1.25.2010

New Poetry is discussing a bit the "41 moves"
http://htmlgiant.com/craft-notes/moves-in-contemporary-poetry/

Many of which are rhetorical figures. Like the one Matthea Harvey uses in her first book.

It is a fairly decent list of poets who are considered to be more
adventurous Americans, mostly teachers of poetry in well-known
programs, some MacArthur recipients, who are not associated with the
language poets , nor with experimental poets or innovative writing per
se (with exceptions). I.e., American poets with writing that DEPENDS on "moves." Their teaching often depends on quasi-formal assignments and "writing
exercises". Perhaps they are less familiar in some ways because they
already have a certain reputation.

Alice Fulton
Jack Gilbert
Heather McHugh
Lynn Emmanuel
Dean Young
Mary Jo Bang

Brenda Shaughnessy
Matthea Harvey
Jeffrey McDaniel are younger

Dorianne Laux is not adventurous in form or content

K. Silem Mohammed
C.D. Wright
Marjorie Welish
Harryette Mullen
Ron Sillman are more innovative

The more unfamiliar names are mostly names of Elisa's peers and
poetryfriends, many of whom have one book out on a small American
press.

Right, there are exceptions, as I mentioned. Welish and Wright, too.

Through I think Silliman relies on something akin to a move more than,
oh, Hejinian.

Are these lines dull because of the moves, or are the poets dull?
Well, one thing is that most of these moves are about lines; some are
rhetorical figures, others aren't. And the examples of compound nonce
words aren't; they're just two words run together.

And the example of illogical causation doesn't seem to be causation.
So does that make it illogical?

Here's a longer sample from the "illogical causation" poet:
http://www.typomag.com/issue06/mark.html



[the choice of
examples seems dulled, and based on a who's who in a part of a poetry scene
that, like all the others, thinks itself the centre of the universe.]

It's more ignorance coupled with enthusiasm, in my view. If one's map
isn't that detailed, it only includes the prize winners, the faculty,
the capitals.

Some of these people are notorious for some of these lines in
particular, or for using this grab bag of tricks, Harvey, Fulton,
Shaughnessy, Bang, in particular.

[what about "moves"]

I immediately thought of Libby Rifkin's _Career Moves_; her own career
got a big push when she happened to be researching at UC San Diego
during the pagemothers conference --

Of course, my sneaking suspicion for the past twenty years is that
free verse which relies on rhetoric, logical fluff ups, and a few
slippery workshop tricks is dead. I have been proven wrong. And my
work which is like this has been more difficult to get into print than
the other stuff. There is a key variation, which is a sort of
clotted, gothic, decorated style. And Cole Swensen's version of found
poetry, especially now she teaches at Iowa.

I am perhaps not proven wrong: the MFA culture has gotten larger and
more powerful, and this is the writing which "comes across" to the
converted, while not being "poet's poetry." I have been trying to get
rid of books again, and the ones selling are just exactly this type of
new work that's sort of dull.