Letter from Poetry Magazine

Letter to the Editor

by Ismail Bala

Dear Editor,

For someone tucked away in a part of the world where books and journals, like everything else, are either hard to come by or too expensive, it was indeed a pleasant and memorable experience when I came across a copy of Poetry (March 2009) in my university library. That chance encounter was the first time for me (though I’ve known the magazine for quite a long time). And it was all thanks to the generosity and largesse of the MacArthur Foundation’s Journal Donation Program.

I found several of the poems and comments very pertinent and revealing. I especially welcomed the outstanding contribution by John Ashbery. I read each of the four poems (“Uptick,” “El Dorado,” “Leave the Hand In,” and “Boundary Issues”) several times, and in each reading found that my appreciation extended further.

I was also impressed by C.K.Williams’s essay (“Solitary Caverns: On Globalization and Poetry”). I remain more optimistic than he for the prospect of reconciling the vagaries of the so-called globalization of the art with the unprecedented literary vistas and cultural awareness that globalization has opened up. But Williams’s piece, like his poetry, reveals his self-reflecting, self-assessing restlessness within a larger cultural context.
In the end, having been enamored with Poetry, all I can do is enthuse.

kano, nigeria

Originally Published: February 1, 2010

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This prose originally appeared in the February 2010 issue of Poetry magazine

February 2010

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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