Poetic Lives Online: Links by Brian Spears

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Jessica Smith wrote a post about the incivility in the comment stream at Ron Silliman’s blog, and in comment streams in general. Silliman has since turned off his comments, and I can’t say I blame him. Comment streams can become ugly places, especially when you get the kind of traffic Silliman does, and you can find yourself spending so much time moderating that you don’t have time to do anything else. It’s also a little soul-crushing to deal with that much bile over a long period.

Brian Henry argues that poetry criticism is in a perpetual state of crisis, but what he seems to suggest is a bug–“It’s not just that critics cannot agree on which poets or kinds of poetry are the best, but that poetry critics often have no common ground”–I see as a feature. Maybe I’m oversimplifying here, but I can’t think of anything more boring than a world of poetic criticism where critics were all coming from the same stating point, or agreed upon set of values.

Elisa Gabbert asks if poetry is boring.

Have you joined The Rumpus Poetry Book Club yet?

Brian Spears


Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →