Posts Tagged ‘writing poetry essays’

The International Anti-Poetry Month movement

December 11, 2007

Here are some excerpts of a great essay by Charles Bernstein (“Against National Poetry Month As Such”); University of Chicago Press has the whole thing available online here. It’s not very long, it’s pretty funny, and despite that there is a strong degree of honesty about it.

“National Poetry Month is about making poetry safe for readers by promoting examples of the art form at its most bland and its most morally “positive.” The message is: Poetry is good for you. But, unfortunately, promoting poetry as if it were an “easy listening” station just reinforces the idea that poetry is culturally irrelevant and has done a disservice not only to poetry deemed too controversial or difficult to promote but also to the poetry it puts forward in this way. “Accessibility” has become a kind of Moral Imperative based on the condescending notion that readers are intellectually challenged, and mustn’t be presented with anything but Safe Poetry. As if poetry will turn people off to poetry.”

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