Judy Swann reads David Lehman

Since 1996, April has been National Poetry Month. The initial goal was not the
writing of a poem a day. Instead, according to the publishers, booksellers,
librarians, literary organizations, poets, and teachers who dreamed it up, the goal
was to establish a month-long holiday in celebration of poetry. Volumes of verse
were handed out, poets were invited to read at the White House, and an election
was held to decide which poet should be honored with a postage stamp. Not
everyone saw these developments as praiseworthy. Charles Bernstein, for one,
railed against the month because its sponsors “exclude from its promotional
activities much of the formally innovative and “otherstream” poetries that form the
inchoate heart of the art of poetry…[A]ctivities on behalf of National Poetry Month
tend to focus on the most conventional of contemporary poetry; perhaps an
accurate name for the project might be National Mainstream Poetry Month.
[P]erhaps we should designate August as National Unpopular Poetry Month.”

to be continued at: http://www.nabanassar.com/dlehmanjsw.pdf


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