Thursday, August 2, 2007

Charles Simic named poet laureate


Charles Simic was named poet laureate of the US today. In interviews, Simic tends to be of the seemingly-naive "poetry is not political" school. But I think his poems are much, much, more complex and radical than he himself comes off as.

I'm a big Simic fan, so this beats the heck out of Robert Pinsky, et al. But I think we're in need of a demographic shift. The LAST EIGHT poets laureate have been white. Only one of the last eight was a woman. Our country is more than half female and almost half not-white. What does this sequence of laureates say about who we think makes 'real culture'?

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