Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Immigrant Poet Laureate

Jilly presents an interesting take on the selection of poet laureates in the U.S. While this is not totally new information to me, she has presented some good reference material and demonstrates the tendencies toward NE geographies and the male gender. Much will be made of it because much was made of it the last time, a NE male then too.

In my own humble view, there are quite a few women I believe would be excellent candidates. I am perhaps more bothered by the gender issue than the geographical one. Why? I suppose being from the Midwest I should have been jumping for joy at the Kooser appointment. It turns out that his being from a neighboring state meant little of nothing to me.

I believe what may say a lot about the latest selection, and a very positive way to view it, would be that Simic is a first generation immigrant to the U.S. This at a time when our own American culture seems to be at such odds with our own American heritage. Simic was born under the dark shadows of very troubling times in his native land. I've seen in his work a more worldly view of life and I think this is a good time for Americans to experience a poet with such background.

On another note my copy of Poems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak arrived on Friday.
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