An Open Letter to James Moore, Minister of Cultural Heritage and Official Languages

[New updates here and here]
[Read my follow-up query letter here]
[Read the government's rejection letter here]
[Quill and Quire blogs on the submissions here]

Well, I've finally gotten together a submission to James Moore, motivated by the proposed funding changes at Canadian Heritage that will kill off most literary magazines in Canada (if you don't know what I'm talking about, there's more info here, here, and here):

(click on the letter to expand it)

I had a false start in sending it off, choosing to deliver it in person to his constituency office in Port Moody instead of mailing it to Ottawa. The personal touch always helps with editors - or so I thought...

Alas! Theirs is not the literary wing of his operations. A good lesson for future submitters! My first submission was rejected thusly:

(click on the letter to expand it)

I've rebounded from this initial setback, as all determined artists must, and have resubmitted my poem to Mr. Moore's office in Ottawa. Hopefully there they will better appreciate the value of poetry in "Householder" mailouts - we all must open our minds to new possibilities if we are to survive the troubled times ahead! I will, of course, post here any response I receive.

If others wish to send similar submissions, please direct them to:
James Moore, MP
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6
And please, send a scan or photo of your submission to me at roblucastaylor(at)gmail.com, so that I can post it here.

Lastly, here is the full text of my letter, in case the scans don't do it for you:

Mr. Moore,

I have written the following poem and am submitting it to you in hopes that you might publish it in your constituency newsletter or on www.jamesmoore.org. This request is part of my wider search to locate alternate publishing venues for my work, as I am preparing for every literary magazine in Canada to soon be shut down. The magazines will be closing, as you may know, due to some new government policy to cease funding magazines with circulation under 5,000. What will they come up with next, eh?

Anyway, Mr. Moore, here is the poem:

An Open Letter to James Moore, Minister of Cultural Heritage and Official Languages

You’re a few bricks short, a ten-second minute,
You’ve got a nice house, but there’s nobody in it.
You’re as thick as molasses, as sharp as a ball,
Your car’s cylinders just won’t fire at all.
You’ve got bats in your belfry, air in your head,
Your infinite monkeys are infinite dead.
I bring you this message as a citizen, friend:
James, your little blue choo-choo has wound ’round the bend.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. Obviously, if the government policy were to be reversed, I would immediately withdraw my request for publication.


Rob Taylor


daniela elza said...

I love it.

Rob, if this does not get a favourable response I suggest we start something like what Yann Martel does with Mr. Harper. Send Minister Moore a different magazine with a circulation under 5000 every month for his perusal and appreciation. With a letter of why we have selected that magazine and that it will unlikely survive under the new decision. The next issue of Vallum will even have a kids section. I can donate a copy for the first round.

Rob Taylor said...

Yes, that is a good idea.

We could show him examples of potential new layouts for his newsletter. It's going to require quite a lot of innovation for him to properly revamp his newsletter to include a good amount of literary content - I'm sure he'd appreciate any advice we could provide!

I've always thought that reading a constituency newsletter should feel more like reading subTERRAIN, but maybe that's just me...