I know, I was going to post on the James River Writers Festival and the visit by the Poetry Bus- I will, I will-
in the meantime:
The National Book Foundation announced the finalists today for the 2006 National Book Awards.
The poetry nominees are:
* Louise Gluck, Averno. (wow- Italy and myths, there's a couple of untouched subjects. Sure, she's acraftsmann, but this is navel gazing at best, scholarly at worst. She and Hix are in a dead heat IMO- DEAD heat.)
* H.L. Hix, Chromatic. (it took so e searching to find this- these poems are better than any of the rest IMO- this guy can have the prize)
* Ben Lerner, Angle of Yaw (whatever- last year every poet choked on their own vomit, but nobody noticed- the nonsensical, mannered prose poem is way overdone)
* Nathaniel Mackey, Splay Anthem (yoohoo- I'm black and like jazz did you catch the cool words?- the only frayed ribbon he fails to grab is something about New Orleans, but I guess the book was pre-Katrina)
* James McMichael, Capacity (sweet jesus, can I possibly read this entire poem without drowning in it- and not in a good way??? Omigod, this is tedium personified)
I've linked to some net poetry by some of these people and other than Gluck (semi-yawn), I think these poets are just writing weird for the sake of weird (see note on Hix). I mean, who do they write this crap for?? Their peers?? Which I guess are academy oafs who don't want to be accessible or understood.
Check it out for yourself-
It makes me want to cry. Seriously- why do I bother when THIS STUFF is what's uplifted? (It's okay, no one reads my blog anyway)