“.. what we need in poetry are more people who don’t have a stake in it, more people who don’t know the people, the real people behind the words to care about poetry enough to write about it. This is true in every other field, it seems, but us. This is a problem because there is hardly any “demand” for poetry beyond practicing poets.”
Victoria Chang making an excellent point. When was the last time you read a review of someone’s poetry by a practicing poet that said: I consider this work weak, for the following reasons…?
Either people (and that includes me) say stuff is great, or they say nothing. I’ve been on a recent roll of ordering and reading chapbooks and collections by poetry blogosphere poets. Some of it is really good stuff and I have been and will continue to write enthusiastically about it.
Some of it, though, makes me go WTF?! and wonder what the publishing world and standards in general are coming to. I could defend my WTF reactions meaningfully and respectfully in reviews, I think, but I’m choosing not to. Choosing not to even begin to go there.
For snivelingly cowardly reasons, mostly related to my self-interest as an aspiring poet myself.
Woe is me. And us. Where are we going to get the critical feedback we really need, if we’re all so busy scratching each other’s backs…?
Related post here.