Friday, February 29, 2008
Last night I reluctantly went to a poetry reading. I've been down about poetry lately.
Sometimes you go to a reading that reminds you why you like poetry and why you keep going to readings. It takes a pretty good poet to snap you out of a loathing for the poetry biz. Po Biz is so often disgusting, it takes a person who is entirely convinced that it's what's worth doing to convince me that this is worth doing.
You know, you write, and you put books together, and you read everyone's work, and you think about and talk about poetry all the time, and then some sleazy slimy poets bring you down. There are more of the slimy kind of poet in the biz than the good kind. The creative writing industry seems bent on promoting the slimiest of us into lofty academic positions, while the true artists are greatly ignored. Where'd they go and who do they know? is the only question the creative writing industry wants to know about poets.
But Michael Dumanis is an exception. Finally someone with an MFA worth reading! Finally someone who went to Iowa worth talking about! Finally someone with a PhD who is more than a worthless pedant disguised as a poet! Michael Dumanis can wear the appellation of poet with pride and lets others do the same.
His reading at Pegasus last night was phenomenal, and as I sit here and read parts of his book, I chuckle with anticipation of a time very soon today when I will blaze through the whole thing. His book is called MY SOVIET UNION, and I can't believe how good it is so far. I am embarrassed that it has taken me this long to discover Dumanis.
How many times have I linked to Amazon? Almost never! If you want to restore your faith in poetry, you should buy this book.
And there's this... just because I have never really liked Garfield.