First, and excerpt:
So, I have questions for all of you who read this blog: How we can get back to the pleasure of the art rather than the jockeying for position, awards and writing personal attacks masquerading as "literary criticism?" How do we set a larger place at the poetry table for those working outside the academy? How do we make the art of poetry interesting and compelling to the next generation that doesn't want an MFA or teaching gig? How do we take the insular and make it open?
I like working from the inside out—creating events, venues, publications, etc. that everyday poets and poet lovers want to be a part of. You [Collin] do that, too. The effort doesn’t guarantee mass audiences or increased readership. but I take satisfaction from reaching one person at a time. How do most revolutions start? One person at a time.
We need to have enough Hawkeye/Norma Rae/Peter Finch (from the movie Network) moments where we collectively say, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!” Until then, the status quo remains in place. Civility stays at arms’ length, same poets read at the same events, and nothing changes. This system seems to be working for someone, otherwise we’d all be standing on the tops of tables demanding change. I put my money, however, on you [Collin], on me, and to those who care to make change in the poetry community happen by any means necessary.
I thought Read Write Poem was on its way to shifting the balance but it collapsed before it took off. Starting the conversation, doing something—those are steps in the right direction.
How do we make poetry more open?