20 May 2012

The Fame of Angela Hoy

I'm neither a friend nor an enemy of publishing "crusader" Angela Hoy (bit.ly/angelahoy). She has a platform, I suppose, but she's such small potatoes I never had to deal with her. She did, however, finally cross my path about four years ago, when one day out of the blue she sent me an email "pleading" the cause of a writer in Belarus.

This writer had submitted three poems to my literary magazine. I immediately accepted them; he emailed back, inquiring if we would also be interested in publishing his book-length translation of a minor Russian writer (complete with full-color illustrations which, he informed us, "will cost you"). I replied that we weren't interested and that we never publish illustrations (this is made clear in our guidelines); immediately, the writer emailed me to say that, because our magazine was not a paying market (also made clear in our guidelines), he'd have to "think it over"; I promptly wrote back to him that if he weren't satisfied with our terms he ought to try other markets; he wrote back in a snit that "writers have rights too" and that he knew an "important" person in American publishing who would be contacting me on the matter. Well, that "important" person was Ms Hoy.

Before the end of the day Angela Hoy had send me an email in the form of a legal pleading, good God, restating this writer's complaint, and demanding an apology. I wrote back to her restating our position; she wrote back (with the salutation "Hi, Cantara!") telling me that my reply wasn't good enough, and that our magazine was now on "her list". I also got flamed on her forum--a total of five comments, before her readers lost interest.

Um, okay. Ridiculous woman.

It gets me is that, with her internet platform, her online forum, etc, she had the ideal opportunity to let her readers know about the plight of Belarusian writers, their utter lack of government support, the non-existent market in their own country, which makes them look desperately to any kind of recognition/remuneration elsewhere. Now that's a true cause.

What made me think of her after all this time is that she's back in the news with another bug up her ass. She obviously loves publicity more than she loves her calling.


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