April 5th, 2013 / 11:37 pm

Here Lies a Fuck Ton of Poets Whose Names Were Writ in Water…


I feel like it would be an honor to be left out of an anthology as much as it would be to be included in one (Ange Mlinko’s review of Paul Hoover’s Norton Anthology of Post Modern Literature from the Nation, follows. I expect this will get taken down soon, as the original article was behind a paywall…). Do you give a fuck about this? Or about being anthologized? Should I?

Shelf Life
Ange Mlinko

(This article appeared in the April 15, 2013 edition of The Nation.)

Undergraduates enrolled in a contemporary poetry course—the young man now leaving class to put in a shift at Chick-fil-A; the mother who will drive an hour in bad freeway traffic to pick up her 2-year-old at daycare—are in for quite a treat. On the syllabus is a poem from the second edition of Postmodern American Poetry (Norton; Paper $39.95), Sharon Mesmer’s “I Never Knew an Orgy Could Be So Much Work”:

In our orgy, the Mole Person took Saddam down to Moleopolis,
which is a gigantic ass vagina in the suburbs.
I got lots of noir work out of that one.
I got to orgy with a little monkey in a Mel Gibson movie.

In a solemn touch, an author’s note identifies the provenance of this poem as “Flarf.” According to the anthology’s editor, Paul Hoover, Flarf is a cyberpoetry practice that involves using search engines as phrase generators and assembling the results into poems: “With each copy and paste comes the cultural stain of the Web. This explains the tone of Flarf, a cyberpoetry noted for the outrageousness of its content.”

The distance between the Flarf mind and Gary Snyder’s “Riprap” is immeasurable:

Lay down these words
Before your mind like rocks.
placed solid, by hands
In choice of place, set
Before the body of the mind
in space and time:
Solidity of bark, leaf, or wall
riprap of things:
Cobble of milky way,
straying planets,
These poems, people…

The distance is immeasurable because there is a mind at work in “Riprap”—finding metaphor and metonymy between rocks, words, and the arrangement of them by men and cosmic forces. But both texts are forced to occupy the same poetic universe called “postmodern,” a contested notion that Hoover, in his almost thirty-page introduction, is at pains to define in terms made famous by the theorist Frederic Jameson: “It is safest to grasp the concept of the postmodern as an attempt to think about the present historically in an age that has forgotten how to think historically in the first place.” What a claim to make in a poetry anthology that starts with 1953 and trumpets Kenneth Goldsmith’s “Any notion of history has been leveled by the internet”! What was it Keats wrote to Shelley: “Load every rift of your subject with irony”?

Norton has published many anthologies, and my favorite, The Norton Anthology of Poetry (third edition), begins with “Anonymous Lyrics of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries.” But if you wanted to get really thorough about it, The Norton Book of Classical Literature, starting with Homer, inaugurates Western poetry. The word “anthology” comes to us from the Greek, after all. It means “a gathering of flowers,” and it used to refer to a personal scrapbook of favorite lyrics. (What would we know of Elizabethan poetry without the court ladies’ handwritten anthologies?) The lucrative Norton anthology franchise, overseen by M.H. Abrams, is that other thing, a classroom staple and hegemon. Besides those two, I am also the ambivalent owner of The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms; American Hybrid: A Norton Anthology of New Poetry; The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry; and the first edition of the volume under review, published in 1994. At its plain best, The Norton Anthology of Poetry presents seven centuries of English poetry, a mere three pages of introduction and no bio fluff. Just a gathering of flowers.

But a fragmented market needs niche products. So is it any wonder that many of the poets dropped from the first edition of Postmodern American Poetry to make way for specialists in Flarf, “Newlipo,” “plundergraphia” and “Google-sculpting”—such as Paul Violi, William Corbett, Charles North, David Trinidad and August Kleinzahler—lack a marketable label? What seems clear is that the patchwork of incommensurable, often vulger and nihilistic styles forced under the rubric of “postmodern” is designed for adoption at the universities where these constituencies reside, “Conceptualist” and “postlanguage lyricist” alike. The traditional anthologist gathers good poems according to his sensibility; the postmodern anthologist, eager to jettison sensibility, has only fashion and popularity to guide him. Poets become mere representatives of their niche, with no relation to their neighbors in the table of contents. Pity G.C. Waldrep, “affiliated with the Old Order River Brethren, a conservative Anabaptist group related to the Amish”: he’s sandwiched between Vanessa Place, whose Dies: A Sentence is one unrelenting 130-page sentence (only five pages of which are on offer here), and Catherine Wagner, who offers the ditty beginning “Penis regis, penis immediate, penis/ tremendous, penis offend us; penis….” There is no transcendence in poetry anymore, according to Hoover. But I assure you, some Hells are real.

