16 jun. 2005

I am too tired to solve the reviewing conundrum tonight. Simon's convinced me it's pointless to talk about the "middlebrow" any longer. I don't know what it means anymore. I did this morning but that was a long time ago.

This is what I have so far: I'm thinking the answer is to infiltrate a few mainstream outlets. If you're writing for a mainstream audience you have certain responsiblities to the public and that will eliminate some of the most obvious chuminess and incompetence.

New Yorker Rock critic S. F. J. convinces the New Yorker to hire Jordan Davis as its poetry critic. Jordan gets to write 1 column a month on whatever he wants and to choose a few guest columnist a year.

Steve Burt stays where he is at the Boston Review.

NYRB: Simic does an ok job on some things. We'll keep Simic and get rid of James Fenton. We add a bright academic critics like Nick LoLordo to the staff. Every Clark Coolidge book is intelligently reviewed.

NYTBR: Get rid of Gregory Orr, the New York lawyer of conservative taste. (Yeah, I know his name is not Gregory, but I can't think of what it really is.) JONATHAN MAYHEW is put in charge of all poetry reviewing. (I don't write them myself, I just assign the books to suitable reviewers.)

RAINTAXI: Poetry reviewers are given three times the space. Otherwise, keep as is. Hire an editor to make the reviewers write a little better.

PARNASSUS: Is this still published? Keep as is, but increase diversity of kinds of books reviewed. Should be a quarterly rather than an annual or whatever it is now.

Mother Jones. Poetry critic is Jed Rasula.

The New Criterion fires Wm. Logan, hiring W.S DiPiero instead. Poetry magazine gets rid of their short omnibus format and dumb personal essays and publishes one serious article on a neglected major figure each month.

More poetry journals could publish reviews, maybe. Pierre Joris gets the go ahead from Clayton to revive Sulfur. The Golden Age of poetry reviewing is upon us.

7 comentarios:

Jonathan dijo...


And, though I didn't mention any women reviewers, at least half the reviews will be written by women.

Simon dijo...

This so called poetry "reviewing"... what does it mean? I really don't think it exists.

What's wrong with William Logan? I enjoy his reviews.

Nick LoLordo, I remember him!

Joseph Duemer dijo...

It's not who Logan savages that's the problem, it's who he champions.

Jonathan dijo...

I have no problem with Logan sticking up for the poetry he likes best. Whom does that hurt?

Joseph Duemer dijo...

He sticks up for hacks. That whole New Formalist crew of neo-con nincompoops.

Jonathan dijo...

I'm well aware he sticks up for neo-formalist "nincompoops," but where better to do so than in The New Criterion? That's just the party line, par for the course. That's why I can't get my hackles up over it. Of course, Guy Davenport wrote for them off and on, but he was more the exception to general idiocy of the place. Now that he's dead, they haven no intellectual legitamacy left.

Gary dijo...

FYI, Rain Taxi has an editor, Eric Lorberer. And he does edit. I say this as someone who has had his reviews edited quite a bit over the years by Eric.