Sunday, February 10, 2008

Poets and teaching

Today, I've been wondering about this: How do poets without books get jobs teaching creative writing? Awhile back, I thought that ONE had to have a book out to get a teaching job. It's turns out that I was mistaken.

I don't want to put too much stock in the all powerful book. To do so would mean that ED was not a poet! But, I do thinking there's something valid in the experience of birthing a book. It is torture and makes having a baby look like a cake walk (at least that was my experience!). Birthing a book (excuse the mama metaphor) is kind of like experiencing the death of a close person -- you (I) just don't know what it's like until it happens.

I expect poets without books are getting hired because they went to a 'good school.' But, this doesn't quite add up. Poetry is not law, going to a good school does not make one a poet -- writing poems does. Again, I'm not refering to the object of the book (although that's cool too) I'm refering to the PROCESS of making/publishing a book -- an experience that the professor can share with her students. Of course, if most students knew what being poet was REALLY like, they'd run for the hills.

Note to readers: I'd love to hear some comments! Do you think I'm right on -- or just taking too much crack?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I it's not so much about teaching how to write creatively as it is to guide students who have shown their potential through their writings.

I also believe that a lot of the creative writing programs are filled with a lot of pretentious individuals who think they know what good poetry is, but they actually really don't. They like to put off as is their opinions and their creative endeavors are far more superior to all else.

It's all just a bunch of people kissing ass and talking shit!
And, for one, I think this makes a horrible environment for writers, published or not published.