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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  July 2012

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS July 2012

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Subject:

Re: Response to Seth Abramson

From:

Jamie McKendrick <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British & Irish poets <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 14 Jul 2012 20:53:22 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hi Jeffrey,
  I'm not sure what the bio tells us in this respect and I haven't read 
enough of his poems to have any sense of where he might belong - in what 
anyway I find a tedious way of mapping poetry. (What I have read doesn't 
really fit your idea of "descriptive or anecdotal verse".)
   What he says himself is:
"The avant-garde is, as ever, where the future of poetics and poetry lays: 
It deserves much better than this."
  (You say lays, I say lies.) Whatever his allegiances, it rather glues up 
discussion to say the only reason someone disagrees with you is because he 
belongs to the enemy camp. It may just as well be that he finds what you're 
saying unconvincing or untrue. Besides, if the complaint was the exclusion 
of 'otherstream' by the institutional avant-garde then as likely the 
mainstream would be on Bob's side, on the principle that my enemy's enemy is 
my friend. Ach, a plague on all three houses.
Jamie

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jeffrey Side" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, July 14, 2012 8:03 PM
Subject: Re: Response to Seth Abramson


You might find Bob Grumman’s response to Abramson’s criticism of Grumman’s 
definition of the term “the Otherstream” less "rude" than my response to him 
was:

http://poeticks.com/2012/07/13/entry-798-grumman-versus-abramson/

Given Abramson’s mainstream (and please let us not have to go into a debate 
about my use of that word) credentials, it’s hardly surprising he is 
critical of alternative ideas about poetry. Here is some biographical 
information about him at The Huffington post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/seth-abramson/





--------------------------------------------------------------------



Jeffrey, your response to Seth Abramson's piece just repeats the same point 
again and again that he is "obsessed" with creative writing programmes. If 
he is confusing your use of the "Academy" - or seeing it as too vague a term 
to be helpful - surely the way forward would be to clarify your use of the 
word, rather than merely to assert terms change their meanings.
And personalizing the disagreement as you do is really the lowest form of 
argument:
“Yes, I do realise, Seth, that your various writings are, perhaps, mainly 
intended as audition pieces for you to one day gain an esteemed academic 
position, but they seem little more than that to me, I’m afraid."
I confess I've little knowledge of MFAs, and not too much interedst in them, 
but at least he attempts to supply an informative and factual history of 
their emergence whereas Jake Berry's Argotist piece seemed to me very vague 
indeed.
The idea of "Academicising" poetry and the growth of creative writing 
programmes surely are linked, and not so easily separated, as Berry's 
reference to the Iowa course concedes: poets are trained up within and go on 
to teach at these courses. I have some sympathy for Abramson's concern that 
the terms of the Argotist debate are so unclear as to make it all too easy 
to ignore.
Jamie 

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