OK, so I've been listening to the quiet rumblings from the Perigee readership regarding our recently instated dollar cover charge.
Susan Fellows, our advisory and contributing editor, has been fielding questions from a growing number of students and professors. "Again, remind me why we are charging?" she asked me in a recent e-mail. "I have had students ask me this—and they are not pleased."
A few weeks ago this sort of thing made me roll my eyes. I was in my "Bah, let them eat cake" phase.
"The idea was to put some money in the Perigee coffers to allow for compensation to writers/artists," I reminded Sue. "And also to fund moving to print, which is not a cheap endeavor."
Misattributed Marie Antoinette quotes aside, I would be lying if I didn't acknowledge disappointment at the number of readers (few) who are willing to part with a single dollar to read the complete issue of Perigee.
There were a few days of funky discouragement for me—just ask my wife.
But Perigee was not created to make money; it was created to offer a venue for quality art and literature. At no time has that changed.
Regular contributor and admired wordsmith Tom Sheehan shared recently that, "The $1.00 fee was a big departure from the norm, as I see it. The hardest part, from some people who have come back to me in sort of a report retort, has been the very manipulation of things to get into the site itself. I had a few pals that remarked on the difficulty."
Fair enough. The public has spoken. Since our primary mission has always been simply to provide a venue for writers and poets at a time when so many talented voices are overlooked, we will continue to do that in our own small way. Sans distractions. Sans complications. Sans cover charge.
(R Woerheide, Encouraged Editor)