New Yorker loves poems about poetry

Filed under: The Publishing Biz — marcia at 12:54 pm on Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Brow Beat blog over at Slate looked at every poem in the New Yorker over the last few years and found that 27 percent of them were about writing poetry. How meta! Is it furtive pandering, since it’s likely that only poets read the poems in the New Yorker? (Ugh, why does criticizing the New Yorker make me feel guilty? Damn you, venerable magazine, for making me feel this way!)

I like poetry that evokes an emotional response, plays with language and challenges how I see things by showing me a unique vision. It’s possible that a poem about words and writing could do that, of course. But I think this figure, if true, points to an insular poetry editor.

To be fair, I can be a bit churlish about writers writing about writing in their fiction writing. I did, after all, throw “The Human Stain” across the room and yell “Whhhhy?” as soon as I realized someone in the book was writing a book about the characters I was reading a book about. (Criticizing Philip Roth to make a disclaimer about criticizing the New Yorker … that has to require at least a a dozen Hail Marys.)

Bonus: How to win the New Yorker cartoon caption contest

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>