Poetry without Poets
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Charles Bernstein

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Poetry without Poets


What’s missing from this picture?

On April 4, the Academy of American Poets will launch National Poetry Month, as they have in the past few years, with a program entitled Poetry & The Creative Mind, presented at Lincoln Center. Announced readers are Meryl Streep, Wynton Marsalis, Julia Ormond, Alan Alda, Wendy Whelan, Mike Wallace, Dianne Wiest, Oliver Sacks, Gloria Vanderbilt, William Wegman, and Christopher Durang.

What a brilliant idea! Many involved with trying to do fundraising for poetry have encountered a huge obstacle again and again: poets and poetry. After hours of discussion, we have often realized that if only we were trying to raise money for something else, our silent auctions and cocktail receptions wouldn’t end up losing almost as much money as our book and magazine publications and web sites.

Perhaps the Academy will be starting a trend:

A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Benefit Reading with Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, Mike Wallace, and Samuel R. Delany.

A Debutante Costume Ball in Celebration of 300 Years of Jews in New York, featuring Pat Boone singing “Kol Nidre,” the Morman Tabernacle Choir doing “Hatikvah,” and a special appearance by Meryl Streep as Moses.

Actually, the model for this year’s National Poetry Month gala appears to be the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Marathon, which features celebrities on behalf of the MD-afflicted.

But now Jerry Lewis.

There’s a poet.

[March 25, 2006] [unique url for this post]

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