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News: Foetry.Com v.2 Forum Archive Through May 2007
 
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Poll
Question: Is Jeffrey Levine a suitable choice to head the new Crazyhorse/Tupelo Press Publising Institute?  (Voting closed: May 31, 2007, 12:16:16 AM)
In my estimation, Jeffrey Levine is suitable for the position. - 20 (26.3%)
In my estimation, Jeffrey Levine is not suitable for the position. - 56 (73.7%)
Total Voters: 14

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Author Topic: The CRAZYHORSE/TUPELO PRESS PUBLISHING INSTITUTE  (Read 32998 times)
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Monday Love
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« Reply #45 on: May 10, 2007, 09:05:08 AM »

Trip,

True, the poll didn't ask anyone to explain their vote, but I think it does point up a certain weakness in our intellectual life that Levine has votes on here, but absolutely no voice.  

I can only speak for myself, but I'm not worked up into some red-faced rage by Levine.  My feeling is that Expat lives a happy, sensual, thougtful existence, that he's a 100 times happier than Levine.

I consider this sort of thing--what we do on Foetry.com--a normal outlet for an intellectual person.

Don't you think there's a vocational, anti-philosophical pall upon intellectual life today?

It used to be that poetry was only one way in which the complete man would reveal his gifts; a man would shoot, ride, woo, build, philosophize, legislate, sing, compose, organize, play, inherit, invest, discover, swim, invent, and oh, yes, rhyme a little too.  Now poetry is this vague thing which a small percentage of the population does solely for a vocational purpose; no wonder the poetry world is full of foppish, polite, empty-headed, vain, anti-intellectual twits.  I have two dozen other pursuits and interests.  If the belief is that I live and breathe hatred for Jeff Levine, that belief is dead wrong.   What I do here is merely a tiny portion of what I enjoy, and I truly enjoy it.

Levine should have a voice--even if its wrong.  That's what I always thought the art of the intellectual was all about.   You speak your mind, you see where your argument takes you.   You throw yourself into whatever is part of the great Intellectual Mix.   You don't stand back in fear like some proper fool.   Take a stab at it.  It's only discourse.  It won't hurt you.

Monday
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TripivReturns
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« Reply #46 on: May 10, 2007, 12:27:43 PM »

Most of the writers I know, Monday, have many other pursuits besides poetry.  Ask some of them and I'm sure they'll tell them to you.  For some the teaching of poetry is certainly a vocation, but poetry itself is an avocation.  And they all run, jump, skip, compose, joust, and whatnot in their off hours.  In the end, though, how people approach their art will inevitably change from one generation to the next.  Nostalgia for some kind of Renaissance ideal is, I feel, misplaced and unproductive.

As for the pro-Levine camp, I've already given my analysis of their silence.  I do have to say, though, that their failure to engage in debate here doesn't strike me as a species of cowardice or intellectual weakness.  If I had to hazard money, I'd bet they simply don't give a rat's ass about debating the point on this site.  Arguments here quickly become shrill and ad hominem.  Not participating in this is quite different from intellectual weakness.  Plus, for all we know, they are debating it elsewhere even as I write this!

Also, I don't think there is a pall over poetry in general.  There is a clubbiness, which can be tiresome.  But not a pall.  Good criticism continues to be written--some of it by scholars, some by poets.  And a lots of good poetry appears in journals and from large and small presses (though I will confess not to have read a book published in 2006 or 2007 yet).  

As for the clubbiness (of which this site itself is somewhat guilty), the bet antidote is to distance oneself from it as much as necessary to remain centered and sound.
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TripivReturns
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« Reply #47 on: May 10, 2007, 12:29:56 PM »

Correction:  
In re-reading your post, Monday, I see that you stated there was a pall over intellectual life, not poetry.

Um...I don't really have a way to substantiate it, but I feel there is not among intellectuals.  And they exist...still.
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Monday Love
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« Reply #48 on: May 10, 2007, 03:51:44 PM »

Trip,

So you think people who 'don't give a rat's ass' voted for Levine?  And so what is your point?  That these people deserve some kind of respect?  I don't know, isn't the example before us: votes, no comments proof of my thesis and a refutation of yours, even if you are correct about the 'don't give a rat's ass?'

Monday
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TripivReturns
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« Reply #49 on: May 10, 2007, 06:11:01 PM »

No, I don't think it's a refutation for one simple reason.  There was a request for a vote without the stipulation of a defense of that vote.  Any individual who voted may have done so without the attendant desire to defend it.  And as is painfully obvious, they don't feel compelled to defend their vote in this forum.

If the site managers want a vote and some kind of further "intellectual engagement" in defense of said vote, then they should say so.  It's  fine to ask ex post facto that voters put forth their reason, as you and others have done, but if they choose not to, so be it.  And nobody should get bent out of shape over it.
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Expatriate Poet
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« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2007, 02:47:40 AM »

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON

P. George Benson, President,
The College of Charleston

Larry Carlson, Chairman
The English Department

Re. The CofC Crazyhorse/Tupelo Press Publishing Institute & Jeffrey Levine

Dear President Benson and Chairman Carlson,

To tell you the truth, I’m not at all surprised you haven’t replied to my letters--I feel sure you understood that my only interest in the matter was that those like yourselves in positions of high authority at C of C were aware of the scandal surrounding the visiting Director of your Crazyhorse/Tupelo Press Publishing Institute, Jeffrey Levine. If, as I feel sure, you have looked into the matter and have already discussed it with your own, resident faculty members, and in particular with Carol Ann Davis and Garrett Doherty, then you will have fulfilled my expectations entirely.

