Saturday, January 5, 2019

Looking back at Poetry in 2018

Michael Dirda, discussing the Best American Poetry 2018 volume, says that the theme that most characterizes American poetry is "American poetry’s reverence for genuineness, for authenticity":
In the introductory essay, Dana Gioia points out an odd statistic: for years, surveys show that youngest group of adults (ages 18–24) read more poetry than any other segment, and poetry reading is increasing, not decreasing.  He suggests that a huge cultural shift has occurred with literary performance and digital media. Technology has allowed poetry to reconnect with its auditory origins:
"The chief way American poets now reach their audience is through readings, either live or transmitted by radio, television, and internet... Print now coexists with other equally powerful media for poetry."

and Tracy K. Smith, in the New York Times, proclaims "political poetry is hot again".
(but I still hate political poetry*).

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The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau