Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Mary Ann Sullivan

Dear Editor,

Kenneth Goldsmith’s introduction to Flarf and Conceptual Writing [July/August 2009] reads more like a desperate, fast-paced sales pitch than a serious exploration of the breadth and excitement of digital poetry in the twenty-first century. The two specific fads that he mentions are just that: fads, something Language poets have named and labeled, with the hope that many poets will engage and follow. I would like to encourage poets to challenge themselves to go beyond the fads, because there is an open field ahead in the realm of digital poetry. Extremely creative poems are now emerging in Europe that utilize video.

The ideology from which Flarf and Conceptual Writing derive is tired and old. Language Poetry theories were exciting in the postmodern era. But simply translating those theories and forms of nonsensical verse into digital poetry is not at all creative.  

new durham, new hampshire

Originally Published: October 1, 2009

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

October 2009
 Mary Ann Sullivan

Biography

Mary Ann Sullivan earned a BA from Framingham State College, an MFA from Norwich University, and a Doctor of Arts from Franklin Pierce University. Her poetry has been published online by the BBC Arts Online and BlazeVox, her literary commentaries with Jacket and The Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, London. While a cloistered Cistercian nun, Sullivan wrote traditional poetry, some of which appears online in the e-chap Mending . . .

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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