As far as I know,  www.foetry.com  is the sole website in the world that is devoted to exposing those who cheat in the business of poetry—which with the advent of Creative Writing Programs like your own at C of C  has become not only a significant drain on university budgets but a source of very considerable personal income for some of those involved in its propagation. As the principal watchdog in this field, we would like to be satisfied that whatever can be done in the C of C  case is being done. That’s all we ask. Because in fact NONE OF US were aware of the dark, venal side of Jeffrey Levine before The Tupelo Press scandal broke just  six months ago when 100s of fake ‘personal critques’ containng solicitations for funds in exchange for favors came to light on this site. Indeed, the CofC English Department prospectus for its Publishing Institute had already been released by then, and for all we  know you may already have had graduate students enrolled for the program.

In other words, it was much too late to shut the chicken house door!

On the other hand, the Publishing Institute is a very good idea in itself, and I would encourage you to pursue it but WITHOUT Jeffrey Levine on its roster. Indeed, I would encourage you to endorse not only a Crazyhorse Publishing Institute, but a Crazyhorse First Book Prize as the focus of its syllabus. The big difference would be that you would from the very start call a spade a spade, unlike Jeffrey Levine. You would announce publicly and unequivocally that graduate students enrolled in the program would be fully engaged in the judging process from the start, that they would most certainly get their hands dirty sifting through the initial slush pile, that they would cast votes cut by cut as well, discussing the issues as they went, and that they would be involved in the final decision. Indeed,  there would only be two provisos, and both would be set in stone--and of course discussed at every twist and turning of the process:

1.) Anyone among the students or faculty who knew anyone for any reason among the candidates must say so, and recuse himself or herself from the judging entirely as long as that manuscript remained in contention;

2.) The Head (or Heads) of the Institute would have absolute and indisputable veto powers, and in the final analysis could over-ride any graduate student communal decision.

And that gets me to the most important point of all. A huge amount of responsibility must be placed squarely and publicly where it belongs, on the shoulders of your faculty.  And speaking for myself, the one who has bothered you with all these letters, I'm convinced your own faculty can carry it. Indeed, it’s obvious that this was their intention from the start, because part of the hue and cry was over the suspicious changing of the rules that took place in your prospectus after the Tupelo scandal broke last November—with the fingerprints of Jeffrey Levine all over it. We feel sure that your faculty were as much in the dark about Jeffrey Levine’s true colors as we were—nobody suspected that the press with the proudest Code of Ethics in America was actually the front for a coporate lawyer and an advertising executive! That’s just a metaphor, of course, but what it means is that we all suddenly realised that Jeffrey Levine was not all that he appeared to be. We woke up to the fact that the fox was already in the chicken house yet again!

From what we know of the very distinguished record of the College of Charleston, of its English Department, and of course of its outstanding poetry review, Crazyhorse, we would have complete faith in its editors, Carol Ann Davis and Garrett Docherty,  to run this new program. All we would ask is that you sit down with the two of them and be sure they can satisfy you that they too were taken in by Jeffrey Levine, and that they fully understand the need for the College of Charleston Crazyhorse Publishing Institute to distance itself from The Tupelo Press as soon as it possibly can.

Finally, some sort of public reply to this letter, even just a few words, would be a real boost to the cause of transparency and accountability in the administration of poetry competitions, the focus of your new C of C Publishing Institute. Indeed, the College of Charleston would break entirely new ground if it felt it could acknowledge these issues.

I wish you the very best in this new endeavour—I’m sure everyone at Foetry would join me in that blessing too.  It could change the whole landscape of poetry in America!  

Respectfully yours,

Christopher Woodman
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Christopher Woodman
Monday Love
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« Reply #51 on: May 11, 2007, 02:10:04 PM »

Quote from: "TripivReturns"
No, I don't think it's a refutation for one simple reason.  There was a request for a vote without the stipulation of a defense of that vote.  Any individual who voted may have done so without the attendant desire to defend it.  And as is painfully obvious, they don't feel compelled to defend their vote in this forum.

If the site managers want a vote and some kind of further "intellectual engagement" in defense of said vote, then they should say so.  It's  fine to ask ex post facto that voters put forth their reason, as you and others have done, but if they choose not to, so be it.  And nobody should get bent out of shape over it.


Trip,

I'm not surprised that no one has responded, because it's kind of obvious why they have not.  This is hitting Levine where he lives; it's not a pleasant thing at all, nor something he or anyone close to him is going to feel like intellectualizing about.  Just like with Jorie, Bin Ramke, etc, this is now an issue between Jeff Levine and his boss.  Levine doesn't really have a boss, does he?  He's the boss at Tupelo, so he's just waiting this out, obviously.  Jorie and Bin had bosses they had to report to: the provost, the dean, the president of the college where they work.  So that was different.  Levine is in a stronger position to defend himself, actually.  There's no system in place to hold Levine accountable, as far as I can see.
The only people who could hold Levine accountable are poets with a strong sense of justice, and the latter hardly exists, today, because poets are essentially beggers who are 'on the make,' not fighters for justice.  This is not their fault; this is just the way it is.  I'm sure you would agree.
And this is another reason why Foetry.com needs to exist.

Monday
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