If you haven’t flamed out yet on all things Rethinking Poetics, check out this PDF (including the paper she delivered centered on Jon Rubin, the Independent School of Art, and the Conflict Kitchen) by Stephanie Young.
Her “Repoport” sparks at least a couple thoughts. One is that until I left the Bay Area, and came to a place without quite so many programs, I didn’t really appreciate how much the robust extramural poetry scene there depends on an audience made up of people who go to a school there, or work at a school there, or went to a school there, or are partnered with someone who works or goes or went to a school there. (Stephanie guesstimates the active number MFA students alone—excluding recent grads—may be as high as 350.) When it comes to the academic soviet, we’re all different shades of Shostakovich.
The other’s that one of the more pervasive effects of that particular clot of status and capital known as The University is the “weird mole” feeling it creates among so many poets, the uncomfortably fractured sensation of being at the same time inside burrowing out and outside smuggled (“snuggled”!) in. (Paradoxically, it’s often the ones that seem most “in” who feel it most acutely.) This more or less permanent state of “quasi-” inflects our poetics, and attempts to rethink it, all six ways to Sunday. Which is maybe why the usual metrics for sorting who’s in from who’s out aren’t working right now like they should. It may also account for the sticky homogeneity that tends to prevail wherever these tribal assemblies happen.
Third (bonus) thought: Stephanie’s blogging!
12 hours ago