The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

barristerjubril writes:

"Speaking of Jorie Graham--have you followed the whole debacle?"

Debacle? I know that tracks what it calls "fraudulent" contests—do you mean this? or did something else happen? If barristerjubril is just referring to foetry's mission, I guess the idea that poets tend to give prizes and good reviews to their friends and students isn't one that's surprising to me. Pound had Eliot write an anonymous appreciation of him back before Eliot became famous (it's called EZRA POUND HIS METRIC AND POETRY, Knopf published it), and even back in the Romantic days Coleridge and Wordsworth logrolled for each other. Wasn't that what the EDINBURGH REVIEW was for in the early nineteenth century?

Just to say that if the Iowa-Harvard mafia (Graham now has the Boylston chair in Cambridge, a job that used to belong to Emerson, MacLeish, and Robert Hillyer) keeps the treasures to itself we shouldn't be surprised—it's in the best tradition.

On another tip, I had a Young Poetic Lion come to class today to speak, a good young poet trained at Pitt and other places, with a good perspective on the place of workshop writers versus the self-trained. He was a little of both—even had a funny story about how he applied to Iowa but, coming from the rural South, he didn't have a good idea of where the school was, so he sent his writing sample to Iowa State. Needless to say, neither Jorie Graham nor Frank Conroy wrote him back.


  • At 8:28 PM, Blogger Barristerjubril said…

    Well, I also believe that intimated, at some point, that Jorie Graham was a big ol' ho. And what's with coming down on me like that in your post ('debacle? if you mean--)? Little condescending there, dontcha think?


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