Distribution Automatique

Sunday, October 26

Crag Hill's Poetry Scorecard today:

"It's pitiful how much energy has been spent
fighting for but a few thousand readers of
contemporary poetry. Fights between those
inside and outside the universities, the
supposed canonizers; fights between
younger innovative writers and those
in the preceding generation; fights
about poetry published electronically
and poetry published in hard cover; fights
over the microscopic print space devoted
to reviews of poetry; fights between poets
who foreground the performative aspects of
poetry and those who do not; fights
between small- and medium-presses
for distribution... We're squabbling
over disappearing crumbs,
ladies and gentlemen.

How to bake more bread?"

It's important to note in this context an example
of how this might be done. Note how frequently
Ron Silliman's list in his important anthology
*In The American Tree*, of 90 or so additional
names of poets and artists, along with these words,
is referenced: "These individuals and
many others participated in the greater discourse
of which this poetry is a particular axis." This sort
of effort to include, not exclude, remains a model
for future anthologists and editors.

*In The American Tree* was recently reissued by
the National Poetry Foundation.