Why would you teach this textbook? Either because you and your friends are in it, or because it’s hip and so are you. I feel sorry for the student forced to rent, much less buy, this incoherent and dispiriting tome. I’m sorry he’s being handed even more processed meat; I hope the young woman with the kid finds “Riprap” on her own, or better yet Snyder’s wonderful “Axe Handles,” which ends on the hope of generational memory: Ezra Pound “was an axe,/ Chen was an axe, I am an axe/ And my son a handle, soon/ To be shaping again, model/ And tool, craft of culture,/ How we go on.”


  1. shaun gannon

      to one ange mlinko:

      lol u mad

  2. bemightee

      “Anonymous Lyrics of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries.” – that sounds interesting.

      “Poets become mere representatives of their niche, with no relation to their neighbors in the table of contents.” – the author may be on to something here…but then again do they need to be related?

      “I’m sorry he’s being handed even more processed meat” – great line

  3. Joseph Goosey

      I agree with Ange, people should read poems that are in this book, just so long as they are not reading them from this book.

  4. A D Jameson

      This is all so silly. Ange Mlinko is making a very knee-jerk conservative—and sadly very familiar—argument here. Simply put, she’s ridiculing the poetry included in this anthology as not being “real poetry”—you know, the flowers that Snyder made. And even worse, the students forced to buy this thing, let alone read it, are being cheated out of their hard-earned wage slave dollars. They should instead, Mlinko’s argument implies, be spending their hard-earned wage-slave dollars on a different Norton Anthology—a collection with prettier flowers. It’s like we’re back in the early 1980s again, and the Culture Wars never happened. “Kids are now studying Madonna lyrics in their classes, wha—?

      I won’t disagree that the Norton Anthology series has become a little franchi$e unto it$elf. But there is such a Thing as Postmodern Poetry, and it starts sometime in the 20th Century (1953 seems a fine date), and scholars write scholarship about it (here is one such book—an invaluable resource to anyone trying to understand contemporary poetry). Conferences are held on the subject, and so on, and it isn’t all a hoax, or a con. Poetry is a vital field at the moment, with a tremendous amount of good work being done in it, and a lot of that is due to the work done and being done by many of the poets included in this volume. And as such it’s valuable to collect said poetry in an anthology, or anthologies.

      Of course the Norton Anthology of Postmodern Poetry may still not be a good anthology, but that is an argument that would need to be made—the book would need to be taken seriously on the grounds prepared by the past 50 years of poetry, not simply dismissed as a joke (or “processed meat”). But Mlinko has failed in her task as a reviewer, coming across as someone who knows nothing about the subject of the volume at hand.

  5. Travis Meyer

      I like that she calls Catherine Wagner’s piece a “diddy.”

  6. deadgod

      Amerindian anthropologist, Zen devotee, Beatnik ‘poet’… pretty sure Gary Snyder was given the Mlinko treatment 50 years ago.

  7. deadgod

      “(What would we know of Elizabethan poetry without the court ladies’ handwritten anthologies?)”

      All of what was printed that’s survived. Fake-knowing rhetorical questions: best left out.

  8. A D Jameson

      That’s it exactly. Won’t the culture ever learn?

      That choice of 1953 is interesting. I would have picked 1952.

