In Defense of Luddites

by Michael Simms
Editor-in-Chief of Autumn House Press and Coal Hill Review

Most people over the age of 50 nowadays have an attitude toward technology similar to mine, I think.  I use technology everyday.  I depend on it to do my job, practice my art, and maintain my social contacts, but I’m leery of it.  It seems to fail when I most depend on it, and I often lack the requisite skill to fix the problem, whatever it is, so I’m continually frustrated by its undependability.  And if I need to do something beyond email, word-processing, and basic website maintainence, then I feel stupid and incompetent.

However, Coal Hill Review is not a community of techies; it is a community of poets, writers, and readers, and in these skills, people of my age and background often excel.  Although we have a number of younger writers involved in our community, including Joshua Storey, Bernadette James, and Evan Oare — all in their twenties — most of our chapbook submissions and almost all of our blogs have come from professional writers and teachers over the age of 50 .  We don’t want any of our contributors to feel shut out because they didn’t grow up with computers.  We are working to make CHR as user friendly as possible, even for Luddites and borderline Luddites like myself.

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