The July 2013 issue of Harper’s has an article that has sparked considerable amounts of debate in the world of contemporary poetry. Mark Edmundson’s “Poetry Slam: Or, The Decline of American Verse” is being widely responded to. (There’s a link, but you need a subscription or to pick up an actual copy of the magazine.) A smattering of links:
Ron Charles immediately reported on Edmundson’s polemic in The Washington Post with “Why is Modern Poetry So Bad?” (Though his use of “modern” in the title probably signals a certain ignorance of twentieth and twenty-first century poetry . . . .)
Also reported at The Poetry Foundation, Susan Schultz has written “‘But it Matters’: Mark Edmundson and the Extremely Bad State of Contemporary Poetry,” at the Tinfish Editor’s Blog.
At The Rumpus David Biespiel writes, “The Cynicism of Mark Edmundson, or Poetry is Still Not Dead.”
And an Elisa (w/ no quickly discernible last name) writes “Some Quick Thoughts on the Harper’s ‘Poetry Slam’ Article.”
Though I will not weigh in, I have to wonder that if an attack on contemporary poetry has occasioned so many defenses so quickly, then, well . . . .