going to use our typical exclamation points or tell you how excited we are about antilang. no. 5 – Pithy Politics (like we had originally planned).

We are shocked and abhorred to have found out on Twitter that one of our previous contributors lied about their identity in their cover letter as a way of attempting to gain publications. This individual decided to appropriate the identity of a young, Lebanese lesbian woman, and credits his success in getting published in antilang. to this false identity.

We are so very sorry to all our other contributors and submitters that we published this individual. We have redacted this individual’s poems from our issue.

How did this happen? When vetting submissions, we do read cover letters and bios and do brief Google searches of our submitters; however, as we prioritize emerging voices, we are unsurprised when our searches reveal nothing, as many of our submitters and contributors are young and/or previously unpublished. (If you’re curious about this editorial process, please read our blog post On Blind Review.) But really, this happened because an entitled man decided to take advantage of a new not-for-profit magazine that encourages emerging and marginalised voices.

Does this mean we are biased? Yes, we are biased against people who abuse their privilege and have nothing better to do than complain about how they are slightly less privileged now that other people’s voices are being acknowledged. 

Do we actively choose under-represented voices? Yes, and part of our mandate is to provide a platform for emerging writers alongside established authors as we like to be a place for first-time publications.

But back to the problem at hand. We have chosen to redact the poems accepted under false pretenses not because we do not stand by our editorial decision to originally include these poems, but because we refuse to provide a platform for individuals who appropriate marginalised subject positions.

We are hurt and upset that this happened to us and to our community, but our stance is strong: we do not tolerate bigots.

And hey, we’re a big enough deal to get trolled on Twitter, so that’s gotta count for something, right?

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