Monday, 12 May 2014


In a fascinating round-table discussion with Molly Peacock, Robert McGill, and E Martin Nolan, Jason Guriel complains that Canadian poets don't pay enough attention to readers:
I get that we live in an age of very diverse audiences, but I don’t entirely think that’s true. It’s easier to simply say, “We’re never going to get that reader again, anyway, so it’s fine if my poem isn’t calibrated to get someone’s attention.” There’s a way in which Canadian poets are not always orienting themselves toward a reader. I remember reviewing an anthology that Shane Neilson edited called Approaches to Poetry: The Pre-Poem Moment. The anthology featured a number of poets, and printed a poem by each and an essay about how they came to write that poem. I was struck by the poets who were like, “I don’t have any designs on the reader. I don’t have any calculations and I’m not trying to impress anybody.” I remember thinking that a little bit more calculation, a little bit more showmanship, wouldn’t necessarily have been a horrible thing.

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