“ Further, we’re at a point in poetry publishing — concerning contests and journals alike — where a big name in the slush pile will automatically skew the scales against emerging writers. Their work will simply not get the consideration (or air) that it deserves.” ←I actually don’t think this is necessarily true? Alt-Lit is a pretty good example of why not. I also don’t think editors necessarily pick what “they want.” Many follow the trends and try to pick material that their communities will want to read.
“ What would democracy look like in the world of poetry? What would it look like to ‘open the bottleneck,’ so that readers, not editors, determine quality and aesthetic “fit” for one’s tastes? Would that immediately devalue poetry or the work that editors and journals do? Will terrible poems reign unchecked?” ←I think you’d probably see a predominance of cis-het, white-authored work, with minorities tokenized.