Wednesday, 23 September 2009

From "Poetic Speciation and Diversification"

By Peter Philpott.

[...] So, I’m sure you can get my drift here. My assumption is the non-academic one that poetry has survived as a cultural activity through its relative ease of access, and its direct relationship with human needs involving the range of functions language plays in our lives. It is readily produced, readily consumed. It is at root unspecialised. There’s plainly a form of it, or range of forms of it, I feel, as I daresay you do, important and worthy of survival and further development. Its value is that it is also at root unspecialised, highly variable and adaptable. Even British Innovative Poetry must be approachable on terms that don’t necessitate academic training and in places that are separate from higher education.

It seems dangerous to me that the academic ecological niche is becoming so important. I have overheard people commenting that they needed to do an MA to become a writer. This fills me with despair [...]


Jeffrey Side said...

I agree with Peter. I left the following comment on his blog a few weeks ago, but it could be relevent here too:

'It seems to me, that this growing trend towards gaining academic legitimacy for innovative poetry, is partly based on a sense of inferiority that without it such poetry will continue to be seen as “not quiet up to scratch” in the more conservative halls of academia. But such a panic-stricken attitude, is, I believe, a mistake, as it will only cause innovative poetry to be seen as a practice and topic of discussion that is only open to those within academia. This not only will be bad for such poetry from a public relations point of view (and it has quite a poor PR standing amongst the general public as it is) but it will cause a backlash against it, with younger poets who have a more romanticised idea of what avant-garde poetry is, and how it is written and disseminated, forming antipathetic groups and schools. And does this sort of poetry really need more factions representing it?'

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