Monday, October 27, 2014

Suzanne Lummis, THE NEW YORKER and the likely impact in Los Angeles literary circles.

Let's look at this--a win for Suzanne Lummis and her vision of "craft-conscious poetry" and a win for West Coast literary poets who thought they'd never be accepted in the august pages of THE NEW YORKER--on several levels a la INCEPTION:
1. Suzanne will have a boost in the number of potential future students.
2. She'll also have several peers (or those who imagine themselves as peers) who will likely show adoring faces to her while harboring secret "why did SHE get in and I didn't" thoughts.
3. Unfortunately, it's a victory for those in Los Angeles who prefer all poetry emerging from the city to be rather homogenized in terms of notions of quality (the only exception being the welcome election of Luis Rodriguez as the city's Poet Laureate).
4. It's the final, fatal stake through the heart for the more unruly, DIY, coffeehouse non-slam community which used to exist side-by-side with the more Aspirational folks.  And the arrogant, destructive behavior of some of our community's "greatest" poets towards perceived inferiors will increase--along with the timid, for-career's-sake silence that enables it.
5. With THE NEW YORKER achievement and the new book, let's see if Suzanne can use her upsurge to leverage the revival of both the Newer Poets series and the long-dormant Los Angeles Poetry Festival.

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