The Poetry of Academe

Posted by on 1 02 16 in Poetry | 3 comments

Through academic courses,¬† literary criticism, MFA programs and support for the small presses, the universities play a critical¬† role in today’s serious poetry. But what is it about academe that produces such indifferent poetry – generally mundane reflections on subjects that would not merit inclusion in a local newspaper? I’m not going to name offenders, but if the later selections in the Oxford Book of American Poetry {1} are anything to go by, the art form is now in a bad way. Perhaps it’s the politics, what commentators on 100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School, expressed as: There are certainly kind and decent people in academia … most definitely. But this post is spot-on. With everyone working on (practically) lifetime appointments and nothing other than grad students and relatively meaningless awards and publications to hold over one...

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