  9. shaun gannon

      no it won’t, that’s what makes it so fun to troll

  10. Edward Leicester
  11. Why shut down enjoyment? | The Actuary

      […] Ben Mirov posted a quick little article that directly quotes Ange Mlinko’s review of Paul Hoover’s Norton Anthology of Post Modern Literature from the Nation over at HTMLGiant earlier today. He asks a question about caring whether or not one gets anthologized (which we all probably do), but I’m more interested in Mlinko’s review. […]

  12. deadgod
  13. benmirov

      Just to be clear. I didn’t intend for this to be a bunch of dudes jumping all over Ange’s review, which I think makes some good points. Seems worth pointing out that most of you are just saying, “This chick is hater. Let’s hate on her,” rather than discussing the validity of her review, which is a more tenuous and difficult stance to take. Sentences like “This is all so silly,” and “lol u mad,” seem like attempts to master Ange’s review in order to draw attention away from its more interesting aspects to either the commenter’s intellect, and or their trolling persona.

      If anyone is still interested, I’d still like to hear how you feel about the importance of being anthologized, these days. Especially if you are a younger poet. I feel like the importance of being anthologized is a concern held by an older generation of poets. I would be honored to be included in a Norton Anthology, or any other type of anthology, but I also feel that being left out would define me in a sort of way I could also be proud of.

      When I read Ange’s review, I felt so distant from its concerns, and the community it was addressing. It made me feel good. Like I could continue to write poems without worrying about being remembered by anyone. Death is so great. The absolute certainty of being forgotten by time and everyone in it gives me an overwhelming, invigorating sense of freedom. It seems like one of the prerogatives of younger poets to forget about all this. We can choose to not take any side in the argument and embrace everything we find worth our life-force, and time.

  14. A D Jameson

      Hi Ben, I wasn’t trying to “master” Ange or show off my smarts, and I’m sorry if I came across as rude. But I do think it’s silly of any reviewer to simply dismiss the book under scrutiny. Especially using a timeworn excuse like “this stuff isn’t really art / it’s all a con.”

      As for your question about anthologies, I have no real thoughts, masculine or otherwise. Apologies. But I can say, as someone who studies contemporary poetry, I imagine I’ll find this collection useful. Cheers, Adam

  15. Michael Martin

      u mads are pretty funny. gets me everytime no matter how many i see

  16. shaun gannon

      it felt especially necessary after the snippy bullshit of “whose Dies: A Sentence is one unrelenting 130-page sentence (only five pages of which are on offer here), and Catherine Wagner, who offers the ditty beginning “Penis regis, penis immediate, penis/ tremendous, penis offend us; penis….”” at that point, i couldn’t take it anymore

  17. benmirov

      No need to apologize to me, AD. Although, I appreciate the gesture.

  18. Jeremy Hopkins

      I suppose any honor I could possibly feel in being chosen for an anthology would be related to my opinions of those choosing me and the others chosen. That is to say, to me the plain concept of ‘anthology’ is not automatically honorable, nor is renown, nor is simple publication.

  19. Richard Grayson

      Just curious, did you get permission from The Nation or the author to reprint this?

  20. benmirov

      Those aren’t my intentions or my concerns, Richard. Although, I appreciate your input. I’ll leave it up to the editors of this site, whether the text should be taken down. I am available to them and will gladly take the text down if asked.

      As far as insults aimed at the writer, I don’t feel responsible for the comments of others, although I did respond to them in my comment above.

      I don’t know how to respond to your question, “Is that what writers are supposed to do to one another.” The text was posted without malicious intent. I feel ambivalent about both the writer and the editor of the anthology. The text for Ange’s review was taken from another poet’s facebook page.

      Thanks again for your input.

  21. A D Jameson

      I wasn’t going to respond, because I thought I was overreading before. (“He says I needn’t apologize to him, but does he mean that I need apologize to…Mlinko?. Nah, Adam, you’re just being paranoid, don’t respond.”) But now I think I’m reading things correctly, so I’m replying. Because I find it weird that my own and other criticisms of Mlinko’s (itself critical) review keep getting called “insults.” I guess maybe some people here are being “insulting,” sure. But my own comments at least (and I think most of the others, certainly Shaun’s and deadgod’s) were criticisms focused on the substance of the review, and I confess I don’t get your beef with that, Ben, especially since you now claim to feel ambivalent about the writer (before I figured she was maybe a friend of yours).

