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Author Topic: Tupelo Press - another academic wins  (Read 25890 times)
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borntorock
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« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2005, 09:20:35 AM »

Editor's note: Be sure to read about Tupelo Press in Latest News.  Sorry to hijack this post from borntorock -- Alan Cordle

There's also some likelihood that a stegner fellow will be a good poet because they made it through the stegnr application process. that's 450 applications for 5 spots.  that's pretty tough.
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Matt
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« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2005, 11:04:56 AM »

One casual observation regarding Amaud Jamaul Johnson's winning the Dorset is that (from the samples I read . . . admittedly insufficient evidence) he is a pretty conservative, straight forward, mainstream writer.  I'm not sure if this is because he's a "staid academic" or not.  But, with a $10k prize, you are really going to bring some attention to the winner.  And I find it somewhat disappointing that Tupelo couldn't find (whether academic or non) a more radical poet to endorse with that $10K.

I guess Carl Phillips supposedly chose Johnson's book, so maybe Tupelo had little to do with it (?), but it seems a bit of a copout to me to give this prize to such a stylistically conservative poet, when the press could have made a powerful statement by endorsing a more innovative book.  From what I read, I wouldn't be surprised if Johnson rapidly fades into academic anonymity.

Does this say that "big" money (poetry-wise) is only reserved for poets who will never rock the boat?  I'm not sure if I agree with Renata's application of the word "academic" here (although I share her suspicion regarding the negative impact of academia on poetry).  "Conservative" would be the label that I would chose as the “offensive” term.  But, at least from the samples I read on Tupelo's site, it struck me as a stylistically conservative press.  Those of you who have read some of their publications can correct me if I jumped too quickly to that conclusion.

Just a curiosity . . . how can they offer a $10K prize?  Is that money coming from a grant or is it all submissions?  A number that big for a poetry contest seemed suspicious (although also tempting) to me?  Does anyone have info on the number of submissions?

I can't believe they would be able to recoup $10k in sales of Johnson's book.  But as a publicity stunt, a $10K prize does get noticed . . . and they must have had a good 1000+ submissions (at $25 a pop?) . . . so maybe that could work out.

If this was a financial success for them, other presses might start "upping the stakes".  But if they do, I hope they put the money behind more daring and dangerous writers, writers who can spark change rather than perpetuate the status quo.
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Matt
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« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2005, 11:10:47 AM »

The issues surrounding the academicization of poetry are being debated in a number of threads.

Can we take the argument to a new thread . . . just so we can stay tuned in to all the voices in the debate?

I know I'd like to see some of these arguments for and against formulated and developed.  It's an important and polarizing topic.

I'll put a thread in the Poetic Trends section.  Hopefully, all you folks wil chime in.

-Matt
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Ed Dupree
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« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2005, 01:23:59 PM »

Wonderful discussion here. On the "time-to-write" question,  how about free time for  everybody, poet or not? It's a basic issue of political economy. A hundred years ago people in the labor movement quite literally fought & died for  the eight-hour day.  Since then productivity has shot up exponentially, but the work week hasn't been shortened again, in fact it's getting longer. In The Good Society Of The Future (an ideal I cling to in spite of everything), when out production-debt to society is ten hours a week (or less!)  instead of forty or more, artists' time problem would be largely solved.   So would everyone else's. This could have consequences for the "profession" of artist. What if lots more people started getting into the act? The act itself might change in ways we can't imagine yet.

I know this sounds like moonshine to some, but I can't help going straight there when the social-economic context of po-biz comes up. Meanwhile, here in the crappy society of the present, it might be a good thing for poetry (though not for the day-to-day contentment of poets) if fewer poems got written because poets were working real jobs, as many of us here seem to be doing. What if Foet X (insert your favorite) had a nine-to-fiver, like Eliot at the bank or Larkin at the library? An academic sinecure can encourage overproduction of optional poems, at the expense of the necessary ones Matt is talking about. And then there's the "necessity" of cranking out tenure-seeking dross that  Renata is talking about.
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Could it be, we are not free? It might be worth looking into."
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Wilson
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« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2005, 05:03:04 PM »

Quote from: "borntorock"
There's also some likelihood that a stegner fellow will be a good poet because they made it through the stegnr application process. that's 450 applications for 5 spots.  that's pretty tough.


Yeah, no, I don't think so.  There's a whole political arm in this that you can't sweep under the "on merit" argument.
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Wils
radio
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« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2005, 03:59:57 PM »

Quote
The editor's email came back to me undeliverable.


...probably had your email blocked.
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radio
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« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2005, 04:04:11 PM »

Quote
Yeah, no, I don't think so. There's a whole political arm in this that you can't sweep under the "on merit" argument.


I would like to see you prove that. Otherwise, claims such as these are libelous.
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Wilson
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« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2005, 08:01:59 PM »

Quote from: "radio"
Quote
Yeah, no, I don't think so. There's a whole political arm in this that you can't sweep under the "on merit" argument.


I would like to see you prove that. Otherwise, claims such as these are libelous.


Sure they are.  And the government always has your back.  And the tooth fairy still comes at night along with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny (who's a christian pagan, so you know he's okay in the head).

Seriously, I hope you put this kind of faith in all the contests out there and enter until your bank account runs dry.
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his is the abyss--quit staring!

Wils
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