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School of Quietitude?

By Kenneth Goldsmith

A commenter on Silliman’s blog asked the following question:
“Just curious Ron, but are any of your SoQ [School of Quietitude] poets happy to be tagged with this label now, today? Does anyone refer to him/herself as SoQ? As I say, just curious.”
I’m curious too. Do any of the other bloggers or readers of Harriet identify themselves as such? Either way, how does Silliman’s term strike you? Does such as school exist or is it a figment of Ron’s imagination?

Comments (5)

  • On June 16, 2007 at 4:32 pm Brian Salchert wrote:

    I recently identified myself as a School of Quietude poet in a poem I wrote and then placed online in my journal. I did so in part to alleviate the onus–call it a poetic coming out if you wish, and in part because for me it is at heart true, and partly in jest because I am so diverse.
    Brian Salchert

  • On June 18, 2007 at 4:31 pm Emily Warn wrote:

    Uh, I don’t think blogging on Harriet could ever earn a DieKu poet the tag of SoQ, or any other poet for that matter.
    The problem with SoQ is shared by all categories, especially when they’re used to tag groups of human beings: they are shortcuts for our brains which are too primitive to perceive or process too many stimuli or differences at one time.
    In this month’s POETRY magazine, which Ron Silliman has tagged SoQ, Charles Bernstein, Ange Mlinko, and Frank Bidart appear. Does that mean they’re SoQ poets?
    What does SoQ mean anyway? Does anyone point to the original post on Silliman’s blog?

  • On June 21, 2007 at 1:26 am Jilly wrote:

    Emily: there are roughly 1,700 mentions of “quietude” on Mr. Silliman’s blog but I think the first is mentioned here.
    It is likely that if you ask your questions in the comments section of a recent post of his blog you will get your answers there as well.
    Take care.

  • On June 22, 2007 at 2:10 pm Danielle Chapman wrote:

    Hi Kenneth,
    I don’t think it’s possible for a writer to identify with the SoQ label unless it’s with irony (as with the commenter above), because it’s an essentially pejorative label, with only the most generalized characteristics. SoQ does not define a type of poetry, but says what a kind of poetry is NOT. SoQ for Silliman is anything that’s NOT his idea of the “avant-garde.”
    What I find most interesting to consider is the possibility that truly avant-garde work (which shatters some set of assumptions we don’t even know we hold) is just as, or even more, likely to emerge from outside some codified “school” (like Silliman’s)—i.e. from the vast, undefinable realm of Everything Else, which he calls the SoQ—as from within it.

  • On June 28, 2007 at 1:32 pm emily warn wrote:

    1700 mentions? Crikey!
    You’re right, though Jilly, if I have questions, I should go to the source.
    Thanks for your post and the links,

Posted in Uncategorized on Saturday, June 16th, 2007 by Kenneth Goldsmith.