5.15.2005

Strahan incites, Harrison fans, Speculative Poetry as an Example

Jonathan Strahan suggested an anthology of the best writing about genre writing. Niall Harrison got more specific in his probing about what such a book might require. Sounds good to me. One complaint is finding sufficiently new material, but I suspect if searchers search far and wide enough, they'll discover plenty of material that no one stumbled upon throughout the year.

To be most helpful, the content should probably edited. Consider, for example, Mathew Cheney's Speculative Poetry Symposium. The material from the first week felt interesting, but the second week never went into specifics. So one might include the first week, along with Jed Hartman's astute response to David Moles' question: Why speculative poetry? But what's missing from all this discussion--and could be included as new material--is where are the specifics? How do you talk about literary history without talking about the poets who created it and about what their contributions strived for and later helped shape the field in perhaps unexpected ways? Poets without unique poetic vision(s), no matter how ubiquitous in the field, could probably be excluded.