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Fri Jul 3, 2015, 01:26 PM

Blunt Talk with the Blunt Instrument: On Giving Advice to White Male Writers

Great interview!
Earlier last month, poet and Electric Literatureís resident Blunt Instrument advice columnist Elisa Gabbert fielded a question from a white male poet who recognized his privilege as such and wanted to know how to continue writing and publishing ethically within a publishing system that lacks diverse representation. Unlike many in the publishing world who admit that there is a problem, but donít put forth ideas for how to fix it, Gabbert made concrete suggestions which came down to: read more women, people of color, and LGBTQ writers, and donít take up more than your fair share of time and space in the literary ecosystem. Many white male writers took this to mean that Gabbert wanted them to stop writing, period, so they unleashed their rage where it festers and boils best: the comments section.

As a bi-racial Asian American writer who interviews authors, and runs a library at a high school whose population is 94% people of color, the lack of diversity in publishing concerns me, so I was eager to discuss and analyze the reaction with Elisa. We conducted this conversation over Google Chat.

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