      Mlinko is using a very large platform (The Nation) to claim that the work of a substantial number of poets is illegitimate / worthless / a con. I happen to study those poets and their work: recently took a PhD-level seminar focused in part on Flarf / Conceptual Poetry, am currently writing a research paper focused on Goldsmith and Conceptual Poetry, have attended and plan to attend future conferences on those subjects, have blogged about this stuff to some extent. So I think Mlinko’s poor criticism merits a response, and that I’m qualified to make that response, and that it’s totally fair of me to make just such a response in the form of a comment in the comments section of a blog post that’s directly about her review. I mean, you quoted the review and asked for responses; I responded. I would categorize that as “critical” but hardly “malicious” or “insulting,” but maybe the rules of criticism somehow changed over the weekend? Roger Ebert died so maybe criticism is now dead, too?

      And while I surely doubt it’s your intent, I get an icky feeling in my tummy when you repeatedly call for everyone to “play nice,” and vaguely slap at me and others for being “masters” and “dudes.” Am I wrong to read those as gestures toward slavery/misogyny? Because if that’s your angle, it seems to me you’re implying that Mlinko needs defending from male commenters…because she’s a woman? If so that’s pretty patronizing of you, emphasis on patron.

      You’ve got me feeling paranoid so I’ve reread my original comment a dozen times or so now. I think I was addressing the substance of Mlinko’s review. My point was that her criticisms are insubstantial. She’s making a knee jerk dismissal of poetry that I think is worth real engagement. Quite frankly, I think she comes across as ignorant on the subject. And I do in fact have a penis the whole time I say that, but I don’t quite understand how gender applies here.


  22. A D Jameson

      Adding (sorry) I’m willing to allow that I might be oversensitive here (though I don’t feel personally offended or anything, more curious). Because besides currently researching Conceptual Poetry for a paper, I’m also teaching a gender studies class, so I’m possibly a perfect storm of sensitivity regarding both subjects. If I’m misreading you, I apologize in advance! Cheers, Adam

  23. Kent Johnson

      Well, it’s nice to see that the review at least pricked the Flarfists to reboot their blog– the last post before this one was three years ago. Those of us who thought Flarf was dead like a lava lamp missing its plug and cord in the curio shop have apparently been wrong!

  24. Michael Fischer

      Mansplaining can be a legitimate phenomenon that shouldn’t be cheapened or used as a cop-out like you do above when none of the evidence supports the charge.

      So with that said, what the hell does gender have to do with any of this, other than in your own paternalistic imagination–the one that says you need to “protect” a woman from criticism of her ideas because, God forbid some male commenters criticize her provocative ideas about art in a forum where people engage in critical discourse about art? Let’s see…who is the sexist one here? Did she ask for you to ride in on your white horse and save her, or do you think her mind deserves the respect to be criticized for the ideas it puts out into the world regardless of her gender?

  25. Molly Brodak

      No, the “woman with the kid” is not going to “find” that Gary Snyder poem on her own. Anthologies are always irritating to writers but they are useful, and practical, like, you know, a job at Chick-fil-A, or daycare, or other things Mlinko’s non-poetry-reading students avail themselves of so that they can manage to enroll in college and fulfill one liberal arts requirement towards their useful and practical degrees by attending her poetry workshop (where they will be forced to read… whatever , anything)

  26. benmirov

      I should have typed, “There’s no need to apologize,” rather than, “There’s no need to apologize to me.” I did not intend to imply that you should apologize to Ange, or anyone. Your critique was valid and thoughtful. I was disappointed that people’s first response was to invalidate Ange’s review, rather that try to take the opportunity to talk about the function of communities such as this one with respect to the more dominant discourses represented by Ange and the Norton.

      Also, I don’t know why your previous comments were categorized as “insults.” My use of the word was in response to Richard’s comment. I would not apply the word to your comments. So let me apologize for not making that clear by putting the word in quotes in my response to Richard.

      I regret the my initial comment, and the use of the word “master.” I say “dude” and “chic” in my regular speech and did not intend for their usage in my comment to drive the conversation into one about gender or “mansplaining” (which is a fucking stupid word). I don’t think you were being sexist in any of your comments. I think it’s clear to anyone who reads this site that you are not.

