Tuesday, April 10, 2012

News at Eleven: In his preface to the 1855 edition

of Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman championed the need for a purely American poet, devoid of connection to European poetry: "To [the American poet] the other continents arrive as contributions . . . he gives them reception for their sake and his own sake. His spirit responds to his country's spirit . . . ."

Today, America has perhaps the largest, most vibrant, diverse and democratic poetry communities in the world. And despite the in-fighting, despite the poetry-apocalypse watchers who will have us believe poetry in America is a dying art--thanks to an abundance of MFA programs, small magazines, poetry websites, and poetry slams/open mics--it is apparent that such things are evidence to the dynamism and vitality of poetry in America.

from Highbrow: American Poetry Enters Another 'Golden Age,' Thanks to a Burgeoning, Vibrant Scene


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