Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Last week I posted an unsigned announcement of the publication of a book of poems (see below.) This announcement was widely read as an endorsement of these poems and of this poet, and inasmuch as it was unsigned, it was read as a community endorsement. I have since signed the announcement and, through email, apologized to the members of this blog. I do not intend to be representative of this community or to endorse this book or its poet in the name of others. I did not, in fact, intend to endorse this book at all, but rather to stimulate a critical discussion of editorship and of how poets have entered and manipulated a field of forces that appear where ever the desire to be read and the desire to be well-known must compete for meager funds. More than just poetry appears when a book of poems is printed, and I wanted others to write about the substantial remainder.
I believed that an announcement of the publication of this book would be adequate to these ends. The poet has not been reviewed favorably here. He has held (at times, I have heard) an antagonistic relationship with the opinions of this blog and a suspect relationship with some members of the Philadelphia poetry community. I do not care to write of the circumstances of these indictments of his person no more than I care to defend the poet of them.
This morning I was reminded that an announcement is not an endorsement, but neither is it implicitly or explicitly a critical discussion or a call to critical discussion. I should have set out in the announcement to contain any sense of an endorsement of this work and I should have called for a critical discussion. I do so now, and I invite those who wish to read this book and extend critical discussion of it to the politics of publishing to respond to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.