Letter from Poetry Magazine

Danielle Chapman Responds

by Danielle Chapman
Danielle Chapman responds:

Reginald Shepherd makes a compelling argument for difficult poems, but I can't see what it has to do with the confused poetic "thought" represented in his anthology. In fact, the very lucidity of his prose, because it actually gives you something to respond to, something to think about, amounts to an unintentional indictment of the work he defends. There's a vast difference between the poet who employs a powerful intellect to reconcile genuine experience—including original thought—and the one who manufactures pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-experimental poems as an excuse to show off his or her "intelligence." Most of the poets in the Iowa Anthology fall into the latter category.
Originally Published: October 30, 2005

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This prose originally appeared in the April 2005 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2005


 Danielle  Chapman


Danielle Chapman is the author of the poetry collection Delinquent Palaces (Northwestern University Press 2015). Her poetry has appeared in magazines and journals such as The Atlantic, Harvard Review, and The Nation, and The New Yorker. She is a critic as well as a poet, and her reviews have appeared in Poetry and the New York Times. Chapman directed the publishing-industry programs for the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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