Kudos to RD Raindog Armstrong for giving rebirth to LUMMOX magazine as a mammoth annual issue (now onsale). It throws a wide net in terms of poets and writers--and includes people from places other than Southern California.
Here are some quotations from the interview/essay portion of the issue:
"...I know there are plenty of people who will disagree with me on this, but I feel the battle between academic poetry and performance poetry, which seemed so important ten years ago, is largely over. Sure, there are still disagreements over what constitutes good poetry (or even what constitutes poetry at all), but the divisions are not entirely as clear. There is much more of a spectrum these days. I hear poets with MFAs doing stuff that would have been considered pure performance, and I hear poets with no formal education writing poems as finely crafted as anything out rhere. Maybe it's not all liked, or even appreciated, but it is all accepted as poetry."--from interview with G. Murray Thomas of NEXT magazine and NEWS CLIPS AND EGO TRIPS.
"Far and away the worst most flagrant element is the rampant and utterly rapacious careerist ambition practiced by increasing numbers of poets and would-be poets, a kind of relentless, compulsive self-promotion, which it it weren't so damaging would be almost comically ludicrous....unabashed status seeking...continual seeking and cultivating reading opportunities...intense conferences in restaurants talking only "shop"-which these days means comparing strategies to get published; which poetry "prize" to pursue; taking every available workshop and of course sucking up to celebrity poets. These "name" folks are cultivated to 'get ahead'; attending no readings except your own and those of certified eminences and the ne plus ultra of this utter betrayal of the traditional poet's stance: contriving to secure a co-featured reading with the big-shot poet."
"It's hard to bust someone for undertaking an advance course of study so as to earn a living teaching about what [he or] she loves. But "let's put it where it is": the MFA is a "union card". And real poetry does not come from the Academy. It comes from the confrontation of the nakedness of the poet's soul with 'being-in-the-world'.--excerpts from Steve Goldman's essay "The Coming of the YUPOETS".