FOETRY! (who was that masked man?)

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And what has he done with my poetic reputation?

find out here

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3 Comments

  1. Al Cordle said,

    May 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Hi There!

    Part 2 of Daniel Nester’s interview with me is now up. He asked me about Monday Love!

  2. thomasbrady said,

    May 15, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Monday Love! Monday Love!

    When the pressure was on, when we got demoralized, I was always the optimist, urging the little band to keep going. Of course it was easy for me, obscure in my little apartment with my wife and my two babies, working my little clerk job, hiding behind Monday Love.

    From the first time I read Burt’s article in the Boston Globe on Foetry and then discovered the site itself, I knew it was for me, and pretty much right away I thought Foetry did have an aesthetic angle, that it did explain more than just ‘bad contest! crooked poet!’ There was a delicious narrowing, since American poetry since the Writing Program era had become so immense and smug and self-satisfied; it was a thrill to learn that, in the way Al was looking at things, American poetry was, in actuality, small and connected. That was important, because to get a handle on something that had been so vast and self-satisfied, to see it, in its depraved, gossipy, greedy, mundane reality, was crucial in getting past its pomposity and unquestioning vastness..the whole Foetry question was not so much moral for me as aesthetic, because aesthetics is finally about shape and form and if something is too big, it doesn’t have form, and it has no aesthetics, it’s just thousands and thousands of books of nice poetry by people on campus. Foetry changed all that for me. It didn’t make the old aesthetics (“oh here’s a nice poem about the poet’s mom”) go away, it made what the aesthetics sprang from, more real. It was like finding out that God (poetry) was really a person after all.

    The dilemma of many: if Foetry is a moral issue there are moral issues out there with much higher stakes, and if it’s not a moral issue, then it’s not an issue did not strike me as true; I wasn’t comparing the magnitude of Foetry’s moral dimension with other larger moral issues; I thought Foetry did have a moral dimension, but the key thing for me about it was that the moral dimension was impacting the aesthetics, and that’s why it was ultimately important; the idea of the embarrassed and compromised poet was fascinating to me, because poets for so long were seen as universally good, and I thought, aesthetically, that’s bad. Poetry as it existed in America in the 70s and 80s and 90s didn’t seem human, it had something untouchable and ill-defined about it. It was getting more and more avant-garde and yet more and more academically genteel at the same time. There was something false about the whole business. Foetry gave poetry a face in the human world. It was a small crack in the great facade of self-satisfied, postwar, program era poetry and I’m still looking at the little crack, watching it lengthen and writhe and grow…

    Oh yea, I loved that pie chart!


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