I spent the afternoon gathering evidence proving No Tells', the authors' and my own legitimacy. This isn't the first time I've had to do so. Every so often somebody's livelihood depends on it. These situations tend to boil down to "So-in-so who holds my future in his sweaty palm says [insert poetry project] doesn't count because No Tell/Reb isn't legitimate because a) online, b) pod, c) micropress, d) not a contest (?!?!!!!), e) not affiliated with _____ f) Reb is total freakbutt, etc. If I don't make a convincing counter-argument, my career will be tug jobs in the B&N bathroom."
I know the game pretty well and as it turns out No Tell, the authors and I look pretty damn fine on paper. Like centerfold-bringing-a-tasty-milkshake-to-the-yard fine. We got enough of the grants, awards, nods by the right folks, mentions and reviews in the right places, the fancypant publications, all the bells and whistles. Yee-haw. Not that the people making these judgments really know anything about what any of that means. All they know is that they heard of the NAME and it's supposed to be prestigious or important. That's all they really want to know anyhow.
It's never: "I know the work and believe it to be shitty."
It's always: "They're doing it wrong."
No, not about the work, it's appearances that count.
This is why I have never applied for a single academic position and plan to never ever do so.
I really respect those who love and truly care about teaching, but I think artists pay a very high price to teach in an academic setting. Or at least a lot them seem to do from my vantage.