Poetry, Capitalism, & Accessibility (via A Compulsive Reader)

I came across this fascinating blog post on A Compulsive Reader while up late fighting anxiety over my upcoming trip to Nepal. I’m still writing my lecture, “Poetry Slam as Populist Art Form,” for presentation at Universities in Kathmandu and found this article great for late night fodder. Enjoy!

Jeremy Schmall on HTMLGIANT discusses the relationship between poetry and global capitalism: In almost every measure we use to gauge success—money earned, books sold, widespread popular relevance, public recognition—poetry today is an absolute failure. My argument is that’s a good thing. Schmall continues on to state what he sees as possibly the future purpose of poetry: The truly great promise of poetry—today, right now—is as a functioning site … Read More

via A Compulsive Reader

One response to this post.

  1. I’m fascinated by his argument, also by the other argument that poetry SHOULDN’T be accessible. Which just goes against my meaning and understanding of the word accessible. Accessible to me doesn’t mean “easy to understand” it mean…s inclusive and attentive to the experiences of x group, while avoiding condescension, paternalism, and/or a colonizing attitude towards experiences not ones own. It also means reshaping and/or smashing the gates of academe and publishing that continue to marginalize people of color, queer people, women, gender queers, working class writers, immigrant narratives, disabled writers and on and on by cannonizing the old and continuing to ignore the new or market it as a niche or hip.

    The idea that accessibility isn’t something to strive for… without it, poetry WILL die off. Right now poetry’s kind of like a royal family on a secluded island only having sex with itself. It has all kinds of rare blood disorders and we need to do some serious traveling and transfuse it. I.e. stretch our writing and our capability and our reach through risk, transgression, creation of new work and anti-oppressive framework.

    Phew. Well, that’s easy enough to fix, right? (#sarcasm #sarcasm #sarcasm)


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