Saturday, March 10, 2007
If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black!
What is it about poets that makes them love to fight? This seem to exist across the poetic landscape -- from the youngest to oldest, from the most successful to the least.
It is hardly surprising, then, that Dana Goodyear published an article in a recent New Yorker that was a somewhat harsh examination of the Ms. Money-Bags Poetry magazine, largely full of points that the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poets made 20 years ago (Hello!). But, what happened next was increasingly interesting.
In today's New York Times Book Review (which is actually TOMORROW'S book review -- but this is too long of a story to go into here) David Orr doesn't jump on the anti-Poetry Foundation bandwagon. Rather he takes the New Yorker to task. His primary thesis is that it is hypocritical for the New Yorker to criticize the Poetry Foundation because they, themselves, commit too many poetry sins. He points out that, "Poets may get frustrated with the Poetry Foundation; they may complain; they may disagree with certain projects. But the Poetry Foundation, however misguided or impolitic, hasn't given up on poetry. The question is: Has the New Yorker?
Hmmm....sound familiar? Doesn't the primary book review magazine in the United States have a similar responsibility to poetry?
I want pose some questions and PLEASE comment!
How many poetry books has the Times reviewed in the past year? How many of these poets were under forty years old? How many poets does it employ as reviewers? Three to my knowledge. How many times has a poets you love had books reviewed? How many poets do you know PERSONALLY who have had their book reviewed?
How often does the Times review, as Orr notes of the New Yorker, THEIR OWN friends employees, and associates?
Mr. Orr, you should read your own paper! There was a big article about this two months ago in the Public Editor!
How many times has the Book Review mentioned Nathaniel Tarn, Fanny Howe, Charles Bernstein, Anne Waldman, so on and so forth? Does the Book Review know these people are poets?
I remember one year ago, the Times published poetry reviews every week for about three months. We were all so in shock -- it was a major topic of conversation.
Orr criticizes Goodyear for quoting Billy Collins -- hey, wait a minute! -- doesn't the Times review ALL of Billy's books?
Posted by Jennifer Bartlett at 8:05 AM