Conrad DiDiodato has left a new comment on your post "More Tribute Readings for Milt planned: James Deah...":
you are a gracious host. It was honour to have been asked to participate in the Hammer at the Milt Acorn Tribute Readings. A delightful afternoon.
Yes, People's Poetry is flourishing, indeed. I certainly accept the call to write a review of the Selected Poems. I also will do my part to continue promoting People's Poetry in my part of the poetry cosmos (through Erland Lee) as you and Chris Faiers have done for years in yours. I do hope someone takes up the call to open up the Sarnia market for People's Poetry. I like this idea of rediscovering Canada through poetry.
It will be hard to compete with the mainstream crowd, connected as they've always been to academic presses and a well entrenched government 'grants' largesse. We must, to begin with, publish ourselves--perhaps an Anthology of People's Poetry Verse in the future, edited, compiled and printed by those of us blessed with our own publishing contacts. It's also imperative we promote and extend an awards structure (along the lines of he Shaunt Basmajian Chapbook Award) that will be every bit as prestigious as the Governor-General's, Leacock, Griffin awards. And perhaps, finally, a little social-political activism tied to People's Poetry wouldn't hurt (as Penn Kemp has recently done with her Layton tribute book and her own struggles to prevent development of green spaces in her beloved London).
I like the eclecticism of People's Poetry (unlike the rigid political correctness the State-poets of Canada Council must conform to!):Milt, for example, could be both Marxist and devoutly Christian (as I am, too). I like that People's Poetry welcomes many styles and won't be ever tailored to any one prevailing literary credo. I like its spontaneity, freshness and reverence for the poetic voice.
Although I'm the product of many influences I feel at home only in People's Poetry. It's people-driven in a truly Canadian sense of fellowship and love. In fact, were it not for the personal kindnesses of Katherine L. Gordon, I may not be writing at all. The CanLit establishment had been squeezing the literary life out of me for years. Let the self-absorption and ego of the kind we see in the mainstream (academic) crowds never find a place among People's Poetry.
Again, a special thanks to James for his Artword reading and to you, Chris, for publishing James letter.
Posted by Conrad DiDiodato to Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 14 July 2013 15:49
Andreas Gripp has left a new comment on your post "Conrad DiDiodato on flourishing People's Poetry sc...":
Thanks for posting this by Conrad, Chris. I think his comments deserved a presentation as its own entry. Excellent summation of the state and needs of People's Poetry. I'm also of a similar view with regards to our wonderful Katherine L. Gordon -- I likely would have retired from/quit poetry *years* ago if not for her regular encouragement and correspondence ...
Posted by Andreas Gripp to Riffs & Ripples from ZenRiver Gardens at 15 July 2013 12:45