  27. A D Jameson

      Ben, I should be less of a dick. I’m sorry if I’ve upset or offended you, or anyone else. You’re a good guy. Adam

  28. benmirov

      I don’t see what gender has to do with this either. That it got taken in this direction is incidental to my intent.

      I don’t know why you put the word “protect” in quotes. That is not a word I’ve used in this conversation. I don’t think anyone needs to be protected.

      Thanks for your comment. I support everything you’ve said, except the part were you imply that I am sexist, and the part where you have probably caused several people to imagine me riding a white horse.

  29. Michael Fischer

      I used that word because it seemed odd how you went out of your way to refer to her gender (e.g., your sarcastic use of “chick” and “a bunch of dudes”).

      Not sure how this language is coincidental; others picked up on it too, but now you’re denying it. Okay.

  30. benmirov

      Ditto, AD. Have a good one.

  31. benmirov

      Not denying anything. That’s how I would talk to a friend in a bar, or on the street.

      I wasn’t commenting on your use of the word protect, just the implication of putting it in quotes.

      I feel like you want to draw me into some shit. Or that we are talking past each other. I probably won’t comment further. No hard feelings, Michael.

  32. deadgod

      I thought I’d been clear in addressing the validity of Mlinko’s review. I can try again:

      Reactions, not noticeably (to me) bracketed by questions of nature and value of anthologies:

      1) Quoting fragments of poems with a sneer that suffices as criticism, as though whatever inferiority that characterizes some particular poem is self-evident, seems to me to be–however clever and/or amusing the scoff is–of limited use as criticism. Here, I think it’s an unconstructively conservative way of disciplining the ‘shock of the new’ for oneself, and seems to me, broadcast as it is from the platform of The Nation, calculatedly rebarbative–not a bad thing, necessarily, but not communicative of the authority assumed by the review (“Why would you teach this textbook? [… B]ecause it’s hip and so are you.”).

      2) Any piece that trades on some level of scholarship should get its facts pretty straight. I doubt that what “we” know of Elizabethan poetry depends much on “court ladies’ handwritten anthologies”. I also doubt that starting the entries of an anthology of postmodern poetry at a particular year and exploiting a feverish overstatement of ‘the end of history’ relate with self-invalidating irony to Jameson’s heuristic that postmodernity is successfully understood as problematizing “history” from–where else?–within it. In short, Mlinko’s triumphant denigration of this anthology seems to me to be sloppy.

  33. deadgod

      I agree with Jeremy (I think): being included in an anthology would be flattering if the anthologists and/or the project were respected. (I doubt that being included is often dismaying, but I guess it must be in some cases: the Nazis put my poems in their collection??) It might be pretty easy to temper the excitement of being chosen by taking a long view: have you leafed through an anthology of American or English-language anthology of, say, the 1920s? Do you recognize all the names? or feel glad to read much of the poetry?

      I also agree with Molly (I’m pretty sure): imperfect as they’re doomed to being, anthologies are a vital starting line for readers who don’t have the time to read everything. Sure, it’s best if you realize how little you know, but that’s no reason not to start–or find yourself setting out from–somewhere.

  34. shaun gannon

      i wasn’t trying to master anything; i was pissed off that it’s 2013 and people are still god damn dense and can’t accept that poems they don’t like are poems that others do like and may consider important, so the reviewer shouldn’t say the sky is falling when it’s just a different cloud pattern.

  35. benmirov

      Like I mentioned to AD, I regret using the word “master” in my comment, Shaun. It would have been more appropriate to say, “Sentences like ‘This is all so silly,’ and ‘lol u mad,’ seem like
      attempts to draw attention away from the more interesting aspects of Ange’s review, to either the commenter’s intellect, and or
      their trolling persona.”

      Your comment above is rad. I don’t see why you didn’t just say that in the first place, rather than undermine your ideas with shitty internet shorthand.

