Monday, March 12, 2007

The World on a Monday

The world on a Monday:

C. Dale Young reports that the Four Way Books Spring collection has moved from pre-order to 4-6 weeks delivery status on amazon.com. They’re almost here!

As well, he has a link to the dust up between The New York Times and The New Yorker. Poetry Daily also has a link to both:

· Dana Goodyear's article. (From The New Yorker).
· David Orr’s riposte to Dana Goodyear's essay. (From The New York Times.)

It’s really worth your time to read both of these articles. As well, the John Barr article is available on line at POETRY’s website.

And then read the AWP retorts:

http://www.awpwriter.org/magazine/writers/fenza02.htm

and

http://www.awpwriter.org/magazine/writers/swade01.htm

Why is all this important? Well, the arguments back and forth really come down to money, power, and visibility. Mostly, no one would notice or care much about John Barr’s thoughts on contemporary poetry if he weren’t the president of a foundation worth 200 million dollars. 200 million dollars puts a lot of advertising smack behind one’s views. As well, David Orr has a bit of criticism of Dana Goodyear and The New Yorker, for the way poetry is treated there . . . visibility. The repeated story becomes the story. And the story of contemporary poetry is being written over our heads by a bunch of people with wide circulation and quite a bit of money.

Here’s my open call to John Barr: Mr. Barr, if you really care about the dissemination of poetry of all kinds, as you said at AWP, then you should also put some money behind an alternative press. Or an alternative press prize. As of now, you’ve put a lot of time and money into a very narrowly defined conception of poetry. It’s time to open the table to more guests.

6 Comments:

At 3/12/2007 8:27 PM, Blogger garylmcdowell said...

Amen to your calling out of Barr. Preach on!

 
At 3/13/2007 5:06 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Rise up, Citizens!

The Laurel Review is going to publish a wonderful essay by Maxine Chernoff about Barr, et al., this summer.

So, when do you sign the papers? Have you made you pick?

 
At 3/13/2007 6:37 AM, Blogger Andrew Shields said...

I was just thinking today that one thing the Poetry Foundation could and should do is start up an American version of the Poetry Book Society.

http://www.poetrybooks.co.uk/

 
At 3/13/2007 1:31 PM, Blogger Andrew Shields said...

Thanks for the AWP links, which I have now had time to read. Sidney Wade's letter was published in Poetry, I'm pretty sure.

 
At 3/13/2007 2:10 PM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Andrew,

The version in POETRY was cut down from what was sent. Wade was mad about that. I didn't read it so I don't know how editorial the cuts were.

Poetry Book Society. I like it. If I had 200 million dollars . . .

 
At 3/15/2007 1:28 PM, Blogger Andrew Shields said...

Thanks for telling me about the edited version of the letter. I'll read the longer version now.

 

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