I don't think it's that they are there but are less well known because they are black, it really is the case that there are not many of them, full stop, and yes, asking why that is the case is very important, I'm just wary of it being used for negative reasons.
We could return to the class thing of course (even though it is not so obvious) and give the same reason for a lack of black poets within the avant world as we could give to the lack of white working class poets, or poets who like myself come from the working class. But this too gets complicated, especially by interesting generational factors. The generation of the so-called 'poetry revival' were more likely to come from working class backgrounds than the later generation, and certainly a lot more than those currently up-and-coming. There are sociological reasons for these things that only touch on the actual poetry itself through cultural and educational changes.
I don't know enough about the American scene to know if what you point out as Hong's main complaint is valid or not over there, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't apply here in the much smaller, and hence transparent, UK scene.
I'm going to try and check out the papers Sean mentioned.
On 25 Aug 2015, at 13:03, David Lace wrote:
> Thanks for the explanation, Tim.
> I suppose what I'm trying to find out (and it might be impossible to) is why there are not many black poets operating in the avant/innovative sphere, and of the ones who are, why they have remained less known (or mentioned) than white ones. This lack of acknowledgment is puzzling, and I think this is the main complaint of Hong's essay.
> -----------Original Message---------------
> Your first question below is easy to answer (and Tony and Robert have answered it) - there are black poets operating in the 'avant/innovative sphere', but not many, as pointed out.