Dear Jane, you seem to be confused about the meaning of “blacklist.” This is quite an old term. A blacklist is a list of enemies — in this case, the list of people who are not to be published by Chicago Review. And, no, I don’t think it is good editorial practice for a literary magazine to keep a list of enemies. That’s a bad way to live. Grad students, who are moral actors like other moral actors, should know this. Let’s see, what else? It’s true that the anti-communist and anti-union purges of the twentieth century were brutal. As well, left politics has its own sorry history of intolerance, blacklisting, and purging. About my own case (a small piece of the puzzle, to be sure), I will add that it is disconcerting to be treated like shit by people who vaguely believe themselves to be acting on principle, but they can’t even state the principle. Best wishes, Aaron

Poet, critic, associate professor of English at Pomona College, author of LOVE THREE: A STUDY OF A POEM BY GEORGE HERBERT and several other books.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store