Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by John Poch
Dear Editor,

When I finally got to Adam Kirsch's wacky thesis that "because there is not enough recognition, [people] make art" ["The Fight for Recognition," November 2008], it hit me that he might be writing satire. Kirsch's odd assumption neglects to recognize the myriad reasons why poets write. For starters, there is the completely opposite view, that one might write for someone else—to bless, inspire, help, love. Of course, some would see this as romantic, but you couldn't disprove the notion. Or one might write for the mystery that is the pleasure of language. And then there's Nietzsche: "We have Art in order that we may not perish from Truth." I'm sure the readers of Poetry could think of dozens more reasons why we make art beyond the need for "recognition."

Lubbock, Texas

Originally Published: December 30, 2008

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This prose originally appeared in the January 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

January 2009




John Poch was born in Erie, Pennsylvania. He earned an MFA from the University of Florida and a PhD from the University of North Texas. The inaugural Colgate University Creative Writing Fellow, Poch also received the “Discovery”/The Nation Prize. His collections of poetry include Poems (2004), Two Men Fighting with a Knife (2008), and Dolls (2009). He teaches at Texas Tech University.

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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