Saturday, August 18, 2007

I LIKED IT A LOT, BUT...

My friend, likes Tessa Rumsey's book, The Return Message, so she made me read it. It is an odd book. It is oddly shaped. It is also a beautiful book. It works beautifully as a book. It is not a collection of poems in the sense that one stands by itself very well; all together, they are very beautiful. It is a long book. A couple times, I thought I was going to put it down. I do that a lot. I often take long breaks from poetry books. But I didn't put it down. And by the end, I couldn't believe, really, how much I liked The Return Message.
. ..:.:.. ..::: ..:. . .......... . . ::. . ..:: .: ..... There's one thing that bothers me about it.
I like Jorie Graham. I like to drop her name and tell people that I had dinner with her. I get to have dinner with famous poets sometimes. Jorie was really cool. I liked her reading. I like the way she talks to people. I like her poetry.

Some people don't think it's cool to like Jorie Graham. This is partly because of controversy surrounding certain contests. The thing about contests is that they are often shams. It's cool to win them, though. I've won contests. I have even won a big contest. I think that is pretty cool. I don't think I've mentioned it in a bio when submitting, though, because I think that it shouldn't matter to an editor. Does it matter? I don't think it does. On the cover of Tessa Rumsey's book it says in cursive script "Winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize, judged by Jorie Graham." Would you want this on the cover of your book? On the back, Jorie Graham's citation is quoted.
Anyway, I hate the cover for a lot of reasons and now I'm rambling.
I guess the point is that I don't think anyone cares where a poet's been published or what awards they've received or even what school they went to. Or maybe people do care, but I don't think that would make them want to buy the book. Blurbs are cool. I like blurbs. But no matter how much I like some of the super stars of poetry, I don't care if they gave you an award. I don't care if you studied with them. At this point, hasn't everyone?

4 comments:

Kathy said...

i just ordered this book. also nothing happened and besides i wasn't there and green light. you are now influencing my reading behaviors.

and i agree about awards and jorie graham.

Jack Morgan said...

yay!!!

Megan said...

Jorie Graham was at Iowa while I was there. She never came to her own readings--she'd always have some last minute planecrash or something, when really she lived like 2 blocks away from where she was reading and wasn't even out of town.

I also heard she made apps to the grad program send head shots with their poems.

It makes sense, because there were some hot male poets there, one of whom was my poetry TA, who was sleeping with a former TA of mine, and who told me I should be a poet instead of a fiction writer.

I should not have been a poet. This was some dumb-poet way of trying to sleep with someone 10 years younger than himself. He should've just said: Look, I'm hot. You'd feel famous if you slept with me. And I would have.

He probably slept with Jorie Graham instead.

Jack Morgan said...

I love you venomliterati girls.
Seriously.