What Is POETRY Magazine Afraid Of? - Blog

Theory of Poetry Blog

Posted by on in Poetry Is
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 17268
  • Print

What Is POETRY Magazine Afraid Of?

Today, I sent a message to the Managing Director of POETRY Magazine presenting an advertisement for this website and giving the magazine my credit card information to pay for the ad.  The ad read simply:

"Can $200 million restore poetry to its pre-1960 exalted status in the pantheon of American literature?                                                                                                              

Apparently not.  See:  http://www.theoryofpoetry.com"

It took all of 17 minutes for the Managing Editor to shoot back the following message:

"Thank you for your interest in advertising with POETRY.  i'M afraid we'll have to decline the opportunity to run this ad in our pages."


What is POETRY magazine afraid of?  This magazine over recent years has sent out to prospective subscribers, myself included, an article written by Adam Kirsch in the New York Sun which, among other things, quotes the statement of Christian Wiman (the outgoing editor of POETRY) that:  "Poetry is not served by protecting it like some endangered species."  Granted, "poetry" is not in all caps to designate the magazine of that name, nevertheless one could reasonably assume that Mr. Wiman's statement applied to the magazine as well.

I sincerely doubt that, in the 17 minutes it took to get the Managing Editor's response, the magazine had time to even glance at these blogs.  It's a shame -- perhaps had it done so it may have regreted its boasts that it "has reclaimed its place at the center of American poetry."  If the reader of this blog has read the first three blogs on this website, he or she will realize that not only is POETRY not establishing poetry as a serious American art, it is a major contributor to the confusion as to what is poetry as art and verse by publishing as "poems" prose matter that is chopped up into uneven and unbalanced lines to mimic verse -- and by ignoring that the art of poetry does not spring from the meanings of poems but from the qualities of writing that the poet invests in his poem, focusing on heightened and sensory language, the musicality, the craft of versification, the tensions and suspensions of the poetic line and stanza, and the poem as a whole, including -- first and foremost -- its lyricism.

Since I may not through advertising bring my criticisms to the attention of POETRY's readers, I invite the magazine to take the opportunity to comment on the views expressed in this blog.  Unlike POETRY, I promise not to squelch any comment it may wish to post on this website.

Tagged in: POETRY magazine
Vocation: Wall Street Trial Lawyer (Retired)
Avocation: Poetry and Poetics
Studied poetry with Jose Garcia Villa 1970-1997
Writer and Publisher of Poetry


  • Guest
    Robert L. King Tuesday, 09 April 2013

    A month and a week have passed since I invited POETRY magazine to comment, an invitation not yet accepted. May I reasonably assume it has no intention of doing so? A shame, especially as the readings of my first 3 blogs have significantly increased judging by the number of hits on them.

  • Guest
    reader from FNU of China Thursday, 10 October 2013

    Haha, interesting and pathetic ad.

  • Guest
    reader from FNU of China Thursday, 10 October 2013

    PS:I found none of your stars can shine.

Leave your comment

Guest Tuesday, 20 February 2018