National Poetry Month’s Coming
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been putting together the National Poetry Month project for The Rumpus, where I’m the poetry editor. It’s a fair amount of work, wrangling 30 poems from 30 different people in various stages of their careers, balancing styles and genders and ethnicities and ages among other things. And I’m not done yet–I have agreements from 28 poets so far, but only 12 have sent me poems.
I’m very pleased with the selection I’ve received, and a little nervous–I solicited poems from people outside my personal aesthetic, and as a result, I’m not always sure if what I selected from their submissions is really “good” in the minds of those who share the aesthetic those poets represent. I know what I like and why I like it, but I didn’t want this project to become “poems Brian likes by poets Brian likes.” That’s boring.
And the project might wind up boring anyway, at least in the eyes of some readers. I can handle that. I expect it, frankly–there are hardcore personalities out there who dismiss anything that doesn’t fit their view of what poetry should be, and my choices won’t always satisfy them (and might never satisfy them).
But I don’t think it will be boring, at least not if everyone comes through with the poems they’ve promised. There will be a wide range of voices, fairly represented and promoted to the greatest extent I can manage. I even have the promise of a translation or two, which is something I’ve been trying to expand The Rumpus’s coverage of, especially in poetry.
All right–time to get my paying work done so I can go back to doing the fun work.
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