1. ScaryMonster
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    ScaryMonster Active Member

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    Pretentious Poetry Publications

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by ScaryMonster, May 9, 2011.

    I’ve been looking around at magazines that publish poetry and it’s become clear to me that most of sort of these rags are generally rather pompous.

    There seems to be a certain subculture involved in these magazines and it seems to me that most poetry writers appearing in these pages are menopausal upper middle-class women and a few men of similar ilk.

    Most of the poems are rather ordinary and very, very conservative. Which is unfortunate because I personally hate that sort of writing. It’s at best technically correct but boring as hell.

    There are some more radical publications out there, but very few that are completely devoted to poetry.

    I’ve actually come across much more interesting material on forums like this and its got to the point where I don’t even bother buying poetry magazines.
    But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to have my work in one of these, there’s that ego thing about pulling a book off shelf with your work in it.

    I think this is a problem, poetry is marginalised as it is and rarely do people who will happily read a 1000 page novel bother to read a five-stanza poem.

    But I’ve noticed here in the poetry forum people commenting on poerty saying “I don’t usually read poetry but this really got to me.” That I think is because really original work gets put up onto these forums.

    Poetry that gets published in magazines generally has lost its subversive edge, its all about gardens and happy middle class memories.

    What happened to poems like Howl by Allen Ginsberg? Who lately had had to go to court to defend their work? Would someone like Charles Bukowski even get a look in today?
     
  2. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Bukowski today would probably be in a similar place as in his own time: small time fringe journals.

    And sorry, not to be disrespectful of anyone on the forums, and not that I don't agree with you that there's an aspect of conservative, and safe writing even in many top journals, but in general the work on these forums isn't really on par. There's a reason the forums are designed as a workshop for people to learn.

    Poetry in general isn't in a really good spot right now, I agree. Why? For the same reason many literary fiction writers are poor and working second and third jobs. Because things that make the general public think and consider things on a deeper level really aren't in favor, these days. Pretty much kills the entire point of poetry outside of the 'steps in the sand' generic, cliche crap people put on their bathroom walls.

    It's kind of silly to assume any mainstream published poetry ever had an edge, though. It's the 'mainstream' vs. 'edge' aspect that may be at issue, you know.
     
  3. ScaryMonster
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    ScaryMonster Active Member

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    I actually think if Bukowski were attempting and publish for the first time now he'd find it impossible, because all the editors of these rags are for the most part politically correct stooges.

    I agree you get some really awful poems on forums and I mean awful in the most obvious sense. But then you get some really good ones which are quite different from any you'd find in publications.

    Reading the awful ones is the price you pay in order to find the gems. And personally I'd rather read an awful poem then a boring one even if it is technically right.

    If I hear "Autumn Leaves" or "gold fish ponds in winters embrace" mentioned in a poem once more, I swear I will projectile vomit.

    I think most poetry publications are not on par. The poems they print are mostly literary versions of fluff, there's art and there's decoration. Art challenges, decoration is only designed to make us feel comfortable.

    There are too many decorators getting their poems published.
     

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