Sunday, June 24, 2007

emerging/ submerging

Left field musing. Reading Ron's discussion of a reading he did with Jessica Smith. Being intrigued I checked out the references he gave about Smith. I'll follow up on her work, indeed, and her blog is worth reading, especially on what Ron was discussing, which was 'the poetry reading'.

But ... here's my sideways not-to-do-with-any-of-this thought. Smith is involved in a press that is, among other things, publishing an anthology of 'younger' poets (ie under 40). Fair enuff, a publisher needs to be publishing whatever. To state the obvious, it's their passion, especially in a profit-free zone such as poetry. But ...

... the implication is that only 'young/er' equals 'emerging'. There are those who emerge 'older' and, thus, never get to engage with such projects. And there's an assumption that 'older' somehow means either you've made it, or your way of writing is 'set' and that you don't continue to 'emerge'. Who ever has done an anthology of poets who slip through the nets, such as the above? Yep, thought so. Not a sausage, nada, no cigar.

No reflection on this venture, which looks cool. Not even being twitter and bisted. Just noting, for da record, ya know. You make yr own tracks.

2 comments:

Louise said...

I was thinking about all this myself. perhaps the poet who is older and only just being noticed by having the opportunity to get work published or in place is re merging and not emerging at all.
In some cases the merging is ongoing and never gets further than a series of mergings over a whole career...tongue in cheek at my own expense here.

Jessica Smith said...

Just to note that we actually did end up taking about half a dozen poets who are over 40 who wrote to us with this exact complaint. Then I considered their poetry based on merit and style. The chief demarcation I wanted to make was between Language Poetry and what emerges when a poet grew up with Language poetry in the conscious or subliminal background. So the rules ended up being a bit plastic.