Poetry News

Punk's Not Dead, and Poetry's Not Either

By Harriet Staff

Anis Shivani, in The Huffington Post, asks a number of “prominent” poets a series of totally abstract questions:

Is American poetry at a dead-end? Have American poets betrayed the great legacy of modernism? Why or why not? What worries you about the present moment in poetry? Do you see signs of life? Where is the most promising new work coming from? What is your advice to a young poet trying to make sense of the current poetry scene?

The answers are also pretty abstract, with a lot of hand-wringing about how technology is going to change writing in unforeseen ways, and condescending “advice” to young poets about avoiding “careerism,” “fashion,” and the “po-biz.” Anyway, at least Elaine Equi betrays some sort of generative optimism:

because of the influence of technology, people today are ery excited by notions of networking and dialogue. So potentially this period could lead to a real renaissance of collaborative writing and cross genre work. All in all, I'm pretty confident about the resilience and adaptability of American poetry in the 21st century. It's movies and TV I'm worried about.

Originally Published: December 13th, 2010