The State of the Art

If you’ve been analyzing the wonderful world of poetry and asking yourself: What’s wrong with this picture, then here’s an article by Steve Evans.  His 5 part essay called Free (Market) Verse provides a critique of poetry, politics, and the state of the unionThirdfactory_1 It’s posted now at Third Factory and will soon to be published in The Baffler 17. 

1 comment

  1. Thanks for alerting me to this, Robin. I read it with great respect for Evans’ research into three readers/writers, John Barr, Dana Goia, and Ted Kooser, who are driving much of the appropriations from the federal government to U.S. poetry programs.
    I wonder, though, about the larger, seemingly almost structural, claims that the analysis traffics in. For example, the claim that Ruth Lily’s gift to POETRY was timed to sweeten public perception of the family company during a time when Bush and Congress was giving the pharmaceutical companies tax breaks and indemnifying them from lawsuits over Thimerosal (which, pace Evans, has never been considered by anyone as a “potential cause of autism”; a factor, perhaps, and anyway the literature on autism is much older than Thimerosal). Does anyone think the poetry bureaucracy pays any attention to what the government is doing? Is there a causal relationship to be asserted here?

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