All posts filed under: Commentary

The latest musings from our contributing writers and editors

Interview // Rachel Zucker

By Keetje Kuipers | Associate Editor “Maybe, actually, the model is actually just conversation, the kinds of conversations we had before our technologies made it difficult to spend face-to-face, uninterrupted, engaged, intimate time talking to another human being.”

Hello Goodbye Hello

Kevin Craft (Editor 2010 – 2016) Signs Off   Most poetry readers I know chuckle wearily at the steady stream of “poetry is dead” articles that have appeared with astonishing tenacity in various venues, including The New York Times, these past few years. The authors of these articles agonize in some way or another over poetry’s irrelevance to modern culture: poetry is too abstract and obscure, they argue, too much an insider’s game, divorced from the real wants and needs (to borrow a phrase from Whitman’s early review of Keats’s poems) of actual bodies in the 21st century. But why should poetry worry over its relationship to popular culture? Must it be popular (or topical) in order to be vital, in order to sustain a reader, or fortify a readership? What happens to those who win (or live by) popularity contests in the contemporary cultural grind? We know all too well that the speed of the attention-getting news cycle is debilitating. Presidential primaries come and go, talk radio blathers on, discourse hardens, partisans lob grenades …