Thursday, August 02, 2007

More Fists Fly Over the Poetry Foundation

In the ongoing saga of The Poetry Foundation Is Ruining Everything, Everything!, John Casteen unloads on David Orr in the Virginia Quarterly Review (for attacking Dana Goodyear in the New York Times Book Review, for besmearing Poetry in The New Yorker). This is getting complicated.

Luckily, Casteen's essay is not. The gist of it is basically that Poetry doesn't know what the hell it's doing or what proper poetry criticism looks like: Thank you Dana Goodyear for pointing out what all the rest of us were so worried about; shame on you David Orr for questioning the prevailing wisdom of the poetry community (that Poetry is running amok, sinking fast, a bajillion-dollar disaster, a disgrace to its own history and poets everywhere). Or something like that.

I continue to be a bit befuddled by all the hand-wringing and righteousness, but the spectacle is entertaining. Who will step up in David Orr's defense? Stay tuned as there are certain to be more rounds to come.

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