  36. shaun gannon

      well, the level of disgust i reached when i got to the line i quoted in my response to michael was so high that i then dismissed the reviewer’s piece entirely and decided to make that apparent in my comment. i was also so displeased with the review that i even responded to michael, which isn’t good trolling form. as someone who is similarly amused by a “u mad”, and, considering the context it was going to be used, i was amused by this, which was my way of turning a negative experience/reaction into one that was positive to me.

      your response in the comments seemed to come from a much more open position with a desire to understand as compared to the reviewer’s seemingly close-mindedness, so i was willing to engage with you in a way i was not willing to engage with the reviewer, and that is why my reply to you was much different that my reply to the reviewer. please keep in mind the initial troll post was entirely directed towards the reviewer (and awkwardly worded because i too didn’t know the gender of the reviewer (gender isn’t real)) and i hold no ill feelings towards you (even were you to hold 100% the same opinions as the reviewer, because you appeared to hold a different attitude).

      i hope this has clarified my trolling process

  37. Michael Fischer

      Um, okay. You’ve spent the entire thread telling people what you didn’t intend vs. what you intended (and sometimes those two are flipped), that you don’t want to argue with anyone (even though your comments suggest otherwise), that people are misunderstanding you, that you didn’t mean to suggest x, etc. etc. You say upthread that “mansplaining” is a stupid word, yet go out of your way to refer to the writer as a “chick” that a “bunch of dudes” are attacking and somehow I’m supposed to believe that “chick” and “dude” in that context are interchangeable with the lingo at your local neighborhood bar. Right.

      If you can’t handle confrontation, don’t write blog posts that are likely to draw heated discussion. You certainly shouldn’t try to play the victim or pretend like people are coming after you unfairly.

  38. benmirov

      Your characterization of my comments seems fine. I don’t have a problem with your opinions, except the sexism part and the part about the horse.

      I don’t understand what you mean by, “You say upthread that
      ‘mansplaining’ is a stupid word, yet go out of your way to refer to the writer as a ‘chick’ that a ‘bunch of dudes’ are attacking and somehow I’m supposed to believe that ‘chick’ and ‘dude’ in that context are interchangeable with the lingo at your local neighborhood bar. Right.”

      I didn’t/don’t want to continue this conversation really, but if we can come to some kind of understanding, it seems worth it.

  39. deadgod

      What are the interesting aspects of Mlinko’s review?

  40. Jeremy Hopkins

      Two questions regarding these men who title honors:
      Who are they, and who do they think they are?

  41. bartleby_taco

      thought it would have been neat/better/more academically helpful if they just made two volumes: ‘postmodern american poetry’ (52 to like 80/90-something), and ‘contemporary [postmodern or not] american poetry’ (80/90-something to now). i guess people wouldn’t want to buy two books. but it does seem silly to, like, kick joe ceravolo off an anthology in order to make room for ben lerner (nothing against lerner). why smush the different, distinct, disparate work of poets making things for the last 65+ years into a completely useless, flabby, catch-all term? which maybe is a bland/familiar argument against anthologies to begin with.

  42. Mark Folse

      I’ve already been tagged by metazen for posting a review of a review. I win .Which is a self-aggrandizing way that I am inured enough to what I think of as post-literary writing to read Metazen and thoroughly enjoyed the book in question DRUNK; The Drunken Sonnets, but I’m also an old fart and if we approach this in a true fair comment way, by looking at the selected excerpts (and what reviewer doesn’t do this to make her or his point) I am inclined to agree. Sadly, I guess I would have to buy the book to find out, as I am sure I will find it “In Cataloging” at the New Orleans Public Library, a euphemism closely related to “left this life last Tuesday”.

  43. deadgod

      You applied the sense of ‘insult’ to Adam’s comments when you quoted his “This is all so silly.” as an example of responders’ non-engagement with the substance of Mlinko’s review.

      Which of Mlinko’s methods or conclusions do you find serious?

  44. deadgod

      That the responses–mostly: Mlinko’s review stinks–aren’t what Ben “intended”… well, it can be distracting to talk about a general issue by exemplifying it with a controversial instance.

      But Ben is handling confrontation here: through his trolling persona.

  45. benmirov

      I’m trying to be polite and engage people in way that I feel ok about. I feel there are better examples of people trolling this conversation than my comments. I can be an asshole, but I feel I’m fundamentally a kind person and try to interact with others in a respectful manner, as much as possible. I feel this this thread is a good example of that, even if it started off in an antagonistic way: I expressed my disappointment in an objective manner, albeit a flawed one.

