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Showing posts from August, 2012

Poetry Publishing in the Post Publisher World

Thanks to Anny Ballardini, for bringing this to my attention.


Dead-tree publishing has been in a quiet, lumbering crisis for many years now. Publishers are understandably confused over their role in a world that exchanges information freely and is stocked with e-book readers and high-tech print-on-demand services provided by some of the largest book sellers in the world. Writers are beginning to challenge the notion that a traditional publishing house is some beneficent entity that must be courted and deferred to. Even the idea of the publishing house, a disjointed amalgam of money lender, talent scout, editor, manager, publicist, ad company and printer, seems challengeable now in a way that would have seemed inconceivable twenty years ago.
But nowhere is the entrenched hold the traditional publisher deeper and more enduring than the field of poetry. While ersatz fan-fiction tops the best-seller lists for mass-market paperbacks, poetry, even in a crass or bastardized form, is largely …

Food for Thought: Women Who Write Poetry and Poetry Criticism (Roundtable)

I am intimidated by poetry criticism because I've spent most of my adult life reading fiction and sometimes writing about fiction. As I age, I've been reading much more poetry and much more poetry criticism, which, given my relative lack of experience with the forms, has left me formulating (what seem to me to be) dumb questions, and trying like mad to find answers that make sense. One of the things I've thought about consistently is the role gender and sex play in my reading and in the litworld at large.

Nearly all of my favorite poets are women (my favorite fiction writers are almost exclusively male), usually somewhat combative as regards sexual and gender roles, and aggressively intellectual (and is that a complex idea?? that the women I reference would pillory me for as merely another example of sexism?? like, why can't women be aggressive in the same way that men seem so comfortable with without being labelled as shrill or dykey or, well, you get the point? at lea…