memorial for a brilliant woman

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

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)

1 comment:

Terre said...

I really agree with you! It amazes me to see what the literary world considers prize-worthy.
I like to read something that I can understand, and FEEL (like the poems you have posted here! And, I am NOT being a suck-up!) Sometimes I think that the people in the position to judge these things are so insecure that they choose the wierd entries because it makes THEM seem intellectually superior because they supposedly GET it. Unlike the rest of us - who read the thing and wonder what in the world the writer is talking about! Oh well....