I'm dissatisfied with that response to Tony Tost. There are several factors to be considered. (1) Tone. When I say "our poetry is better than their poetry" it is something I really believe, although I am willing to express it in seemingly facetious tone, rather than with measured qualifications. I am hoping that everyone realizes I am also capable of the other mode of discourse. The tone of the original BAP face-off was totally facetious and totally earnest at the same time. (2) Self-dramatization. Just as I could earnestly point out that Zukofsky is already the the thinking man's Zukofsky, and totally miss the joke, I think my self-presentation as know-it-all Dr. Mayhew is totally over the top. (3) Knowledge as power. My point about David Shapiro and Merwin, for example. I pointed out that many of David Shapiro books were NOT IN THE LIBRARY or had not been checked out ever. So the likelihood is that a Graduate Student in English in a University of the Midwest might write one of those "one chapter one Ashbery, one chapter on Adrienne Rich, one chapter on Merwin" style dissertations, and never know that there were "better" poets out there. This has nothing to do with taste, but with breadth of knowledge. Since I'm not an English professor I have to read American poetry in my spare time, keeping up as best I can by reading Silliman's blog every day. Nothing is more satisfying than discovering new writers.