      You seem upset about the way I’ve managed myself. If you want me to say something like, “You are right. I’m sorry.” I honestly have no problem with that.

  46. benmirov

      I also said that his comments were “valid and thoughtful.”

      You seem upset with me for something I’ve typed in this conversation. Truly did not intend to make you feel this way.

      I’m not interested in evaluating the the seriousness of Mlinko’s review. I’m not interested in evaluating the worth of anyone’s writing. If I can avoid it, I like to try because it makes me feel like shit.

      My interest in the review stems from the dynamic between the reviewer and the object of her review, and not about the validity of one over the other. I’m also interested in how younger poets feel about the importance of being anthologized. It’s clear no one else is interested in this, which is disappointing, but ok.

      Also, I think AD and I worked out our misunderstanding. Why bring it back up?

  47. deadgod

      You quoted the review in full; it seems to me natural that some of us would want to talk about it. I guess I’m self-righteous enough to be interested in why I–and others–think it not especially well done; if that self-regard is a fault, which I doubt, I’m okay with that.

      It’s odd to me that you’re not interested in evaluating the review, when you don’t mind evaluating the responses on the thread. I don’t say this to antagonize you: I don’t see why it would make anyone feel like shit either to evaluate a review or to praise or denigrate the comments it receives.

      I also don’t see how an interest in the dynamic between a reviewer and her–I think it’s fair here to call it–target can be distinguished from a judgement of the validity of that reading. I guess one could point out an expression of power without making a value judgement of that discourse?

      By my count, three of us–albeit I’m pretty sure I’m not a “younger” poet–have talked of anthologies qua anthology. Agreed: the sifting of posterity is strange and interesting.

      What I’d hoped to return to is the substance–as I see it–of objections to the review.

  48. benmirov

      That’s cool. I don’t think I feel strongly enough about this conversation to continue it, Deadgod. You have good points. You always have good points. Please don’t be offended if I don’t respond in full. Thanks for taking the time. I’m sure other people on this thread will want to engage you about the subject(s) you’re into.

  49. deadgod

      And I’m okay with seeming upset.

      I don’t see much trolling on this thread. For example, I wouldn’t call Shaun’s teasing “trolling”. He’s using one dismissive discourse to mock another; his point, as far as I can make out, is to criticize, not emptily to inspire hostility.

  50. Ben Mirov on Norton Pomo | The VOLTA Blog

      […] responded to recent internet firebrand Ange Mlinko‘s less than positive review of the new Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry by presenting it with this short note. Follow the link, on read Mirov’s response below. This […]

  51. Mark Folse

      I’m about to enroll my 55-year old ass in ENGL 3394 Senior Seminar “The Modernist Poetry Revolution.” I am wondering what the text might be. (Hmmmmm….). I promise to come back after I’ve read the damn thing next Xmas and tell you what I found.

  52. a ‘belief sphere’, induction, and stained glass flarf — ForkWord

      […] of some flarf poems in Norton’s 2nd ed of Postmodern American Poetry. There is a really gratuitous and amusing discussion going on about it on htmlgiant. I was reading this at the same time as i was reading a paper about the Devonian Hodgkinson […]

  53. Some Hells Are Real: Post Modern American Poetry, 2nd Edition | teoppoet -- poetteop

      […] Ange Mlinko’s review of Paul Hoover’s Norton Anthology of Post Modern Literature (The Nation). […]

  54. Daniel Lichtenberg

      Comment threads are where people come to silence other people.

  55. Experimental fiction as genre and as principle | HTMLGIANT

      […] genres, outside the canon. Most people find it unacceptable. Ange Mlinko notes several examples in her Nation review of the Norton Anthology of Postmodern Poetry, 2nd Edition, where she laments the inclusion of […]

  56. The Nation Versus The Norton Postmodern Anthology Disaster (2nd Edition) | HTMLGIANT

      […] don’t usually follow comment streams, but Ben Mirov’s point from before, responding to the responses to his post about the new Norton, namely that “the importance […]