Power Networks of Symbolic Violence

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Gabe Gudding has an excellently overstated little diatribe against joinerism on his blog today:

Poetries that find their way to most anthologies often seem already invested in power networks of symbolic violence that try or have tried either rapidly or overtly to develop cultural capital through group affiliation.

The man is sticking it to the men sticking it to the man, methinks.

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A Crisis of the Personal in Poetry?

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I’ve been following some of Ron Silliman’s recent posts about the effect he and Gabe Gudding have been tracing of “McPoem” — cookie-cutter work based on personal experience churned out through the business of MFA programs — on the course of poetry in the past thirty years. Ron’s musings on Gudding seem to imply a strong connection between, “self-expression as a means of growth” and poems expressed badly. I don’t know the inner workings of the multitude of MFA programs available today, but from personal experience as a modern writer navigating the straits between sentimentalism and just mentalism, I can relate to and speak to the notion that poetry should be personal.

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