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Thursday, 26 May 2011

Conrad Didiodato's response to 'Strange Tango: Poets and Academia"

Hi Chris,
here's my reply to your latest blog article. I can't seem to post it directly to your site so I'll give it here instead. Bloggers acting up again.
you're right: it is important to initiate dialogue about the academia-poetry interaction because, to this point, it's been a pretty dismal one, with most of the damage being done on the academia side.
I won't mince my words: academics have killed poetry, and there's nothing worse than an academic who tries writing poetry, slavishly tying 'pet' PhD theory to their work: Doc Bok is a notable example whose recent work on the "poem in a genome" experiment is an embarrasment to Cdn literary scene (There are notable exceptions: none in Canada that I know of but in the States: John Berryman, James Wright)Their arrogance appals me. Most of what they say is a grievous offence to poetic decency and insight. They speak in an almost incomprehensible sycophantic gibberish that passes for learned discourse.
Best example of this sort of near incomprehensible (badly written) scholarly writing is a book called "Writing the Roaming Subject:The Biotext in Canadian Literature" by Joanne Saul.They've gummed up the publishing works (in cahoots with gov't and Canada Council)for the longest time, and the Internet may finally put a stop to their wasteful print regimes.A lot of academics are still in denial about the end of print literacy.
How's that for starters!

"My heart is my own, the trapped hare belongs to the hour." (Frank O'Hara)

May 26/11
Chris' reply:
Thanks for sending this by email, Conrad. I'd suspected you'd have a strong comment on this topic, which has been on my mind, and that of many others, for decades. I had a long phone chat with Terry Barker this aft about this very posting, and we reminisced over the many similar conversations we've held over the years on the complex and often frustrating co-dependency between poets and the academy.
It's annoying when people have probs posting - I know of several other poets who have experienced difficulties posting on the blog. Despite these occasional internet probs re comments, I'm very much hoping to continue opening dialogues on a wide variety of topics re Canadian People's Poetry (CanPo), haiku/haibun, the 'way forward' for CanPo etc. etc.
Terry and I also discussed plans for this summer's PurdyFest #5, which will feature the work and contributions of Raymond Souster. Terry was impressed with your suggestion of a collected works of Ted Plantos, and Terry and his circle of associates are capable of mounting such a project, as they are in the process of completing a new Milton Acorn collection!!! 
The web is certainly opening up the possibilities for freeform discourse ...
peace & poetry power!

1 comment:

Conrad DiDiodato said...


I'm happy to hear that Terry Barker likes the idea of a Collected Works of Ted Plantos.