The Poetry of Democracy

. In my Poetic License column for the fall issue of West, I return to last year’s New York Review of Books contretemps between Helen Vendler and Rita Dove over the latter’s The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. When I first wrote about the dispute, I considered the the politics in poetry. In “Diction and […]

Diction and Democracy

. The Huffington Post/Chronicle of Higher Education offered a well-written and observed overview late last week of the Vendler-Dove conflict regarding Dove’s Penguin anthology of twentieth century poetry. Author Peter Monaghan kindly cited my own “The Politics in Poetry” a couple of times, but he unfortunately covered only the more easily reviewed cultural politics – […]

The Politics in Poetry: Vendler vs. Dove

. Poetry is relevant! I kid poetry. Poetry is always relevant. What do you think The Iliad was doing if it wasn’t writing the history of the victors? The inept and cowardly Paris stole Helen from Menelaus – sure. I wonder how the Trojans might have told that story. It has also long been facile […]

The Five Most Misconceived Criteria for Determining the Fifteen Most Overrated Contemporary American Writers

Yes, that may be the longest title I have ever placed above a piece of my writing, but only the first six of the words are mine. The remainder is appropriated from Anis Shivani’s post the other day at Huffington Post. It’s gotten a lot of reaction, elsewhere, and, as I write, over 1650 comments […]