Should a poet put up with a poem being edited? Presumably the author weighs every word in a poem, perhaps more so than in any other genre. It seems to me that an editor who accepts a poem, then treats it as raw material to tinker with, should have rejected that poem in favour of one that pleased her better. To me, it's like the organizer of an art exhibition taking up a brush and daubing at a painting by one of the artists whose work is on display. Recently I had to get very assertive with an editor who wanted to futz around with my wording. When I offered to withdraw the poem, she let my wording stay. As an experienced writer who has had a lot of poetry published, I felt within my rights to insist, but I probably won’t get published in that magazine again. Your opinion?
In trade publishing, writing and editing styles vary so much that it would be impossible to set out rules. The time-honoured protocol in North America (and elsewhere) is that any editorial suggestion is cricket, and so is any negotiation, as long as the process is thoughtful and respectful.
Can a publisher choose not to work with you again if you object to proposed edits? Yes. Is that common? Not in our experience. Editorial work is a conversation, and we thrive on conversation. It’s quite usual for an editor to accept a piece of writing that in her view needs revision, and to offer notes to that effect. It’s also usual for a writer to object to suggestions or to propose other solutions. You and your editor might have had an easier time of it had she contacted you ahead of acceptance and talked about her thoughts on strengthening the poem, but again, editing styles vary and schedules are demanding. For a bit more on this matter, see our post Editorial pushback.
One more thing, for the record: as many a prose writer (including you, perhaps!) can confirm, choice of words, arrangement of words, inclusion or exclusion of words is an excruciating business in any form.
— The Editors