Coming back to TinyLetter

About a year ago, I made the move to Substack. Now, I've come back to TinyLetter.  

The reasons are thus: Substack has be a topic of intense discussion over the past few weeks. Jude Ellison Sady Doyle, Emily VanDerWerff, and Malinda Lo have all written long, thoughtful posts about this situation and how they plan to respond to it.

The short version is that Substack seems to have taken a strict stance against content moderation, which has opened the door for certain folks to express hate speech and bigoted views on the platform. More than that, the company has apparently started signing and paying pro-level contracts to bring these people over to the platform. (Annalee Newitz further explains in her post how this is basically a scam.)

As Doyle, VanDerWerff, and Lo all expressed, the problem is not so much about being on a platform with people you disagree (one would have to remove themselves entirely from the internet to avoid that). Rather, it’s that marginalized writers earning money for Substack (via commissions on subscriptions) are now in the position of seeing that money go towards people expressing hate speech against them.

As a company, Substack has the right to run it’s business however it would like. On the flip side, as writers, readers, and users, we have the right to decide how we want to spend out money and focus, which may include spending that money elsewhere.

For me, moving back to Tiny Letter was a simple choice — since this is where I started out and I don't really have any intentions to monetize my newsletter (at this time). 

I've gone through and backed up what few newsletters I've shared via Substack on my website, and in the coming week or two, I'll be deleting my Substack account.  

If you've been signed up for my newsletter, then you've been automatically moved over. Since I'm returning to an existing account there's a chance that people who have previously unsubscribed are suddenly back (if so, I apologize). If you would like to be removed from this list, you can unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of this email.


1. My poem "The Third Sister," which appears in my book, Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale (Interstellar Flight Press), has been nominated for a Rhysling Award by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. It's such an honor to be included among the ranks of such amazing poets. You can view a complete list of the nominated poems as well as order a copy of the Rhysling anthology containing all of the works here

2. I'm grateful to the editors of Yes, Poetry, who have named me the Poet of the Month and published two of my poems "Little Ghost" and "The Zenith." Here's a brief sample from "Little Ghost": 

Fate is risky, all set-up
and thin chances.

Scales balance. 
People die. 

The universe
doesn't invite returns. 

Good Reads

"Dead Woman Poets Are Not Your Punchline" – Jaime Herndon makes an argument for reclaiming the work of trailblazing poets Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton: 

"Plath has become a sort of cultural joke. No matter that she could easily write fiction, poetry, and children’s books — and could illustrate them as well — her talent falls by the wayside. There was even a tactless, disgusting photo shoot by Vice years ago that pictured several suicides of women writers, including Plath’s. Plath and Sexton seem to lack a certain kind of literary gravitas that is afforded to other poets, and I can’t help but think it is because of the cultural components to all of this."

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