Wednesday, April 27

Why is modern poetry so bad? (2013)

ONE MORE LOOK AT ALABAMA - October 1984 conference
"Friday morning, America’s great poets will wake up to find that someone has TP-ed their trees and scrawled 'COWARD' on the door. A 6,000-word jeremiad about the pathetic state of contemporary poetry appears in the July issue of Harper’s magazine, which hits bookstores Friday. In 'Poetry Slam, or, The Decline of American Verse,' Mark Edmundson, an English professor at the University of Virginia, upbraids our bards for being 'oblique, equivocal, painfully self-questioning . . . timid, small, in retreat . . . ever more private, idiosyncratic, and withdrawn.' That’s just for starters. ... Sharon Olds, Mary Oliver, Charles Simic, Frank Bidart, Robert Hass, Robert Pinsky — they’re all brought into Edmundson’s office for a dressing down. Their poems 'are good in their ways,' he concedes. ..."
Washington Post
[PDF] Poetry Slam or, The Decline of American Verse - Mark Edmundson
In Every Generation: A Response to Mark Edmundson
Slate: Who Are You Calling Opaque?
The Atlantic: Literature Is Dead (According to Straight, White Guys, At Least)
A Brief Reply to ‘Poetry Slam’ by Mark Edmundson
Poetry Daily Critique
W - Poetry Slam